“I have two weeks in Asia, what would you recommend?” - we frequently get this question. Here is Option A of our TOP 4 trips in Southeast Asia.
The Very Best of Southeast Asia in 2 Weeks.
This itinerary covers Thailand and Cambodia, and is perfect for your first trip to Southeast Asia. It involves at least two flights in addition to getting in and out from your home country, so it's not the cheapest option – but you get some of Southeast Asia’s top highlights in just two weeks, with city sightseeing, great temples and beautiful beaches.
Stop 1: Bangkok, Thailand
Fly into Bangkok and wander around in the very busy Thai capital for a couple of days. Visit the Grand Palace and the temples nearby, and take a river cruise in a longboat to visit the floating market. Bangkok is our winner in Southeast Asia's top cities you must see.
In the evenings, have a few beers – or some Sang Som – and go clubbing in what is one of Asia’s most thriving nightlife scene.
With a few excursions, Bangkok will keep you busy for 3-4 days.
Stop 2: Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Then catch a flight over to Siem Reap for 3 full days at Angkor Archaeological Park. After your hotel check in, organize a motorbike trishaw with driver for the next three days. Shop around a little; costs are about USD 10-20 per day including patrol.
Then get up early next morning for sunrise at Angkor Wat, widely considered Southeast Asia’s no. 1 monument. Yes, sunrise at Angkor Wat is somewhat overhyped, but since there is so much to see anyway, it is good to get up early.
For the rest of the day, follow the Small Circuit visiting tour to see temples nearby Angkor Wat. Your driver will know.
On Day 2, start with the impressive Banteay Srei temple in the morning, then continue with the Grand Circuit visiting tour. On Day 3, drive a bit further afield, and visit the Roluos Temples and the tomb-raider like Beng Mealea, before getting ready to fly back to Thailand on Day 4.
Stop 3: Phuket or Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
You have really earned yourself a few days on the beach now, so fly over to Phuket.
Just one last choice: Either you stay on Phuket’s Patong Beach, where the water isn’t so clear and the beach is not so nice - but where there is lots of nightlife and opportunities for daytrips to stunning islands, limestone cliffs and beaches nearby – or you catch a boat on to Koh Phi Phi. We definitely recommend the latter.
Koh Phi Phi is where the movie “The Beach” was filmed with Leonardo di Caprio. These days, Koh Phi Phi is also crowded with tourists, but far less than Phuket. You’ll find lots of restaurants, bars and accommodation options, and day trip options are almost as varied as from Phuket. Koh Phi Phi is featured in our list of best beaches in Southeast Asia - that makes three top highlights in one trip!
Koh Phi Phi’s big plus is that there are still some beaches offering some seclusion, together with crystal clear water. Spend some days on the beach, explore Koh Phi Phi Leh on a day trip, and fly back home either directly from Phuket or via Bangkok.
Travel by plane or by bus?
If you have a bit more time than money, you can exchange the flight sections in this trip with cheaper bus trips. Die hard travelers even prefer bus trips to flights, because you get a much more in-depth look at the people and landscapes - and a real feeling for the distances.
Buses in Southeast Asia are generally very comfortable if you choose the business-class like tourist connections, often referred to as VIP class. Still, a couple of nights in buses are not for everyone. So make your own decision.
Our GuideGecko Rating for this trip
Beaches: **** (4 of 5 stars: Just try to get away from the masses)
City Sightseeing: ***** (5 of 5 stars: Bangkok has it all)
Landscapes: ** (2 of 5 stars: Koh Phi Phi Leh and the limestone cliffs are great, but that’s it)
Cultural spots: ***** (5 of 5 stars: Angkor Wat, anyone?)
Want more suggestions?
This suggested itinerary is one of our TOP-4 trip recommendations for 2 Weeks in Asia. Also check our other suggested itineraries for:
Have questions or want to suggest something else? Let’s discuss!