Going traveling and want to know how to spend one month in Southeast Asia to maximise your time? Southeast Asia is an enchanting place with a vibrant mix of cultures, traditions and scenery. Attractive pricing and plenty of opportunities to interact with locals make the region a dream destination for backpackers and budget travelers from around the world. If you’re lucky enough to spend a month here, your best bet will be to start in northern Vietnam and snake your way south to Laos and Cambodia before ending your adventure in Ho Chi Minh City. Here’s how that translates into a month’s itinerary for Southeast Asia.
1. Week 1: Hanoi and Halong Bay
Now over 1,000 years old, Hanoi perhaps best represents Vietnam as a country. To start off from the beginning, head to the city’s Old Quarter. The neighbourhood is its own spectacle and is full locals going about their everyday business. It’s also one of the best places in town to sample Vietnamese streetfood. There are plenty of dishes to try that will cost under $1 USD, such as bo kho (beef stew) and banh can (rice pancakes). Other cultural highlights of Hanoi include the infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ (Hoa Lo Prison) and the ancient Van Mieu Temple, which is located on grounds over 1,000 years old.
Hanoi is a bustling city to say the least, so to take a break from the noise and the crowds, take a train or tour to tranquil Halong Bay. Companies operating from the bay offer day and multi-day backpacker boat tours of the surrounding islands for excellent rates. These often include meals as well.