My South East Asia Backpacking Route when I was a Newbie Traveler (2 months itinerary)

By Kach Umandap July 9th, 2022 Posted in Asia Travel Blog, Travel Blog, Travel Guides 48 Comments

I was planning to be a low-cost typical Asian backpacker but ended up spending way more than my budget since I’ve been hanging out with mostly Europeans who find Asia very cheap- but no regrets, I really had a great time and still having a blast! In, 01 July 2013, was my 11th day in Koh Pah Ngan, Southern Thailand, attending a 21-day yoga retreat and just chilling after almost two months of crossing borders, partying hard, socializing, visiting temples and museums, etc. Please also note that my younger brother and sister were traveling with me in my first 3 weeks – Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam! It was an incredible bonding time with my siblings and it was actually their first time traveling outside the Philippines!

My South East Asia Backpacking Route when I was a Newbie Traveler (2 months itinerary)
Photo by
CC BY-ND 2.0


If you’re heading on your first solo trip, I highly recommend thisΒ South East Asia Backpacking Route that I did when I was a newbie backpacker! It’s called the PANCAKE trail!

My South East Asia Backpacking Route when I was a Newbie Traveler (2 months itinerary)
Photo by Ammie Ngo on Unsplash

Related Article: Looking for affordable accommodation? Check out our Ultimate List of Best Hostels around Southeast Asia.

My South East Asia Backpacking Route when I was a Newbie Traveler (2 months itinerary)
Photo by Alejandro Cartagena πŸ‡²πŸ‡½πŸ³β€πŸŒˆ on Unsplash

Southeast Asia Backpacking Route

April 26, 2013 – I left Iraq. Flight back to the Philippines
April 27- Qatar Airport then Philippines!!
April 27 to May 07 – Philippines
May 07 to 09- Bangkok, Thailand
May 09 to 13 – Chiang Mai (North Thailand)
May 13- Crossed Thailand- Laos (Chiang Kong- Huay Xe Li Border)
May 14- 17 – Luang Prabang, Laos
May 17 – Crossed Laos- Vietnam (Here are the tips on how you can cross the Nam Can- Nam Khan Border)
May 17-18- Hanoi, Vietnam
May 19-21 – Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
May 21- Hanoi, Vietnam
May 22- 26- Hue, Hoi An, and Nha Trang
May 27 to June 02- Saigon/ Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
June 03- Crossed Vietnam- Cambodia (Moc Bai- Bavet Border)
June 03-05 – Phnom, Penh, Cambodia
June 05- 07 – Siem Reap, Cambodia
June 07-10 – Phnom Penh, Cambodia
June 10-17- Sihanoukville and Koh Rong, Cambodia
June 18 – Crossed Cambodia-Thailand (Aranyapathet and Poipet Border)
June 18- 20 – Bangkok, Thailand
June 21 to 28- Koh Pah Ngan, Thailand (Southern Thailand)

Since I love Vietnam dearly then I’ve decided to book a flight on the 30th of July to go to Hanoi, Vietnam. Stay there for a while and planning to enroll in a Pole dancing class course ( as a sport/ physical workout and not as a career! lol), meet friends, and explore Northern Vietnam! Maybe apply for my Chinese Visa or until I figure out what I want to do in the next few months until I finally decide to go to South America.

I love Asia! I love the people I’ve met, and I love life! Positive vibes!

Transportation Tip: If you’re looking for the cheapest way to book the Trains, Buses, Ferries, and Transfers on this route, we use 12Go.Asia to compare the prices!

Powered by 12Go Asia system

Monkey DividersUPDATE in 2015: We’re still traveling after my South East Asia trip, and sadly I wasn’t able to learn pole dancing, but I became a Certified Yoga teacher in India! =)


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48 thoughts on “My South East Asia Backpacking Route when I was a Newbie Traveler (2 months itinerary)

  1. Hi Kach! Happy holidays to you and the hub. Anyway, I’m planning a backpacking tour around Cambodia-Vietnam-Laos-Thailand for two-weeks. Any suggestions on how can I enjoy that short stay? Thanks and hope to hear from you soon! ?

  2. Hello!
    I have the 2 months May and June to travel around. ( was rooting for south east Asia) But I’ve read and heard Asia is not a good option for a backpacking route since it will be the monsoon season.
    I saw you travelled around that time, would you recommend? And if not, any other options?

    Thank you!!

  3. That’s awesome, Melissa! Where in Vietnam are you going to teach? Then are you planning to have a Southeast Asia Backpacking too?

    1. That’s awesome, Melissa! Where in Vietnam are you going to teach? Then are you planning to have a Southeast Asia Backpacking too?

  4. I had one month in Thailand and Cambodia and after returning to London, I never eat in a a restaurant again as a nigh of stay there could let me enjoy a week or more in other south east asian country.

    1. When did you go to thailand and cambodia. Sally? Are you planning to continue the Southeast Asia Backpacking?

  5. Oh, this is super fun! I always wanted to travel but I didn’t get a chance to before I had a son. Maybe I can still do this someday. Keeping my fingers crossed. πŸ™‚

    1. You can, Nina. Why not travel with your son? How old is he? Hehe. Southeast Asia Backpacking could really be cheap but some could be challenging for the kids.

  6. Your blog post made me miss my single days when I used to travel a lot around Asia. πŸ™‚ I used to frequent Thailand a lot because of my work before. One day, I will bring my family with me to go around Asia again. I’m sure it would be a more enjoyable and memorable for me this time.

    1. That would be amazing, Teresa! Southeast Asia Backpacking with the family would be fun. πŸ™‚ Keep us updated here when will you do it,

  7. Thanks for the itinerary. Im planning to have a month long travel next year and still planning it. This is a good help πŸ™‚ will be flying to hanoi too soon!

    1. Safe travels to Hanoi, Cai! Which Southeast Asia Backpacking route will you do for your one month trip?

  8. Waah! I really adore your blog because it is full of good travels around the world. Hope you could visit Philippines soon xo

  9. There are so many places to visit in SE Asia! I’m dreaming of doing this tour one day πŸ™‚ I really wanted to go to Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. Cheers to that positive vibe! πŸ˜‰

    1. Fantastic choices, Arrianne. Sure these three must be part of a Southeast Asia Backpacking.

  10. I too enjoyed my 2 months backpacking trip in Southeast Asia. It was definitely fun because this time I traveled slower and without a fixed itinerary in mind. It allowed me to have better and more memorable experience rather than fleeting from one destination to the other just to visit many countries. πŸ™‚

    1. What kind of Southeast Asia Backpacking route you did, Darlene? Mind to share with us? πŸ™‚

  11. Such an adventure. Being usually on the road has its limits (like updating your blog) but definitely has awesome returns too like enjoying and learning at the same time. Love to visit Cambodia soonest.

    1. Hello Mummy Berlin! When do you plan to go to Cambodia? Sure you will love it. And hopefully you can do Southeast Asia Backpacking too. πŸ™‚

    1. We will, Maria! Philippines is getting more popular nowadays as part of a Southeast Asia Backpacking route. πŸ™‚

  12. What an amazing adventure! You managed to fit so many beautiful places into your 2 months too. My dad lives in the Philippines in Cebu and I would love to visit there one day.

    1. Where in Cebu, Helen? There are plenty of stunning beaches in Cebu and it’s perfect to add in your Southeast Asia Backpacking.

  13. This looks such an amazing trip – my eldest daughters boyfriend is visiting there for a few months in the summer, he is very excited! Kaz x

    1. Where is he heading to, Ickle Pickle? Is he planning to do a Southeast Asia Backpacking?

  14. This looks like a wonderful trip! I would be so excited to see the Grand Palace in Bangkok! I’ve never been to Southeast Asia at all. I would love to go to Thailand and Cambodia and the Philippines!

    1. You should go, Stella! If ever you will be doing a Southeast Asia Backpacking, jdrop a comment here. πŸ™‚

  15. Still waiting for the day that I could do this. It must be really tiresome but readung at what you wrote, it seemed like you ha the best moments of your life. And man! Two months?!?! Wow!

    1. It’s really wow, Kerr! Southeast Asia Backpacking for two months could be tiring but definitely memorable.

  16. Oh wow what an adventure – can’t believe all the things you packed into 2 months! Enjoy your next adventure in the Vietnam!

    1. Thank you, Sarah! Two months for Southeast Asia Backpacking could not be enough for others. But whatever route it is, you will love each country of SEA.

  17. I am a huge lover of traveling and I am traveling every weekend at least once a month but I am not sure I can do 2 months straight.

    1. That’s fine Anosa! If ever you could find more time then Southeast Asia Backpacking would be a gread adventure for you. πŸ™‚

  18. That all sounds amazing. I wish I could go on a trip like that. With a toddler I don’t think it’ll happen for a while. Have a GREAT time πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, Ayse! Let him/her grow first. hehe. But there are also several destinations in Southeast Asia where you and your kid would enjoy and could easily visit.

  19. Wow all that travelling must have been so tiring but I bet that it was worth the sleepless nights. I love the sound of a pole dancing course as well!

    1. Definitely, Ana! The people you can meet in a Southeast Asia Backpacking would be enough to make worthy memories.

  20. Looks like a fantastic way to travel. I’ve always wanted kids make this kind of thing difficult… maybe when I retire! πŸ™‚

    1. Elanor, you can make a route which could be easier for you and the kids to travel Southeast Asia. πŸ™‚

  21. Ahhhh you don’t see many Filipino traveler. Glad I came across your blog. I’m now backpacking through SE Asia. Currently in Chiang Rai to cross over into Laos.

  22. Hi! I’m also a Filipino, and I know for a fact that before you leave the PH you’ve got to have a return ticket or else they wont allow you to fly. I have questions regarding crossing borders in Southeast Asia say, if you’re from Cambodia and flying to Bangkok, do you need to have a return or outward ticket?

    1. Hello Arjay, yes the airport staff wont allow you to check in if you dont have the return flight ticket. based on my experience, their immigration wont require you but they might ask your for your itinerary.. you can also mention to them that you will leave the country in different modes of transportation.

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Written by Kach Umandap

Founder of Two Monkeys Travel Group. Since 2013, Kach has visited all the 7 continents (including Antarctica) and 151 countries using her Philippines Passport. In 2016, she bought a sailboat and went on sailing adventures with her two cats - Captain Ahab & Little Zissou in the Caribbean for 2 years. She now lives in Herceg Novi, Montenegro where she's enjoying her expat life and living on a gorgeous Stonehouse. She writes about her experiences traveling as a Filipina traveler with a PHL Passport. Also tips on backpacking trips, luxury hotel experiences, product reviews, sailing & adventure travel.