Southeast Asia itinerary for 3 weeks travel

3 week southeast asia itinerary
If you’re a regular reader you will know that I went on an incredible trip to Southeast Asia during December and January. We spent three weeks travelling around Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. It really was a trip of a lifetime! I relied heavily on travel guides and travel blogs whilst planning the trip so I thought I would share our Southeast Asia itinerary with you so that I can help you plan your own travel itinerary!

At the beginning of last year my husband and I created a list of destinations around the world we most want to visit and then ranked them in order of importance to us. Always have a plan people. And a spreadsheet. Always have a spreadsheet.

I’m a travel itinerary planner, it’s almost as fun for me as the trip, so I thought it would be useful to share for those who don’t like travel planning as much as me.

Our travel list contains a mixture of short haul and long haul destinations, and in April last year we ticked Morocco off that list. We decided we would do a blow-out trip at the end of the year too. After having such an amazing time in Indonesia on our honeymoon, countries in Southeast Asia ranked very highly on our list.

We wanted to travel Southeast Asia, well as much of it as we could! We were very lucky that we could both take off three weeks over Christmas and New Year, and with the three Bank Holiday’s we maximised our annual leave and only needed to use 13 days of holiday! Boom.

We tried to fit as much in as possible without stretching ourselves – it was a holiday after all! I think our trip was the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation, luxury and affordable. Basically we had THE BEST TIME.

Southeast Asia Travel Itinerary

THAILAND

Chiang Mai

We flew straight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. We had a total of 5 nights in this northern Thai city. The main reason we were here was for trekking as it’s such a great base to do it from. We spent our first two nights in the Old Town which we loved. The street food here was the best on our whole trip!
3 week southeast asia itinerary
We then went on a 2 day trek. We booked it there and chose a small group with just walking, no elephants or rafting. I’ll be sharing the full experience soon. It was hard but incredible! Afterwards we stayed in the Nimman area of Chiang Mai for 2 nights, which is basically the new town and full of little coffee shops and bars, with lots of shopping.

Chiang Rai

Some friends were staying with family in Chiang Rai whilst we were here so we spent two lovely days with them. We didn’t explore much but we did see the incredible white temple Wat Rong Khun.

LAOS

Mekong River

3 week southeast asia itinerary
We booked a slow boat to take us on a two day trip down the Mekong River. There were about 12 of us on the boat, with a one night stopover in a small village on the banks of the river. It was a beautiful way to see the country at a slow pace.

Luang Prabang

This French colonial town on the Mekong River is small and filled with little cafes, shops and restaurants and there are many beautiful hotels and spas around here. A very relaxing place and lots of good food.

CAMBODIA

Siem Reap

We only spent 3 days in Siem Reap and Cambodia as a whole. We only really came to see the incredible Angkor Wat. I had mixed feelings about Siem Reap at the beginning (Pub Street is horrible), but ended up having some of the best times of our trip there!

THAILAND

Bangkok

3 week southeast asia itinerary
Hmmmm. Not sure about this one. But not for the reasons you may think. Big cities don’t intimidate me, I’m a London girl. But I just didn’t fall in love with Bangkok. Lots of good cocktails though!

Koh Lanta

3 week southeast asia itinerary
Oh ma ghhhhhad. Para-dise. I almost don’t want to big it up too much because I don’t want it to turn into Phuket. But Koh Lanta is incredible. It’s super chilled but with a little summin’ summin’. Y’know? Like this. See. Told you.

Lowlight

It may come as no surprise, but Bangkok was definitely the lowlight of our trip. We just didn’t click.

Highlight

I actually can’t just pick one moment from our three week Southeast Asian adventure, so I’m going to cheat and give you two!

– Doing the trek. I felt such an achievement when we got dropped back off to the hotel. I couldn’t believe I’d done it. It was hard for me (super unfit) and also I hate insects and I’ve never gone camping apart from at festivals which doesn’t really count. So this was a big deal for me and I loved it!
– Koh Lanta. Just the whole damn place. When we were on our scooter exploring the island I felt truly happy and carefree. What a wonderful feeling.

So there we have it. That was our Southeast Asia Itinerary. I miss it already. What’s your favourite place in Southeast Asia? Are you planning a trip anytime soon? Can I come with you!?


More posts from my Southeast Asia Itinerary:

Top things to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Trekking in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Staying at an ultra hip hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Why Bangkok and I didn’t get along

A complete island guide to Koh Lanta, Thailand

Taking a slow boat down the Mekong to Luang Prabang, Laos

A gorgeous luxury boutique hotel in Luang Prabang, Laos

How to spend 3 days in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Where to eat in Siem Reap, Cambodia


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Itinerary ideas for 3 weeks in Southeast Asia.

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18 Comments

  1. February 18, 2016 / 9:01 am

    Looks like an absolutely incredible trip – cannot wait to hear more about your highlights! My sister is in Thailand at the moment and her photos are slowly pushing me further and further into winter depression!

    • February 19, 2016 / 3:40 pm

      Oh no! Winter depression is so real. We left Thailand and 35 degrees and landed at Gatwick to snow! Where is your sister visiting whilst in Thailand!? I loved it there so much. So much on offer.

    • February 22, 2016 / 9:22 am

      Yes! My friend just came back from the Philippines and said it was incredible. It’s very high on my list! Looking forward to Tuesday too!x

  2. Helen Thomas
    March 1, 2016 / 9:16 pm

    Hello Victoria – Have met with Niall today and had a bit of a catch up – he put me onto your website. I am interested to see what you have been doing especially in south east Asia. Stuart was in Cambodia for 2 months early last year and has been there again since the beginning of October. He is working with the Cambodian Development Trust. We don’t know when he will be back in UK as yet but maybe May. Simon and his wife Ritusko live in Osaka and they both are real ‘foodies’!!! They are always sending us photos of different meals they have had in various places. Ken and I are going out to Osaka later this month and we are promised some delicious meals out at their favourite restaurants and also some when we go away for a few days from there. We have had some amazing meals when we have visited Jaapan in the past.
    Hope to see you sometime when we can manage to co-ordinate our day/time!
    Love Helen

  3. January 31, 2017 / 4:21 pm

    Your blog is really cool :) I go to Bali soon cannnotottttt wait x

  4. Jess
    July 16, 2017 / 7:24 am

    Hello!

    Awesome blog! I’m planning almost the exact same trip for Dec 2017. If you were to do it over, are there any places on your itinerary that you’d add more time to or cut? I’m currently contemplating whether to skip Luang Prabang and add time to the beaches in Thailand.

    Also, which company did you use for the trek?

    Thanks!

    • July 17, 2017 / 9:53 am

      Thank you Jess for your lovely comments!
      Oh amazing, you are going to love it. This was one of my favourite trips to plan. So I didn’t really love Bangkok and would probably leave that out – I’ve written about it here. Are you planning on taking the slow boat from Thailand through Laos? If so then I would say stay for a few days in Luang Prabang. But if you’re not planning on taking the boat then maybe skip it. I would have maybe spent more time in the north – I loved Chang Mai but I also heard Pai is awesome and there are some great things to do around there if you want lots of outdoor activities.
      Here is a full low-down on our trek with a link to the one we booked. They were great!
      If you have any more questions just let me know! :) I hope you have an amazing trip!
      x

      • Jess
        July 29, 2017 / 7:36 am

        Thanks so much for your reply Vicky! I’ve added the slow boat to my itinerary in lieu of a 1 night/2 day trek. I’m thinking 4 nights in Bangkok (final night is overnight train), 4 nights in Chiang Mai, 2 nights in Chiang Rai (with late departure to Chiang Kong), 1 overnight in Chiang Kong, slow boat for 2 days, 5 nights in LP (considering adding 1 of the nights to CM instead), and 4 nights in Siem Reap. I’d love to get your opinion on the plan if you have the opportunity to respond!

        Thanks again!

        • August 1, 2017 / 7:59 pm

          Hi Jess, I’m glad I can help! I’ll email you with some more ideas! x

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