After we return from our 4.5-month trip to Europe in late November, we plan to spend time with family and friends in Canada for a month before setting off again after Christmas. This time, we’ll be traveling to Australia and Asia for 5 months!
Below is our planned tentative Australasia itinerary. We would, of course, love to meet up with anyone along our travels so, if it’s possible, please let us know!
Australia – 5 weeks
Our first stop is Australia. We know, we know! January is NOT a great time to be visiting Australia since it’s high season and incredibly hot. Unfortunately, the Australian Open wouldn’t move their dates for us next year, so we’re stuck. In addition to attending both the Brisbane Open and Australian Open, we plan to tour the east and southern coasts from Cairns all the way to Sydney, then Melbourne to Adelaide. From Adelaide, we plan to take a two-day train through the outback to Darwin before flying on to SE Asia via Singapore.
Thailand – 1 month
We’ll be kicking off our four weeks in Thailand with some relaxing beach time on several islands on both the Phuket and Gulf coasts. By then we should be ready to visit the busy and hectic Bangkok! After a few days dodging motorbikes and tuk-tuks in the current capital, we’ll take a train north to visit the ancient capital city of Sukhothai, followed by an extended stay in the popular northern cities of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. From there, we will head north to Chiang Khong where we can cross the Laos border by foot.
Laos – 2-3 weeks
Soon after we arrive in Laos, we’ll hop onto a boat for a leisurely two-day ride down the Mekong river to Luang Prabang where we’ll be staying for several days. Our next stop will be the adventure capital of the country, Vang Vieng, which is known for its beautiful scenery and river tubing (and formerly known for drunk backpackers). After a stay in the country’s sleepy capital, Vientiane, we are flying south to Cambodia.
Cambodia – 1-2 weeks
In Cambodia, we’ll start out by hitting the temples in Siem Reap before relaxing for a few days in Battambang. We’ll end our visit in the busy capital city, Phnom Penh, where we’ll visit the Killing Fields and Toul Sleng. We’ll exit the country in style – by taking a speed boat to a southern Vietnam border.
Vietnam – 1 month
We’ll start our Vietnam visit by spending a few days in the Mekong delta, which is an area made up of rivers, swamps and islands, surrounded by rice paddies. We’ll do a tour of a famous floating market here before taking a bus north to the big and busy city of Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon). After a few days there, we’ll fly north to Danang where we’ll transfer to nearby Hoi An to spend several days.
We’ll next journey by train and bus to the Phong Nga area to explore the caves and hiking trails before training it once again to the capital city Hanoi. We’ll spend a few days there before doing the famous two-day boat cruise around Halong Bay and taking an overnight train up north to the trekking capital, Sapa. After a few days of hiking, we plan on walking over the nearby Chinese border.
China – 2-3 weeks
We plan to spend 1-2 weeks in Yunnan province, visiting the sights near Kunming, Dali and Lijiang, such as Stone Forest, Tiger Leaping Gorge, and Jade Snow Mountain. We’ll then fly to Beijing where we will spend several days walking along the Great Wall and seeing the sights.
Japan – 3 weeks
For three weeks, we’ll explore the highlights of Japan. We are both really looking forward to this part of the trip! After spending several days in Tokyo, we plan to spend about a week near the mountains in Matsumoto, Kanazawa, and Takayama. We definitely plan on doing the famous Alpine Route while we’re there. Our next stop will be Hiroshima where we intend to spend a few days to visit the city (including a stop at the Peace Memorial Museum) and the nearby island of Miyajima. We want to spend our last five days in Japan in Kyoto where we’ll visit the temples, gardens, and markets and do some day trips.