All travelers dream of roadtripping through Asia one day, but exploring each one of its beautiful places would mean a long, very long road trip. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to travel for so long. So, for those who have a month in front of them, here is a sample of itinerary from Vietnam back to India. May it inspire you!
Let’s start our trip in Hanoi in the far north of Vietnam.
- Day 1: In Hanoi, you want to see the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Ho Chi Minh Museum, as well as the Temple of Literature.
- Day 2: Board a junk to explore the beautiful Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO Woldsite Heritage with more than 1,600 islands.
- Day 3 & 4: Fly to Nha Trang and enjoy a couple of relaxing days. Don’t miss out the Long Sơn Pagoda, a stunning Buddhist temple.
- Day 5 & 6: Fly to Ho Chi Minh City in the Saigon region. Here, you want to look for 5 attractions: the Reunification Palace, the War Remanants Museum, the Bitexco Financial Tower and the Saigon Skydeck on its 49th floor; the A O Show – a Cirque du Soleil-style stage performance of Vietnamese culture – and finally the Cu Chi Tunnels.
- Day 7 & 8: Fly to Phnom Penh, where you absolutely want to see the Royal Palace Complex, take a stroll along Sisowath Quay and, obviously, see the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, without which you just can’t understand Cambodia’s culture today.
- Day 9, 10 & 11: Travel to Siem Reap and, if given the opportunity, stop by the market village of Skuon, where you can try large deep-fried spiders). Take a couple more days to explore the well-known Angkor Archeological Park and its famous Angkor Vat, which is ranked 4th amongst the 10 Places to See at Least Once in a Lifetime by this amazing travel blog. Other temples not to miss include Phnom Bakheng, Pre Rup, Ta Prohm and Banteay Srei.
- Day 12: Travel to Battambag where you can enjoy a bit the countryside and local industries. Do not forget to have a ride on the Bamboo train!
- Day 13 & 14: Fly to Bangkok where you want to visit the Jim Thomson’s House and the Lingram Fertility Shrine (be prepared for a surprise!); the Chatuchak market (on week-ends only); Benjasiri Park, where you can see local playing Ta-kraw in the evenings; Wat Mahathat temple, where you’ll get to chat with Thai monks; the Grand Palace; Wat Pho and the famous golden, reclining Buddha; Wat Saket (« The Golden Mount »); and, if you still have time, the Siriraj Medical Museum.
- Day 15 & 16: Fly to Ko Pha Ngan Island where you absolutely want to find the Sramonora waterfall at day and watch a fight in Muay Thai in the evening. Make the most of an extra-day to sunbath in Haad Rin.
- Day 17, 18 & 19: Fly back inland to Chian May, where you want to rent a scooter and explore the Doi Suthep temple area. Next day, try zip-lining in the nearby forestry or cruise the Mai Ping River, and hit the galleries of Nimman Road. Last day, take a trip to Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital in Lampang and make the most of a Thai massage at the Women Correctional Institution.
- Day 20: Fly to Yangon where you want to have a ride on the circle train and check out the Bogoyoke market. Head down to Botataung Jetty and visit the Botataung Pagoda. Take the time to admire the Shwedagon Pagoda at night and enjoy the spiritual heart of the Myanmar people.
- Day 21 & 22: Take the overnight train to Mandalay and enjoy the view of its Palace. Rent a bicycle to explore the rest of the city and end the day with a performance of the Moustache Brothers. Next day, catch a taxi to Mandalay Hill and admire the view on Taungthaman Lake.
- Day 23 & 24: Travel to Bagan and visit some of its 2,000 pagodas (esp. Shesandaw). Rent a motorbike to explore the Archaeological Park. The giant Ananda and Sulamani temples are not to be missed, as well as Dhammayangyi.
- Day 25: Travel to Cox’s Bazar and enjoy a day on the beautiful Laboni Beach.
- Day 26: Head to Bandarban Hill District where you need to visit the Buddha Dhatu Jadi (the Bandarban Golden Temple) and the Meghla Parjatan Complex. Don’t miss out Chimbuk Hill and Shaila Prapat waterfall as well.
- Day 27 & 28: Travel to Chittagong City and Hills. Take a walk on Patenga Beach, visit the Commonwealth War Cemetery and the Memorial Museum. Take a day at Foy’s Lake amusement park.
- Day 29 & 30: Last stop is Dhaka City, with its national mosque (Baitul Mukarram), its Armenian Church, its New Market and the Sadarghat riverfront and Port. On your last day, you might want to explore as well Lalbagh Fort and the nearby tomb of Pari-Bibi, along with the Diwan-i-aam Palace. If you have time, check out the Liberation War Museum and the Dhakeshwari Mondir Temple.
Now let us guess… You don’t want to come back to India? If we had known before, we would have composed an itinerary for a year-long road-trip! Anyway, let us know about your trip, the places you enjoyed the most and send some pictures! You too can inspire other travellers…