Galaxy Suites hotel, Santorini

Galaxy Suites Hotel, Santorini

Galaxy Suites hotel, Santorini is situated in Imerovigli, right between Oia and Fira.  You can check more details about these towns and many interesting places in my previous post about Santorini.

From my point of view, Imerovigli boasts the best location: you get the stunning views of the Caldera but without the crazy crowds of Oia or Fira and yet, close enough to enjoy a night out. I say win-win!

First of all, I want to mention that this is not a sponsored post. I have been a guest of this hotel before I had my blog. Therefore, I am simply reviewing it because it was one of my favourite stylish hotels and  this is what this blog is about: a travel guide for the stylish traveler. And by stylish I don’t always mean top luxury. Sometimes it is simply what makes you comfortable. There are certainly more luxurious hotels in Santorini but this one offered exactly what we needed and wanted for our planned stylish holiday!

We spent 7 days at Galaxy Suites hotel, Santorini  and it was one of THE BEST holidays! So…. let me show you what this hotel has to offer and why I wanted to write this review:

Galaxy Suites hotel, Santorini – The hotel

Located 2 minutes from he main road where the taxi will drop you from the airport, not only you do not have to lurk your suitcase a long way but the staff will assist you with it. You can find plenty of restaurants and shops nearby, including travel agencies  that can organise trips, tours or car rentals for you ( you can also do this from the hotel).

The view

Situated on the west coast of Santorini, and on top of the cliff, you get unobstructed views over the caldera and the volcanic islands. And you get these views from everywhere: the pools, the bar, the restaurant and even from your own private balcony/jacuzzi!

The private jacuzzi

I admit, this was deciding factor for us when choosing this hotel. The jacuzzi (which in fact the hotel calls hot tube) is situated on the balcony and yet is very private. It is just perfect to relax in, morning, afternoon and evening :-). Imagine watching one those famous Santorini sunsets from the privacy of your own jacuzzi…whilst sipping a glass of champagne! I think even people that don’t drink champagne will want to drink it there!  🙂

The private pools

These are only for what the hotel calls “cave villas”. They are in fact apartments, with indoor jacuzzi and an outdoor private small pool. I cannot give more details about these as we did not stay in one, nor did we see one from the inside but you can check in the hotel website of course.

The big pools

The hotel has two pools, both with beautiful views! The biggest pool is situated on top of the hotel and right next to the bar. The second and smaller one is right in front of the rooms. Both pools offer excellent view.

The sunset

I wrote quite a bit about the famous Santorini sunset in my previous post, but what I did not  mention was that we watched and admired many of those sunsets from our hotel, or even more, straight from the jacuzzi :-).

We did go to Oia and Fira as well, because, well, you have to do it. However, when you have this in the privacy of your own room and no crowds around you, it is really hard to leave!

The restaurant and the bar

We were there in September and it seemed a bit quiet but that did not bother us at all. We needed to relax and we did! Sometimes it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves, even though the hotel was fully booked.

The food and service

Breakfast is served in the room (with a view 😉 ) every morning.  You just have to tell them what you want and at what time you want it brought in.  You can also order lunch or dinner in your room, but for lunch the choice is smaller. Dinner can also be served at the restaurant….sunset and all..

Finally, to summarise everything (and I really hope the pictures spoke more than I could), here are the pro’s and con’s of Galaxy Suites hotel, Santorini from our perspective:

The PRO’s

  • location
  • the sunset views from your private jacuzzi!
  • quiet and relaxing
  • good service
  • breakfast in your room and….with THE view

The CON’s

  • the room was decent but for the price I would have expected a bit of extra
  • the water from the pools was really cold

In conclusion, we were very satisfied with our stay at Galaxy Suites hotel, Santorini and I would gladly recommend you this hotel

I hope my review was useful and if you have any comments or suggestions I would be really happy to hear from you as I am planning to include more hotel reviews on my blog in the future!

Thank you for your visit and hope to see you back soon!

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Galaxy Suites

Santorini Best of

Santorini Best of

Best of Santorini

Best of Santorini

I have been planning to write this for ages….but something always came up. I took a break from writing and focused on photography instead. And when I say photography, I actually mean showcasing my best photos on my IG account. Head over there and have a look  😀 .

So… Santorini! Let me try to put it a bit into context. The legend goes that Santorini island is the remnant of the lost continent of Atlantis! I leave it for you to decide whether true or not. I can only say that Plato believed it to be true! 🙂

Santorini, as we see it today, is the result of the second biggest volcanic eruption in  history which took place around 1600BC. That eruption is responsible for the disappearance of the Minoan civilisation but also for the formation of the Caldera. 

Today’s Santorini is everything you see and here about this gorgeous island and then some! Santorini has some of the best sunsets I have ever seen (and you know I am addicted to sunsets), excellent food and winestunning views and gorgeous hotels. No matter how hard you try to take that perfect photo that “says a thousand words” the reality is still better. So, if you like my photos, imagine how it looks in real life!

So what is there to do and see in Santorini? Glad you asked 😉 Here is my Santorini Best of guide

Best of Santorini

Oia

This little town is THE biggest attraction in Santorini! Oia is a small town situated high on a cliff that offers spectacular views to the visitors. Everybody goes there for the sunset. And I mean EVERYBODY!  Even with zillions of people around you, trying to get that magical shot, it is still worthwhile to go there once for that famous sunset . But Oia has also great hotels, excellent restaurants and some of the most beautiful little alleys meandering through the cliffs.

Amoudi Bay (just below Oia)

It is a small bay where you find plenty of taverns with delicious  fresh seafood and where you can also swim (one of the very few swimming spots on this side of the island!)  Plus, going down the long flight of stairs from Oia,  allows you to really take in  the beautiful view of the bay below! I suggest going there in the evening.

Fira

Fira, also called Thira, is the capital city of this gorgeous island and it is also my favourite place to watch the sunset! Yes, it is busy, but there is a reason for that and the options to watch the sunset, eat , drink or  even dance the night away feel countless too. Fira is a gorgeous town with stunning views of the Caldera. Think thousands of white and blue houses (with the yellow and red spots every now and then), small winding alleys dotted with terraces, taverns, bars and restaurants, some of them with the most amazing view.

My favourite time of the day is always around the sunset time. That golden hour, just before the sunset, offers the most amazing warm light that transforms a gorgeous place into an even more stunning one. Don’t you think?

As far as the actual sunset, this is what you can see looking from one of these beautiful terraces or restaurants….sipping a glass of Santorini wine

Once the sunset magic is gone for the day, the magic of the night starts and you can choose a nice restaurant with delicious fresh food and enjoy the cool breeze of the night. Do not worry, Fira has got you covered also for the post dinner drinks 😉 .

Imerovigli

Aaaahhh Imerovigli!!! It was love at first sight. Our hotels played a big part as well of course! 😉

Imerovigli is the quietest from the “big 3” of the island which makes it the perfect place to actually stay in. It has the most beautiful (and I also think the most luxurious) hotels, with pools carved in the cliffs, from where you can watch the whole splendor of the caldera. Imerovigli is 2km north of Fira and the stroll  between the 2 and Firostefani along the Caldera, is just simply unique with incredible views. We did this quite a few times and never got bored.

The beaches

But you are going there on holiday right? And what is a holiday without some time at the beach? Do not worry! Santorini has got you covered there too. What colour would you prefer:  White Beach, Red beach or black sand beaches? 😀 . Santorini island is not very big but you need to rent a car if you want to reach from the west coast where all the scenic views are ( Oia, Fira, Imerovigli) to the east coast where the beaches are.

The White Beach is the least visited from the “coloured” beaches as it can only be reached by boat. The Red Beach is called so because of its red volcanic sand (see photos below).  Most of the beaches in Sanotorini have dark grey or black sand due to the volcanic nature of the island. Probably the most popular of them is Kamari beach, which is also more upscale, but at the same time more touristy. Other popular beaches are PerissaPerivolos, Vlichada

Theros Wave bar

This was one of my favourite spots in Santorini and I personally call it “the champagne bar” :-). The bar sits on top of a volcanic rock and it is one of the best bars on the island to watch the sunset…sipping a glass of champagne (therefore the name 😉  ).  The bar is pretty isolated, making it even more unique and…. it has it’s own beach!!

Sailing

A day trip on a catamaran is a must do in Santorini. Or you can rent a private boat. Regardless of how you do it, it will be a wonderful experience. Not only, it will allow you to admire the island from inside the Caldera, but it will take you to the volcanoes (Nea Kameni & Palaia Kameni), let you swim in their thermal waters  and at the end of the day, you will enjoy the most amazing sunset from the boat itself!

Culture/history hunting

For those in need of some culture infusion, Santorini offers also a different type of sightseeing, other than the stunning views of the caldera. The most important is  Akrotiri, an archaeological site where one can marvel at the ruins form the Minoan age.  I suggest you make a day of it and either rent a car or take an organised (preferably private) tour and go and explore the  nearby villages with their beautiful churches and vineyards. The island so small that it is impossible to get lost and no matter where you go, you will always be by the sea.

Akrotiri, Santorini

Akrotiri

The wine

Yes, the island of  Santorini is producing its own wine and not recently either, but since ancient times! Seriously! Those volcanic soils have worked miracles for the vines of the island. The most famous of all is probably Vinsanto, a sweet, award-wining wine.

As for the grapes, Asyrtiko is  the most popular grape cultivated on the island (about 80% of the total). Other local varieties are Athiri and Aidani. When it comes to the wines, the most popular is Santorini wine , followed by Nykteri and Mezzo. Of course, all the above are white wines. Santorini is producing also some red wine but to a much lesser extent.

Santorini wine

Santorini wine

The food

Not much I can say about this, other than it is all fresh and delicious! Think pure mediterranean food: all kinds of seafood, cheese, local fruit and vegetables, olive oil. All going perfectly with that Santorini wine and view! Perfection! Among  products that are typical to Santorini are the white egg plant, fava (different than the usual fava beans) and cherry tomatoes.

Where to stay

We stayed at a wonderful hotel in Imerovigli and which I am planning to review in a separate article. So stay tuned 😉 . The west coast of the island is the most luxurious and therefore most expensive part. But even there you can find a full range of hotels. The accommodation on the east coast is the least expensive because you do not get the Caldera views…but you are at the beach. So it  really depends on what you want.

I would strongly suggest you stay in one of the top 3 towns of the island: Oia, Thira (Fira) or Imerovigli. You will not be at the beach but you will have the best of Santorini and the most amazing views! And what views!!!

Other/tips:

  • for the best seafood head to Amoudi Bay . Or if you are staying on the east coast of the island, Vlichada is another sure bet.
  • trek/hike from Oia to Fira (through Imerovigli). If you prefer a shorter and easier route, you can simply walk from Imerovigli to Fira. But you need to do at least one of the two, in order to truly enjoy the place
  • you can take a cable car from Fira down to the old port
  • you can ride the donkeys (not really my fave but people do it)
  • dance the night away or simply chill at one of the many bars in Fira
  • indulge in one of those extremely sweet and delicious Greek deserts like baclava
  • And least but not last: GET MARRIED there…obviously if you already have a plan to do so 😀 . People from all over the world come to Santorini to get married on one of the most romantic island (see photos below)

If you have other tips/advice  I would be really happy to hear from you in a comment below!

And now, as usual, you can enjoy the rest of my photos selection in the gallery below. I highly recommnend you click on them and watch as a slide show for the best experience 🙂 .

Pin it and save it for later 🙂

 

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10 things to do in Hoi An, the charm of Vietnam

10 things to do in Hoi An, the charm of Vietnam

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I was thinking whether to say  Hoi An the charm of Vietnam or the charm of Indochina. But because I fell so much in love with Luan Prabang in Laos, I decided to go for “just Vietnam”. Don’t misunderstand me though. I did not say the most beautiful, but the most charming. There are so many beautiful places in Vietnam! Just think for instance….Halong Bay, or the country side, or the coffee plantations, or the Mekong Delta, or the mountains… you get the gist

But for me, Hoi An is definitely the charm of Vietnam. And although today Hoi An lives mainly from tourism, many people have not heard about it. I will not hide to you the fact that it can feel and it is very touristy, but even so it is a place that should not be missed.

I didn’t know what to expect there exactly, so I planned 3 days there, thinking it should be enough and because I wanted to head to the beach next. But…the moment I arrived…oh my! It got me! The city got me into its charms. How could it not? Imagine a conglomeration of old yellow houses lit but silk or paper lanterns at night, little streets lined  up with shops, restaurants, hip bars, charming cafes, taylors. Ah the tailors of Hoi An! If you have heard about Hoi An before, the tailors are probably one of the first thing you’ve heard about. There seem to be thousands of tailor shops. And they can do anything. Give them a day or two and you have your unique piece (or dozen pieces) of clothing (or your unique copy if you choose to do so).

The  description above is  related to the Ancient town or Old Quarter, which was declared a Unesco World Heritage protected site in 1999. This is the place where most people will stay and spend their time. But Hoi An is more than that as you will see below. Just a short ride out of town there are beaches! And resorts! But let’s take them one by one:

What to see/do in Hoi An

Hoi An is not your typical sightseeing town. There are no big sights to “tick off” your list. It is a town to take in, relax and enjoy. And in my view, here are the top 10 things to do in Hoi An:

1. Walk around the Ancient town (or Old Quarter)

The many streets and alleys are hosting a beautiful collection of old architecture combining Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and even European influence. Once a seaport, the ancient town used to be a merchant heaven and even today you can visit some of their old houses who are now open as small museums. In some of these houses, still live  descendants of the old merchants.

Need some caffeine intake, or just to take a rest from all that walking? Hop into one of the many and charming coffee shops. My personal favourite: Hoi An Roastery

When the sunset approaches grab you camera and take some gorgeus photos bathed in that precious golden hour light. There is no shortages of places or angles where you can

In the evening, the old quarter becomes even more charming if possible, when the myriad of lanterns hanging above the streets, in from of  shops, restaurants or in the lantern shops are lit with all colours

By now it’s time for dinner or drinks…or both. Luckily there are plenty of options available: from delicious street food to  gourmet restaurants, from dirt cheap delicious local meals to fine dining.  The cosmopolite city of Hoi An has it all.

And if you still want to continue….live music is also available. One of my favourite places for that was The Dive Bar (pictured below)

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2. Go and check the Japanese bridge

This is  the emblem of the town and the most important “attraction”, so if you have to “tick off” something, this would be it. The Old Japanese bridge, just like the name suggests, was build by Japanese merchants at the beginning of the 16th century, just before they left the city.

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3. Visit little museums, old merchant houses, temples

Most of them require an entrance fee which is covered by the admision tickets to the old town which include visits to a number of these sights. Temples are free of charge

4. Take a boat trip on the river

A boat trip can be really nice especially at sunset or in the evening when the lights come out and  hundreds of paper lantern are released on  the water.

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5.Visit the local markets

I love local markets and I try to visit them everywhere I go. You cannot get more local than this! Plus they are a wonderful place to discover things that are typical for the place and even get in touch with some locals. As a former seaport, Hoi An also has a wet market which is a very interesting sight early in the morning. Get ready for a mosaic of colours, smells an sounds. WONDERFUL!

6. Take a cooking class

There are plenty of cooking classes on offer, from half a day to a few days course. One of the most famous ones is Ms. Vy’s class at Morning Glory restaurant. The restaurant is also one of my favourites in Hoi An. The food is really mouthwatering!

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7. Take a food tour

My favourite Southeast Asian food is Vietnamese food  and Hoi An is the place to try some of the best dishes. So of course I could not miss a food tour here (I’ve been taking a lot of these in Vietnam!). And what better tour than a street food tour by motorbike? 🙂  Asia really got me into motorbikes and I never missed an opportunity to ride one.  Whenever it was possible I always chose the tours by motorbikes. It feels more local and they were private so I could always enjoy a lot of chatting with  the locals! Win-win! 😀 . I took this tour with Hoi An Food tours and it was excellent so I can fully recommend it.

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8. Take a photo tour

If you are into photography, this is  one of the best places to do this. I took the tour with Etienne from Pics of Asia and I can happily recommend him. Etienne lives in Hoi An for many years now and he knows the place like the back of his hands. He even speaks Vietnamese, which is a great help when he takes you to local villages during his sunrise or sunset tours. These tours are great not only for photography but also to see and experience local culture which you would not have access to otherwise. Here is also his FB page

9. Go to the beach

Well…this is how I actually started my sojourn in Hoi An. First day: beach day! And because my first  full day in Hoi An was a Sunday and I have heard about this great brunch at this lovely resort, I thought “I NEED THIS”. So I went to  Victoria Beach resort and spa. Whattaday! Whattabrunch! Perfect!

So…this was the beach, which I passed by on my way back from the resort…

….And this was the resort…brunch and all…

10. Visit my Son Sanctuary

This is the most important Cham remains in the whole Vietnam and also a Unesco World Heritage site And although the few remaining ruins are not in the best shape, it is still an atmospheric place to visit early in the morning. The ruins are in the might Angkor Wat style, but at a MUCH smaller scale and in a worse shape due to  being left to the jungle. The sight is about 1 hour drive from Hoi An and you can opt to make the return to Hoi An by boat.

Of course whether you spend 3 days or a month in this charming city, you will never run out of things to do. Some other examples are: bicycle rides through the nearby villages and rice fields,  spas,  massages, day trips to nearby locations (even the Imperial City of Hue can be visited as a day trip from Hoi An if you are short on time) and so on.

Where to stay

I stayed at Vin Hung Library hotel which I can fully recommend. The rooms were very charming and with plenty of space, the location was excellent, the people were extremely nice and….it has a pool on the top floor!! All in all an excellent stay and excellent value for money!

Some other useful info about Hoi An

  • in and around Hoi An (including Hue) you can find 4 out of 5 cultural Unesco World Heritage sites of Vietnam
  • the old quarter is mainly pedestrian, motorbikes being banned during certain times of the day. This is such a difference compared to other cities of Vietnam!
  • You can also go diving in the nearby Cham Island, which is not an activity people would expect to be able to do in Hoi An
  • 5km outside Hoi An, at Cua Dai beach, is located Vietnam’s most exclusive hotel: Nam Hai hotel

And as usual, at the end of the article I let you in an uninterrupted visual trip through the city. Enjoy!

Best viewed as a slideshow by clicking on an image!

Note: All links to third party websites in this article are based on my personal recommendations for the reader. I do not receive commission from the third parties referred to.

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Hoi An the charm of Vietnam

4 Months Southeast Asia Travel Itinerary

4 Months Southeast Asia Travel Itinerary

 

One of the most frequent questions I have been asked related to my travels is how  my 4 months travel itinerary through Southeast Asia looked like. My very first post  on this blog was about how I planned my trip, so  make sure you read that first.

In this post I will show you how the actual travel itinerary looked like, but also what I missed, what I gave up, what I wish I had seen, as well as learnings and recommendations based on my personal experience. So here it is:

1. India

India was not part of my itinerary but I found a better airfare and I also wanted to see some friends there, so I decided to stop over for one day in Chennai, where I lived for a short while in 2014.

2. Thailand (12+7 days)

Bangkok  (5 days)

Bangkok Sky Bar

Given the size of the city and  all the praise and reviews I have read, I thought I should really take my time to explore  BKK. It was also my first destination, therefore I wanted to ease my way into my trip. Plus, I needed time to check out as many rooftop bars as possible 😉

5 days was the perfect amount of time for me to spend there but you can also do with 2-3 days (not less).

 Krabi (7 days)

Krabi Thailand

I was dying for some  beach time!!! And who doesn’t …when you are coming from -23 degrees  in January? AND….my birthday was coming! It was the first time I was going to celebrate it in summer temperatures so … beach it was!

I made my base in Ao Nang but with daily island hoping. In addition to that, I spent 2 days in Koh Phi Phi, as a birthday treat ;-).

3. Malaysia (3 days)

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I spent only 3 days in Malaysia and all of them in Kuala Lumpur

While I think that 3 days are enough for KL, there are so  many more places to see in Malaysia so I will have to go back and catch up. On my list for now are:  Langkawi, Malacca, Penang & Sabbah

4. Myanmar ( 11 days)

Hot air baloon Bagan, Myanmar

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I can tell you from the outset that 11 days is TOO SHORT! My ideal amount of time for Myanmar would be 3-4 weeks, with a minimum of 2 weeks. Here is how I split my time there:

Yangon (1.5 days)

Ideal time in Yangon would have been 3 days but it also depends on your preferences of course. In the 1.5 days I have spent there, I managed to spend 5 hours (!!) at the Shwedagon Pagoda alone.  But this is me! If I am interested in or really attracted to something I dedicate a LOT of time to it!

Bagan (3.5 days)

3-4 days is the perfect amount of time to spend there. More than that and I think even the most avid temple hopper (that would be me 🙂 ) would get “templed-out”. But of course there are other activities that you can do there once you have visited 10 too many temples. Make sure to check my post about it by clicking on Bagan above.

Inle lake (4.5 days)

Inle was my favourite place in Myanmar so I decided to stay longer…although it was also the place where I caught a cold (mornings and evenings were as cold as 5 degrees compared to 30 degrees during the day! CRAZY!). I’d recommend 3 days minimum.

Mandalay (1.5 day)

Again, a place where I could have stayed longer, especially to go for day trips. The city itself is very big and  the traffic is a nightmare,which is another reason to allow for more time. I would say 3 days should be a fair amount of time to spend there.

One thing that I regret very much is not going to the beach in Myanmar. The country has recently opened to tourism and therefore there are still so many areas and regions not touched by it. And I would have really liked to experience them before it is too late.

Thailand- part 2

Chiang Mai (7 days)

Chiang Mai , Thailand

 My visa for Thailand was valid only for 3 weeks, therefore I had to break my travel in 2 parts. I wasn’t going to skip  the jewel of the north that is Chiang Mai, so after Myanmar I went back to Thailand. I did not plan to spend 7 days in Chiang Mai but as I got really sick in Myanmar I decided to stay put and relax for a while. Plus in Chiang Mai I was back to “civilisation”….and by that I mean 7 Eleven (a convenience store that  stocks up all you need “from home”). And people that have been to SE Asia know how important a 7 Eleven is there!

What can I say? In Chiang Mai you can spend from 3 days to….a few months! So many people do it. It is THE backpackers  HQ in Thailand.

I had also planned to spend a few days in Chiang Rai but due to my condition I had to cancel that. However I would love to go there one day.

5. Laos (11 days)

Thomas the chatty and novice

Luang Prabang (7 days)

I had planned 3-4 days here…and then kept adding more. Luang Prabang stole my heart from the very first moment and I simply could not leave. Even after one week, I felt sorry to leave. Again, what can I say? It depends on  the person. I think 3-4 days should be spent in LPB at the minimum but ever since I left I keep thinking that I would like to go back and spend at least a month there!

Vang Vieng (0 days) 🙁

Plain of Jars (o days) 🙁

I gave up both Vang Vieng and Plain of Jars because I preferred to extend my time in LPB. But I know I will go back to Laos and I need to see much more next time including Pakse and the Bolaven Plateau in the south

Vientiane (4 days)

As you could see in my post dedicated to it, I quite enjoyed Vientiane and that’s why I decided to spend 4 days there. People usually do not  spend more than 2 days in what it is considered the “sleepiest capital of SE Asia”, but I think that is a mistake. Again, it depends what you are after.

6. Vietnam (3 weeks)

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Hanoi (3 days)

Perfect amount of time for me. Biggest regret: I did not manage to go to  Bobby Chin’s (one of my favourite restaurateurs) restaurant.

Halong Bay (2 days)

Perfect time! No more comments….for now. Just wait for the post 🙂

Hoi An (5 days)

I could spend 5 days or 1 month in Hoi An, just like in Luang Prabang. But I can definitely recommend no less than 3 days. It is a very historical  and charming city with loads to offer.

Hue (2 days)

Some people skip Hue. WHY? You don’t need more than 2 days here and they are 2 days very well spent in the Imperial City. Do not skip Hue if you are in Vietnam! I’m serious.

Dalat (3 days)

This was a very personal choice. Most people will skip Dalat, but from my perspective it  has a lot to offer.  I spent one of my most fun days in Vietnam, in Dalat. You can go for 2 days if you don’t have more time but you should go! Think hill stations, collonial architecture, waterfalls and the freshest produce in Vietnam (including local wine!)

Ho Chi Minh/Saigon (4 days)

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You cannot skip this right? The name itself draws you to it! I could have easily spent one week in the cosmopolit, authentic & traditional in the same time, HCMC. I just loved this city! And not just because of the many rooftop bars…seriously! There is a certain energy to this city that was definitely on my frequence 🙂 .

Doctor’s advice: 3 days minimum!

7. Cambodia (1 week)

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Phnom Penh (2 days)

I was so pleasantly surprised by PP.  Most people either skip it or just spend 1 day but it is not enough. You go and check the “must do” sights but you don’t really have time to take in the city itself. And the city wants to be discovered! If I would go back I would probably want to spend at least 3-4 days there.

Siem Reap (5 days)

There is A LOT to do in and around Siem Reap, including Angkor  Park and the Cambodian floating villages. So if you consider 3 days for Angkor (I could not do with less), you are left with 1 day for the city of Siem Reap and one day for the floating villages. And this is the minimum!

Sihanoukville (0 days) 🙁

A very good excuse to go back to Cambodia now… Did you know that there is a beach in Sihanoukville called Serendipity?  Who would not want to go there? 🙂

8. Japan (3 weeks)

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Although obviously not located in Southeast Asia, it was part of my itinerary. In fact it was the trigger and and driver for the timing of my itinerary. In the end, Japan is my favourite country in the world!

However, because this post is mainly about SE Asia I will not go into details about my Japan itinerary here, other than just mentioning it.  I need to go back and see the rest of the country anyway 😉 . So here is how I spent my time in Japan:

  • Tokyo (5 days)
  • Kyoto (11 days)
  • Nara (2 days)
  • Myiajima (2 days)
  • Nikko ( 1 day)

9. Indonesia (3 weeks)

Jakarta (2 days)

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Jakarta was the place I enjoyed the least in my trip so I don’t even recommend it. But if you really want to go there, 1-2 days should be more than enough! It has the worst traffic I have ever experienced…and I lived in India!

Yogyakarta (4 days)

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I enjoyed Yogyakarta but not as much as I expected. Out of the 4 days I spent there, 1.5 were at Borobudur, which was the main reason to go to Yogya. Yogyakarta is a small charming place but which can get very boring after a couple of days I must say. Conclusion: min 2 days, max 5!

Bali (2.5 weeks)

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Do I actually need to give an explanation for the amount of time spent on the Island of Gods?? All I’m going to say here is that, out of 2 weeks, I spent 11 days in Ubud and the rest in Seminyak and hopping around the island.

You should not go to Bali for less than 10 days. Under no circumstances!…Unless you are coming from Yogya maybe… As for the maximum, I met people who moved there so….I guess that would be  a lifetime! 😀

So there you go: 9 countries in 4 months! There were lots of changes to my initial plan but it is normal. I know people who left for a few months and one year later they are still there…

SE Asia is a very popular region for first time long travel, solo travel and so on.  And if you are planning a trip there I hope my itinerary can serve as an example. If you have questions related to this or would want more information, I would be glad to help. If you do or do not agree with something, I would also be interested to hear your opinions/ comments.

…and I hope you started with this article where you can also find a bigger collection of photos of course 🙂