This is our travel route for summer 2013. We fly out to Vietnam then are travelling overland through Cambodia and Thailand. I think that Google is being pretty optimistic that it will take 36 hours to travel from HCMC to Koh Phangan.
The easiest way to plan is to be prepared to not put everything in that you originally wanted to do. There isn’t time and if you over plan then you just stress yourself out!
We always book somewhere to stay after our first night after a flight. There is nothing worse than getting off a plane and having to find a hotel when you are shattered, don’t speak the language or really know the area. However, after overland travel, we are always happy to just wing it! We book for one night, you can book for more, but to be honest, we like the flexibility. If you hate the place, you can move, if you love it, you can stay longer. If you don’t know how long you will be somewhere then paying a night at a time is the best way to go!
All our visas will be bought before we go. that will be a lovely trip down to London to get them all stamped. But we bought a visa at the Cambodian border before and were threatened with guns… So if you pre-purcahse, that issue is negated! Please don’t think that you will be threatened, we went through the border on our own, we don’t do tours, and I know if you do do them that you should be fine. It is just lone tourists that the guards try their luck with.
Overland travel will be organised based on information from Seat 61. It’s really useful as a travel guide. It covers trains and busses, some ferries, border crossings and their costings for pretty much every country in the world. Definitely your best friend if you are going to be doing a lot of overland travelling!
So, why these countries? We went to Thailand and Cambodia before, and Sam’s brother and his wife wanted to go too. So they are doing their first ever backpacking trip with us, to lands that we know a bit about, and to a land we want to learn about!
More detailed plans to come, but for now, this is all I have!