One of my earliest trips was a three week vacation with a best friend in Southeast Asia. We packed so much into 23 days, exploring Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and Kuala Lumpur and having the time of our lives on a shoestring budget.
This will give you a basic idea of how to replicate a similar route for three weeks in Southeast Asia and suggestions on the best things to see, do, and try. This itinerary is for 23 days but does not include the day/time spent flying. Depending on where you’re coming from, of course, you might find you lose a whole day in flight due to time changes.
Please do yourself a favor and spend some time in this part of the world!
It starts in Singapore and basically works in a clockwise circle to Kuala Lumpur, north through Thailand, east to Hong Kong, and back south to Singapore. You could start in any city you want or go in any direction, or book open-jaw tickets so you can start and end your trip in different cities.
SINGAPORE: SINGAPORE (3 Days)
Language: 4 official languages; English is common language while Tamil, Malay, and Mandarin are the other official languages
Currency: the Singaporean Dollar (SGD)
$1 SGD = ~$1.39 USD
$1 USD = ~$0.71 SGD
Day 1: Arrive in Singapore in morning.
- Gardens by the Bay
- Marina Bay
- Dinner on the water
Day 2: Singapore
- National Gallery Art Museum
- Sentosa Island, Aquarium
- Platform 1094
Day 3: Singapore
- Chinese Heritage Center
- Gardens by the Bay (at night)
KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYSIA (3 Days)
Currency: the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
1 MYR – ~$0.24 USD
$1 USD – ~4.14 MYR
Day 6: Leave for Kuala Lumpur in morning.
Flight around 1 hour. $44.50 each for flight from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur.
- Heli Lounge Rooftop Bar
Day 7: Kuala Lumpur
- KL Butterfly Park
- Islamic Arts Museum
- National Mosque
Day 8: Kuala Lumpur
- Batu Caves
RELATED: 3 Days in Kuala Lmpur
KRABI, BANGKOK, & CHIANG MAI, THAILAND (10 Days)
Currency: the Thai baht (THB)
฿1 THB – ~$0.032 USD
$1 USD – ~฿31.21 THB
Note that Thailand is one hour behind Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
Day 9: Leave for Krabi in afternoon.
Flight about 1 hour. $22.13 each for flight from Kuala Lumpur to Krabi.
Day 10: Krabi, Thailand.
- Lounging, beach walking, swimming, kayaking, bike riding – at your leisure!
RELATED: 5 Days in Krabi
Day 11: Overnight trip to Koh Phi Phi.
- Bob’s Booze Cruise
- Evening Beach Party
Day 12: Krabi, Thailand
- Repeat activities from previous day in any order.
Day 13: Krabi, Thailand
- One last day to completely unwind.
Day 14 : Leave for Bangkok in morning.
Flight about 1.5 hours. $31 each for flight from Krabi to Bangkok.
- Evening market
- floating market
Day 15: Bangkok
- Grand Palace
- Bike tour
Day 16: Bangkok leave for Chiang Mai.
Flight about 1.5 hours.
Day 17: Bus to Chiang Rai in afternoon.
Bus about 2 hours.
Day 18: Chiang Rai
- White Temple
- Thai Cooking Class
Day 19: Chiang Rai
- Visit an elephant encounter – do your research to make sure it’s ethical, or skip it all together.
- Get a Thai Tattoo
RELATED: Check out Encountering Elephants, Ethically to see where we met some of the planet’s largest living creatures.
HONG KONG (3 days)
Language: Chinese (Cantonese), English
Currency: the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
$1 HKD – ~$0.12 USD
$1 USD – ~$7.76 HKD
Day 20: Leave for Hong Kong in morning.
Flight about 5 hours. $70 each for flight from Chiang Rai to Hong Kong.
Day 21: Hong Kong
- Hong Kong Museum of History
- Explore Shopping
- Rooftop bar drinks
Day 22: Hong Kong
- Victorias Peak
- Evening Dinner Cruise
SINGAPORE, PART 2 (1 day)
Day 23: Hong Kong. Leave for Singapore in afternoon.
Flight about 4 hours. $124.86 each paid for flight from Hong Kong to Singapore.
- Rooftop Bar for drinks
Day 24: Leave from Singapore in evening.
- Little India
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
Bananas Bungalows is one of my favorite places to stay in the world, in Krabi, Thailand! I wrote about it along with some other faves in Asia if you want something different. Otherwise, below are the places where we stayed and enjoyed, as well as other popular options for luxury and eco-friendly travel.
Little Red Dot Hostel (budget hostel; where we stayed)
Paid $80 for four nights, 2 beds
- Marina Bay Sands (luxury; an iconic part of Singapore’s skyline; also has lots of eco-friendly practices)
- The St. Regis Singapore (luxury; I actually wrote about whole post about why I love St. Regis properties)
- PARKROYAL on Pickering (eco-hotel; hotel in a garden concept!!)
- Oasia Hotel Downtown (eco-hotel; plant covered skyscraper!)
$41.50 – 364 MYR total for 1 room, 3 nights
- The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur (luxury)
- The St. Regis Bangkok (luxury)
- GTower Hotel (luxury, eco-friendly)
- Mandarin Oriental (luxury, eco-friendly)
$32.50 deposit each, 2480.54 BAHT total | Balance paid after end of stay for whatever food & drinks were ordered.
$36.50 each – 2640 BAHT total for 2 nights
- Bangkok Tree House (luxury tree house, eco-friendly)
- Akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok (first plastic-free hotel in Asia)
- Old Capital Bike Inn (small family run inn with eco-friendly design)
CHIANG MAI ACCOMMODATIONS
Paid $65.00 for three nights
CHIANG RAI ACCOMMODATIONS
HONG KONG ACCOMMODATIONS
Paid $120 for 3 nights, 2 dorm beds
- The St. Regis Hong Kong (luxury)
Thanks for reading! Planning a trip to Southeast Asia soon?
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