2 Weeks in Asia Itinerary

Trip planning is honestly one of my favorite things! I could research destinations and flights all day long with a smile on my face. I enjoy the challenge of finding the cheapest tickets and the best route. I can be indecisive because there are so many places I want to visit, it’s hard to narrow it down! But alas, with our trip departure date less than 6 weeks away, I finally have an itinerary! 

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Vancouver, B.C.

It all started the week of Christmas when I found crazy cheap tickets for $450 round trip from Seattle to Hong Kong. The catch: we would have to spend a 22 hour layover in Vancouver, B.C. on the way to and from Seattle. I tried to work around it and whenever  I would search for flights from Portland or even directly from Vancouver, B.C. the price would shoot up to over $1,000. Jake and I both love Vancouver though after spending my birthday there in 2013 (see what we did there) so it’s not too much of an imposition. I would love to visit Gastown again, as well as maybe checking out Granville Island.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Hong Kong

After our layover in Vancouver, B.C. and a excruciating 12 hour flight we will arrive to Hong Kong! We have 3 nights booked in the Tsim Sha Tsui district. We look forward to viewing the beautiful skyline from The Peak, checking out the Po Lin Buddhist monastery, eating delicious street food and exploring the night markets! Hong Kong hasn’t ever been a destination that was really on our radar, but the more I research it the more excited I get to visit.

macau3

Macau

After our 3 nights in Hong Kong we are going to take the ferry to the Portuguese-influenced Chinese region of Macau. Macau gets hyped up as being the “Las Vegas of Asia” but there is more to it than that. We both like Las Vegas, but this trip will probably be short on casino visits aside from exploring their cool decor.  We would like to check out the Ruins of St Paul’s, Senado Square, the Macau Tower and Fortaleza do Monte. We only have 1.5 days in Macau before we fly out to our next stop.

Grand Palace, Bangkok (photo credit: wikipedia)

Grand Palace, Bangkok (photo credit: wikipedia)

Bangkok, Thailand

We plan on spending 4 nights exploring Bangkok and either Ayutthaya or Kanchanaburi. We look forward to the epic street food, cheap massages and temple hopping to places such as the Grand Palace (above). We had considered going north after Bangkok and checking out Chiang Mai and Pai but after further research learned that March isn’t a great time of year for this part of the country. Ever March farmers burn their fields which causes a lot of air quality issues and hazy conditions. We decided to postpone our visit here until it was a better time of year, and perhaps even combine it with Laos on a future trip.

Maya Bay, Phi Phi (photo credit: Maya Bay Tours)

Maya Bay, Phi Phi (photo credit: Maya Bay Tours)

Krabi Region, Thailand

We will either spend the last night in Bangkok taking the overnight train or, more likely, we will catch and early flight to Phuket or Krabi Town. Either way we plan on immediately catching a ferry to Phi Phi Don.

Phi Phi Don: I debated a lot about this destination because of reading numerous opinions on how it’s “too touristy”, “crowded” and more of a party island. Jake and I don’t mind a little bit of a party but it’s definitely not why we travel or what we enjoy to experience. But after seeing pictures from the Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint and our desire to see Maya Bay, we are including 2 nights here. One of the things we are most excited about for this trip is doing the May Bay Sleep Abroad! We will be able to explore this stunning beach without the hoards of tourists, as well as swim in the bay at nighttime when it lights up with bioluminescent plankton! We looked forward to experiencing this phenomenom when we were on Vieques, but unfortunately the weather worked against us.

Koh Lanta: This is the tropical paradise we have been dreaming about! It seems to be a more quiet island and we will be able to rent a scooter to explore, which is probably our favorite mode of transportation when travelling! We will have 3 nights here.

Krabi Town: We will spend one night here so we can catch our morning flight as we start our long journey back home. Flights from the Phuket and Krabi airports back to Hong Kong were either at the worst possible times (like 2 AM departure) or required a layover through Bangkok and still delivered us at a bad time to HK. We didn’t want to waste a whole day sitting in an airport. I found an alternative route using Google Matrix ITA software (see our best tips for finding cheap flights) that left us with a 1 day layover in Kuala Lumpur before continuing on to Hong Kong International (HKG) with about 5 hours to spare before our flight home. This was also the cheapest option at $150 per person, and would allow us to see a city I’ve been dying to see!

KL-Skyline_Night_HDR

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I’m so excited about this stop! Batu Caves and the Petronas Towers have been on my top “must see” in Southeast Asia! We won’t have a lot of time here, but at least we will have enough time to visit these two places and it beats the alternative of sitting in airports. After a 5 hour wait in HKG we will have another long flight, followed by 24 hours in Vancouver, B.C. before we arrive back to Seattle. There will be a lot of flying the last 2 days but at least it will be broken up into different legs.

So there you have it!  For our first overseas trip together we wanted to visit places that would be easy for us to navigate, while still seeing different cultures. Also, we didn’t want to haul our backpacks around and move every other day, but we still wanted t see a lot. All together we will be spending 2 nights in Canada, 4 in East Asia, 11 in SE Asia and 1 night in transit.

So what do you think about our itinerary? Any tips if you have been to these places? 

 

28 thoughts on “2 Weeks in Asia Itinerary

  1. Awesome itinerary! I bet your trip to Asia will be a blast 😉

    Though if I can add… would you reconsider the list and squeeze in the Philippines? Haha, it’s a bit biased of me maybe since I grew up there but I bet you’ve seen articles around of our beaches, islands, etc. But I guess if it can’t be done–there’s always a next time! 😀 If I can add for Thailand too; try to go to Chiang Mai if ever you rather want a quieter version of Bangkok.
    Aileen recently posted…15 Best Romantic Getaways of Travel BloggersMy Profile

    1. Oh gosh, I would LOVE to explore the beautiful beaches of the Philippines! It is definitely somewhere that I would love to visit one day, but it just didn’t work out this time. I researched Chiang Mai and the only thing that kept me from adding it to our schedule is the time of year we are visiting. Apparently March is the worst time to visit northern Thailand because of the farmers burning their fields and causing a lot of hazy air issues.
      Valerie recently posted…2 Weeks in Asia ItineraryMy Profile

  2. Hey Valerie!!
    Great Travel Plan!!

    I´m writing this comment from Phi Phi island and have to tell you that it´s beautiful. For sure is over crowded, but nature is amazing here. Don´t forget to take a Day Boat Trip around the islands (Mosquito Island, Bamboo Island, Viking Cave, the lagoon and of course what the sunset from the boat). We did yesterday and it was brilliant!
    Ask for the boat captain to show you the big rock elephants hidden around the island landscape!
    Natalie Deduck recently posted…Summer in Sydney – What to do?My Profile

    1. I’m glad to hear something positive about Phi Phi! I am expecting crowds but all the beautiful scenery has to be worth it! We will definitely take a boat trip to explore the islands around it. Did you guys rent a long tail boat or go with a tour to explore the smaller islands?

  3. First off, great job on finding that airfare for $450, definitely worth the 22 hour stopover in Vancouver. We’re going to Thailand for a month in October so I will surely bookmark these places, especially Maya Bay with the bioluminescent plankton – we have to experience that for sure.

    We also want to hit Hong Kong and Malaysia so this itinerary sounds fantastic to me. Have a great time and I can’t wait until you come back with your stories!
    Brenda recently posted…Our Daily BreadMy Profile

    1. Oh great, thank you! I am going to look over your blog posts on Thailand and Malaysia later tonight 🙂 Moving to Japan sounds like an exciting adventure!!

    1. I really wish we had more time to explore Malaysia! Penang, Cameron Highlands, Perhenthian Islands and Langkawi all look amazing! At least we get a little taste of Kuala Lumpur this trip 🙂

    1. Haha a few weeks up ago I was up really late reading all your blog posts, including the ones on Hong Kong 🙂 I am getting really excited about it, it’s so different from anywhere I’ve been before.

  4. I’m glad you had almost a day to see Vancouver. I’ve never had a real visit – unless you count 5 hours of sleeping on the airport floor, which I don’t! I wish more travelers would take the time to visit there.

  5. What a great itinerary! I have a layover in Hong Kong on my next trip to China. I was there last year and I am hoping to use this year’s layover to see the sun since it rained the entire time I was there last year (until my last day of course.) I loved Macau.

  6. Valerie I think you’ll LOVE Koh Lanta! It’s just about our fave island on earth; quiet, peaceful, largely undeveloped and the beaches on the Andaman side are jaw-dropping. If you happen to visit during low season – when it starts up, before the rip currents get too strong – you’ll have basically private beaches for yourselves, as you head to the south beach spots. My wife and I swam alone quite frequently….wonderful experience!

    Happy Travels Valerie 🙂

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…How My Most Horrifying Globetrotting Experience Taught Me the Most Profitable Blogging Lesson EverMy Profile

  7. Definately recommend a daytrip to Ayutthaya. We took the train at about 8am and found a local driver at the station – ours stood out – he was the Regaee Tuk Tuk and played Bob Marley all day. Huge fun. We spent about 4 hours exploring the temples I had chosen – I told him which ones I wanted to see and he mentioned any others that were nearby and worth exploring.
    We took the train back about 4pm. It was really crowded so I would recommend prepurchasing your return ticket when you arrive.
    Paula recently posted…Milson’s Point Walk to Lavender BayMy Profile

    1. Malaysia Airlines! This was after the whole missing flight thing, so we were nervous but it was by far the best price. We were able to do a 1 day stopover in Kuala Lumpur on our way back to Hong Kong too.

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