posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 08:42 PM
Hello OP - Good luck with your trip, I'm sure you'll see many things which you won't forget and have an awesome time.
I've been living, working and travelling in Asia for about 13 years or so, my work affording me the benefit of having to travel regularly around Asia
so am quite familiar with most countries in the region.
A couple of broad tips:
If you are thinking budget, then Air-Asia X is the way to go for very cheap flights ($10-100). New fleet of planes too, and can only be booked online.
For China, Spring Airlines is the best budget carrier, same deal as Asia X.
Most countries in Southeast Asia in my opinion it's far better to just get yourself a motorbike; saves alot of grief when trying to go to specific
places, gives you way more freedom, is much more enjoyable and you'll see much more. Thailand is easier to get around without the local lingo, but
Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia - a bike would be preferable. $50-70/month to hire or $300-500 to buy should be sufficient.
Agree with the other poster Angkor Wat is a must see in Cambodia, plus the killing fields and torture chambers for a lesson in the country's horrific
past. Vietnam - the beauty of Vietnam is out in the countryside, not in the cities; if you get a bike, you can throw it on the train and say go up to
Tuy Hoa/ Quy Non area, then slowly wind back down on the coast for some amazing scenery and friendly locals. Plenty of side trips into mountainous
inland areas, temples, and war sites (bunkers, tunnels, ruins etc) - just remember noone will know what you are talking about if you mention the
Vietnam War; they only know it as the American War.
Indonesia you can island hop by ferry very easily and cheaply. I only really know some of the best surfing spots in Indonesia, the beaches are really
the drawcard there; but it really depends what you prefer doing and seeing I guess. If you want specifics let me know.
If you are in Vietnam, you can just go overland without any hassle to China, which is well worth a couple of months. Too many spun out and mystical
places (as you mention you want to see) to list - again if you want specifics I'd be happy to suggest some which are off the tourist trails, but very
worth going to spots and regions.