2 Weeks In Southeast Asia: 7 Itineraries

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Southeast Asia is probably one of the most diverse regions of Asia. There are only 11 countries in Southeast Asia, but each country has their own languages, own traditions, cultures, history and things to offer its visitors.

Southeast Asia is home to stunning white sand beaches, beautiful mountains to hike, and authentic dishes that the world has come to enjoy.

If you combine the islands in the Philippines and Indonesia, you are talking about nearly 20,000 islands. These two are also regions with active volcanoes and surfing spots.

While Thailand and Vietnam are proud to present their delicious food that not even your favourite Thai and Vietnamese restaurants could come close to replicating.

Alright, I’m not trying to overwhelm you. Southeast Asia has so much to offer to all kinds of visitors; hiking, food adventure, surfing, beach bumming, exotic animals and fruits, and so much more in between.

2 weeks in Southeast Asia is not enough, that’s for sure. However, with plenty of planning, you can cover many areas and do so many things.

I will show you seven travel itineraries for Southeast Asia featuring Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, The Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Be prepared, this is a long-form guide. You can also book mark this article or save on your Pinterest.

In the next chapter, I will also share some things you should know before you go, such as visa, language and currencies, getting around, and which month you should come and visit to maximise your time.

TIP: This post is quite long, I recommend you use the table of contents below. Each itinerary shows the places to see and hotel recommendations.

BASIC TRAVEL INFORMATION FOR SOUTHEAST ASIA

6 images - Singapore gardens, Batu caves in Malaysia, Vietnamese food on a wooden tray, thai boat in a karst rock waters, mount bromo in indonesia, shoreline of Boracay Philippines - 2 Weeks In Southeast Asia Itinerary

These are the only basic things you should remember before booking anything. If you plan to do something very specific, I recommend reading more to ensure you are not visiting during bad timing or the wrong season.

When is the best time to travel to Southeast Asia

Although Southeast Asian countries are pretty close to each other, the seasons can’t be any more different.

For example, Vietnam actually has a winter season if you are visiting the northern region, while the typhoon season in the Philippines and Thailand is a bit different.

November to February is a good time to visit Southeast Asia. It’s drier, cooler, and has less chance of rain – it’s the perfect time for hiking and doing water activities.

However, in the north of Thailand and Vietnam, these months could be colder than expected, and the visibility in the mountains could be poor.

Are 2 weeks enough for Southeast Asia

Two weeks can be a decent amount of time for a Southeast Asia trip, depending on your travel style and priorities. With careful planning and prioritising of destinations, you can visit a few countries and experience some of the highlights of the region.

However, keep in mind that Southeast Asia is a vast and diverse region with many unique cultures and attractions, so two weeks may feel rushed for those who want to explore more extensively. Plus, travelling between countries can vary from a bus ride to taking a one to 3-hour flight.

You can probably visit 1-2 countries in Southeast Asia in under 14 days if they’re near one another. A good example of this is Vietnam and Cambodia or Thailand and Cambodia.

But, many capital cities in Southeast Asia have direct flights, making it easy to spend one week in one country and the second week in another country. The bottom line is to plan to see 3-4 cities when making your travel itinerary.

Which countries are sharing land borders

Some destinations in Southeast Asia are the best combination on a single journey. Countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos have land border points, and backpackers suggest getting the best out of these border-crossing relationships.

Crossing the land borders can also lessen the expense and save you time at the same time.

I spent two weeks between Singapore and Malaysia, but I also spent 2 weeks in Thailand and Cambodia. I crossed the land border for both trips. On the other hand, my 2 weeks in the Philippines and Indonesia were via non-stop flight.

How to get around

There’s not really one answer except – using the Grab or Gojek app. These are ride-hailing apps like Uber or Lyft. These apps offer rides for cars, taxis, and even motorbike taxis in this region.

Grab and Gojek apps work in almost any major city in Southeast Asia, except in Laos, Myanmar, Brunei, and Timor Leste.

There are also other apps like Bee, inDriver, Angkas, etc – but not all these apps work in the entire region of Southeast Asia.

Buses are the cheapest way to get around, while domestic flying is also pretty good, and flight tickets are affordable. There are usually taxis but beware of drivers who will tap their meter to get your fare higher.

Countries like Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines have some short and long-distance train systems. Singapore has a fantastic metro system throughout the country.

6 images of different types of traditional transporation in Southeast Asia - a jeepney, a longboat, tuktuks, a Filipino boat, and rickshaw bikes from Vietnam - 2 Weeks In Southeast Asia Itinerary

Language and currency

Languages and currencies in Southeast Asia vary from country to country. However, getting your USD, GBP, AUD, and CAD converted to the local currency is easy. With the exception of Cambodia.

Cambodia uses USD and Cambodian Riel. You can pay with these currencies pretty much anywhere (in cash). The ATM will even dispense USD, but if you pay $1 for a $.50 worth of an item, you won’t get a chance (not even in Riel).

There are ATMs in all major cities and airports and payment with the card has been taking off, but cash is still king in Southeast Asia. You might be able to pay for your hotel with your card, while the rest will be in cash.

English is widely spoken in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, while these countries also have their own main languages (Tagalog, Malay, Mandarin, and Bahasa Indonesia).

In Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia – if you are in big cities, it’s easy to get by with English. Most younger locals can communicate well in English.

It’s also helpful to download the local languages on your Google Translate app. It’s not the best, but it’s surprisingly helpful.

Southeast Asia trip budget for 2 weeks

The budget for Southeast for 14 days can vary a lot. Although this region is generally affordable, the prices of services such as accommodation, transportation, and tours are very different for each country.

Your budget will depend on the places you want to see. For example, Singapore costs almost the same as Europe or North America. But Vietnam, Laos, and Indonesia offer super affordable accommodations.

To give you some ideas: On average, around $700 to $900 is a decent budget for 2 weeks in Southeast Asia for one person. This includes mid-range accommodation, transportation, a tour, and okay food.

You can go on a shoestring backpacker budget of $500 to $700, but that means staying in a shared dorm room, booking a standard tour, eating street food, and most likely booking a bus for transport instead of flying or taking the train.

For honeymooners or luxury travellers, $1,500 to $2,500 is an extraordinary budget that allows you to stay in comfortable hotels or resorts, comfortable transportation, and high-end restaurants.

Visa and COVID-19 policy

Each country has different visa policies. Some allow most European, North and Latin America, and neighbouring countries to enter visa-free or for a small fee. Here’s a quick summary of visa requirements in Southeast Asia:

  • Brunei – visa-free for 14 to 90 days
  • Cambodia – secure your visa in advance, valid for 30-90 days
  • Indonesia – apply for an eVoa valid for 30-90 days
  • Laos – visa on arrival or evisa for 30 days
  • Malaysia – visa-free for 30-90 days
  • Myanmar – must get an evisa for 90 days
  • Philippines – you get 30 days visa-free
  • Singapore – no need for a visa for 30 days
  • Timor Leste/East Timor – visa-free or visa-on-arrival for 30 days
  • Thailand – at least 30 days visa-free
  • Vietnam – apply for an evisa valid for 30 or 90 days

All the countries in this article have fully reopened their borders to international tourists. Each country has implemented different COVID-19 protocols, but many have removed them.

f you’re vaccinated, it’s best to bring your vaccine card just to be sure and pack some masks. Many capital cities (condensed cities) still require wearing masks in public transportation and health facilities.

DISCLAIMER: Each country has different policies in place, please do your research before booking anything. We are not responsible if you are not allowed to enter the country.

Travel arrangement tips

For those who enjoy planning a trip in advance, make sure to book your hotel at least 3 months prior to arrival especially if visiting in December and during the Lunar New Year.

Domestic flights, buses, and trains can be booked last minute as long as you’re not visiting during Christmas, New Year’s, or Lunar New Year (peak season).

2 WEEKS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ITINERARY

We have 7 travel itineraries here for spending 14 days in Southeast Asia. You don’t have to follow the itineraries religiously, but it will give you an idea of how many days to spend in each city, how to get from one place to another, and which countries are best to combine.

You should check out our compilation travel itineraries for Southeast Asia to help you decide where to go.

Package tours

If it’s your first time in Southeast Asia and you want this trip to be a little less stressful, you might want to consider booking a package tour.

This type of tour is great because the tour company will arrange 90% of the things you need to book on your behalf. This includes planning transportation, finding accommodation, arranging tours and activities, hiring tour guides, and even porters if needed.

A package tour is ideal for solo travellers, family adventurers, and retiree people. Even travellers between 18-year-olds to 30s would sign up for package tours for a smooth sailing trip.

If you have two weeks in Southeast Asia, you can book the 10 days and leave yourself with 4 days to explore on your own, or book the entire 14 days, it’s up to you.

Here’s a list of Southeast Asia tours that you can take a look at. You will also find combo tours or specific-destination tours:

THAILANDVIETNAMOTHERS
15 days Thailand12 days Vietnam15 days Borneo
12 days Thailand Family14 days Vietnam and Cambodia10 days Bali Only
14 days Thailand Islands10 days HCMC to Hanoi14 days Laos to Thailand
10 days Full-Moon Party14 days Vietnam14 days Bali and Lombok
14 days Bangkok to Singapore10 days Vietnam Food Tour10 days Philippines West
15 days Thailand and Cambodia14 days Cycling in Vietnam11 days Cambodia

Itinerary #1: Thailand and Cambodia

Cambodia and Thailand are great combo destinations, and they share a land border and both are affordable.

Thailand is the getaway of the Southeast. It’s undeniably one of the most popular countries in this region, offering fantastic beaches, exciting activities, and world-class cuisine.

Thailand is known for the party scene in Bangkok, the paradise-like beaches of Phuket, and the incredible hiking trails in Chiang Mai.

Cambodia is famous for the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat and the dark period of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. While the rich history is a significant draw for visitors, this country has much more to offer for those who stay longer than just a quick temple tour in Siem Reap.

Beyond the temples, this charming nation is a must-visit destination for travellers.

Since Thailand and Cambodia share a land border, it’s very easy to travel between them. Although neighbours, Cambodia and Thailand actually have very different cultures, languages, currencies, and histories from one another – making this 2 weeks in Southeast Asia itinerary the best one for first-time visitors in the region.

We have articles for 2 weeks in Thailand and 2 weeks in Cambodia that you can have a look at.

2 images - a couple on a boat in Thailand and Wat Benchamabophit Dusit Vanaram Temple in Thailand

Bangkok for 3 days

Visit Bangkok for its intoxicating blend of old and new, where ancient temples coexist with bustling markets and towering skyscrapers. The city’s vibrant street life and renowned street food offer an immersive cultural experience.

This is Southeast Asia’s party capital for affordable drinks, lively bars, and clubs open until morning.

Bangkok has three major international airports that have direct flights to many cities in Asia, Oceania, and even Europe. This means that Bangkok is an ideal city to start your 2 weeks in Southeast Asia trip.

Phuket and Krabi or Koh Phangan and Koh Samui for 4 days

The province of Krabi is situated in the Andaman Sea. Apart from Krabi, or known to be the beach paradise, here you can hire tour boats or speed boats stretching you to Phi Phi or the four islands (Poda, Hong, Chicken, and Tup).

You can also bathe and glide on Railey, which is only accessible via a short boat ride.

If you want a more twist on your stay, various activities such as snorkelling, rock climbing, cave exploration, and so much more in Phra Nang and Tonsai Beach.

If you’ve wanted a solitary experience with nature and the line of trees itself, consider heading to the caves of Ko Hong. Surrounding the white sand beach are extraordinary cliffs and the soothing rumble of the waves.

Siem Reap and Battambang for 4 days

Siem Reap and Battambang are perfect for four days. Most people spend only one day in Angkor Wat, but it’s such an enormous place you can get a multi-day pass. On the other hand, you can also see other spots in Siem Reap, such as Pub Street, National Museum, and Wat Bo.

From Siem Reap, you can do a day trip to Battambang. It’s known for its bamboo train ride. An old train track has been repurposed by locals, which then became a tourist attraction.

Phnom Penh for 3 days

Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s capital and is rich in history and culture. This is the best place to learn about Cambodia’s dark history during Khmer Rogue. You can visit the Choeung Ek Genocidal Center and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21 Prison).

You can also see the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, National Museum, Wat Phnom, and the Central Market with three days in hand. Make sure to check out the nightlife at Rue Pasteur No. 51 or Street 308 (aka Bassac Street).

MOVING AROUND: I recommend you start your trip in Thai islands and finish in Bangkok. This is because you now have an option to either fly to Siem Reap or take the bus. From the southern Thai islands, flying ot Siem Reap means you need to connect in Bangkok, while travel by land is just a waste of time.

From Bangkok, you can fly or travel by land (much slower) to the islands. From Siem Reap, you can fly to Phnom Penh or take a 6-hour bus or minivan ride.

Itinerary #2: Cambodia and Vietnam

Cambodia and Vietnam are two great destinations in Southeast Asia to combine. These two countries share a land border, and both places are rich in history, have fun beaches, and are affordable. If you only want to see Vietnam, have a read on 2 weeks in Vietnam itinerary.

Start your trip in Siem Reap and go east to Phnom Penh, then cross the border to Ho Chi Minh. From there, you can travel by land or fly to Da Nang to end your trip.

On the other hand, instead of South Vietnam, you can do the northern region. This means that you will fly from Sihanoukville or Phnom Penh to Hanoi or Da Nang and finish your trip either in Hanoi or in Da Nang.

This itinerary is suitable for people who love history but also want to do some water activities. These two places are also super ideal if you’re on a budget because Vietnam and Cambodia are Southeast Asia’s two most budget-friendly countries.

2 images - Naga Bridge and Sok San Village

Siem Reap for 3 days

Go to Siem Reap to witness the awe-inspiring Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, and explore the ancient ruins of the Khmer Empire.

Besides temples, indulge in vibrant night markets, savour delectable Cambodian cuisine, and experience the rich culture through traditional Apsara dance performances.

Phnom Penh for 2 days

Phnom Penh is the place to go to immerse yourself in Cambodia’s rich history and culture. The city, nestled at the confluence of three rivers, boasts iconic landmarks such as the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda.

The National Museum offers insight into Cambodia’s ancient history, while the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Killing Fields are poignant reminders of its recent past.

Sihanoukville and Koh Rong for 3 days

Nearing beaches and coastal views, Sihanoukville has got to be the perfect venture for lovers of the environment. It has tropical islands and mangrove jungles. Aside from sightseeing and soaking on the beaches, the nightlife is consistently wild on this side of Cambodia. 

Beach, waterfalls, national parks, you name it, Sihanoukville offers any adventure to each traveller and guest. Accommodations are affordable, and the restaurant is rich in seafood, perhaps making this place worth visiting.

To make your memorable more exciting, Koh Rong, an island just outside the province of Sihanoukville, is known for its sandy coves and coral reefs. The island is perfect for a getaway trip away from modern life while engaging in many water activities.

Ho Chi Minh City for 2 days

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, with its dynamic energy and rich history. The city’s streets are filled with motorbikes, street vendors, and aromatic food stalls. Explore the War Remnants Museum and Cu Chi Tunnels for insights into the Vietnam War.

The French colonial architecture, including the Notre Dame Cathedral, is a great start. Don’t miss the lively markets like Ben Thanh, and indulge in the city’s burgeoning culinary and coffee scene. You can do all these in just two days if you combine Cu Chi Tunnels with a night or city tour.

Da Nang, Hoi An, Hue for 5 days

Da Nang City, a coastal gem in Central Vietnam, offers pristine beaches, such as My Khe Beach, and stunning natural wonders, like the Marble Mountains. The city’s modernity is showcased through its towering skyscrapers, plus the iconic Dragon Bridge.

You can plan a day trip to the ancient town of Hoi An, and the imperial city of Hue provides cultural depth. Da Nang, or Central Vietnam, is the perfect place to finish your trip because you can enjoy the beach and be lazy on the last few days of your vacation.

MOVING AROUND: If you begin your trip in Siem Reap, you can take a bus or private transfer to Phnom Penh. You can also fly, which is quick, but you’ll have to arrive at the airport early anyway. From Phnom Penh, take the bus to Sihanoukville.

There’s also a bus from Sihanoukville to Ho Chi Minh City. You will have to get off the bus to present your evisa and get a stamp exit from Cambodia and entry to Vietnam. Back to your bus, you will head to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Da Nang is over 12 hours bus ride from Saigon, so it’s best to take a domestic flight.

2 images - Tran Quoc Pagoda in Hanoi and traditional boat in Ancient Town of Hoi An

Or do – Da Nang, Hoi An, and Hue for 3 days

Instead of spending 5 days in Central Vietnam, you can plan a 3-day trip and then combine a 5-day trip in the north.

Hanoi, Halong Bay, and Sa Pa for 5 days

If you rather explore northern Vietnam, you can fly to Hanoi from Sihanoukville to Hanoi. You can explore Hanoi, Halong Bay, and Sa Pa from there. But you must plan your itinerary carefully to make sure you cover all 3 locations.

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a city where ancient traditions blend with a modern touch. Wander through the Old Quarter’s bustling streets and markets, or find tranquillity at Hoan Kiem Lake.

You can plan a day trip to Halong Bay from Hanoi, but I recommend you stay at least one night on a cruise there. Then, once you’re back in the city, you can visit Sa Pa next, see the rice fields, and go hiking. I also prefer to have Halong Bay as the last place to visit since it’s a more relaxing location.

Finish your visit to northern Vietnam by making sure that you dine and try authentic pho, bun cha, and Vietnamese coffee.

Itinerary #3: Vietnam and Thailand

This 2 weeks in Southeast Asia itinerary is perfect for people who are visiting the region for the first time. Vietnam and Thailand have a perfect balance of history, culture, food, and beautiful beaches.

Start your holiday learning about the history, culture, and food of Vietnam. I would recommend you don’t plan on spending too much time doing water activities here because you can do that in Thailand.

After Vietnam, head to Thailand, where you can continue immersing yourself in culture and food, plus enjoy the beach and water activities on this country’s pristine coastline.

2 images - Thai boats in Phuket and boats in Halong Bay

Hanoi and Halong Bay or Sa Pa for 5 days

Fly into Hanoi and spend your days learning about its history and booking a night or two to Halong Bay or Sa Pa. Go to Halong Bay if you want to do kayaking, cruising, and other water activities.

Head to Sa Pa to learn about the native people of Indochina, see rice paddies and go hiking with the locals.

If you go to Halong Bay, you can take a short flight from there (Hai Phong Airport) to Da Nang. But from Sa Pa, you must travel back to Hanoi to get on the flight to central Vietnam.

Hue, Hoi An and Da Nang for 3 days or Ho Chi Minh City

Three days is a tight schedule for central Vietnam, but it’s doable. It’s a mixture of culture, history, and scenic trips. You can easily combine Hue and Hoi An for a full-day trip. But if you rather see the south of Vietnam, go to Ho Chi Minh City from Hanoi or Halong Bay instead.

Whatever you choose shouldn’t be a problem. Both Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City have flights to Bangkok. More flights are available from HCMC, but there are plenty from Da Nang too.

Bangkok for 3 days

Bangkok is such a wild place for many reasons. It’s a city where young backpackers who love to party, cultural enthusiasts, history lovers, and foodies can co-exist and enjoy the same place. Want to party? Go to Khao San Road, If you want to see temples, head to the Grand Palace and Wat Arun.

Would you prefer to see more culture and try local dishes? Book a boat trip to Damneon Saduak Floating Market or roam through Samut Prakan Ancient City.

Phuket and Krabi or Koh Phangan and Koh Samui for 4 days

You’re now approaching the best part of this itinerary, where you can spend hours on the beach and enjoying the sun. Choose between Phuket and Krabi or Koh Phangan and Koh Samui.

Go to Phuket and Krabi if you prefer a bigger town with lots of things to do but also allows you to lie on the beach and read a book. These are also ideal destinations if you’re travelling with children or as a family.

On the other hand, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui are popular with backpackers and young travellers, perfect for those who want to enjoy the beach, party all night, and go on boat tours.

Both places have plenty of water activities though, but the Phuket area also has some hiking trails unavailable in Koh Phangan.

MOVING AROUND: Arrive in Hanoi. From there, you can reach Halong Bay by bus, private transfer, or by plane. Leaving nothern Vietnam, it’s best to take a domestic flight to central or south of Vietnam. You can reach Thailand by flying to Bangkok. And from Bangkok, you must book a plane to either Phuket or Koh Samui.

Itinerary #4: Philippines and Indonesia

2 weeks in Southeast Asia are well-spent in the Philippines. The Philippines is such a fun region to visit for water activities. Wherever you are coming from, visit from November to February when the weather is cooler and there is less chance of rain.

This is the peak season, so expect some crowd, especially during Christmas.

This itinerary is perfect for travellers who enjoy the beaches, culture, and outdoor activities. In the Philippines, you can go see the marine beauty of Southeast Asia. While in Indonesia, you can go hiking and then finish the trip by soaking up the stunning beaches of Bali.

When you arrive in Manila, spend a day or two to settle down and get through your itinerary again. Perhaps you need to buy essentials such as a sim card with mobile data or book hotels or domestic flights.

READ: 2 weeks in the Philippines or our 2 weeks in Indonesia

2 images - Mount Bromo and Small Lagoon in El Nido

Boracay or Cebu or Bohol for 3 days

From Manila, take a flight to Boracay. There are two airports near the island: Kalibo and Caticlan. Kalibo Airport is about an hour’s drive to the port that takes you to Boracay Island. Caticlan Airport is right at the port, where you can catch the ferry to Boracay.

Boracay is popular for its fine white sand beach and crystal clear water. It’s also a spot for snorkelling, diving, jet ski driving, and more. Boracay is also the party island of the Philippines. Spending about 3 days here is a sweet spot.

On the other hand, you can go to Cebu and Bohol instead. The beaches are not as beautiful, but there are lots of scenic places to check out, such as Chocolate Hills, Tarsier Conservatory Park, and the Turtle Sanctuary in Panglao.

Go choose Boracay if you like to party and want to see one of the most beautiful beaches in Southeast Asia. Head to Cebu if you’re a nature lover and prefer a less busy place.

Coron or El Nido for 3 days

Next, you can take a flight from Cebu to Palawan. Now, there are two ways to explore Palawan: from north to south or the other way around. If you want to see the underground river, you want to fly to Puerto Princesa. But if you want to visit Coron first for the beautiful reefs, diving spots, and famous WII shipwreck, fly into Coron.

Coming from Coron, you can spend about 2 days here, and then you can take a ferry to El Nido – another snorkelling spot loved for the fine white sand beach. Enjoy 2 days here. For the final leg, head to Puerto Princesa or Sabang, where you can visit the Underground River.

If starting from Puerto Princessa, reverse the itinerary above. You can fly both from Coron and Puerto Princesa directly back to Manila.

East Java for 3 days; Mount Bromo or Mount Ijen

Choose between Mount Bromo and Mount Ijen; both are located in Surabaya. Mount Bromo is more popular, and Mount Ijen is a bit more challenging and requires an overnight stay along the trail.

So, go for Mount Ijen if you want some adventure, but if you’re after a scenic view, Mount Bromo is the place to go.

Bali for 4 days

Bali Island, a tropical paradise in Indonesia, is known for its stunning beaches, lush rice terraces, and vibrant coral reefs. The island’s rich cultural heritage is showcased through its ancient temples, such as Uluwatu and Tanah Lot, and traditional dance performances.

Ubud, the cultural heart, offers art, yoga, and wellness retreats. Adventurers can go surfing, diving, and trekking.

Four days here can be a little too short because there are loads of things to do. But with good planning, you can visit 2 cities and still have an extra day to just chill at the beach.

MOVING AROUND: When you fly into Manila, hop on a domestic flight to Boracay (Caticlan) or Cebu. From Cebu, you can get on another plane to reach Palawan (fly to Coron or El Nido). When leaving the Philippines, you have to connect in Manila to reach Surabaya. To get ot Bali, there are lights from Surabaya directly yo Bali (Denpasar).

Itinerary #5: Singapore and Malaysia

This is my favourite itinerary for 2 weeks in Southeast regarding a perfect mixture of rugged and comfortable. It’s pretty easy to travel between two countries since they share a land border and direct flights.

Malaysia offers a classic Southeast Asia experience with its diverse culture, language, and food. On the other hand, Singapore offers fantastic shopping malls, skyscrapers, and ease of travel.

Challenge yourself by going on adventures in Malaysia, where you can visit Penang, Langkawi, and even the Cameron Highlands. Then, find your comfort in the bustling city of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore if you enjoy shopping and modern architecture.

Our compilation fo travel itineraries for 2 weeks in Singapaore and Malaysia will be perfect for you or the 2 weeks in Malaysia post.

2 images - Marina Sands and Merlion Statue in Singapore and 3D street art in Penang of two children on a bicycle

Singapore for 3 days

Arrive in Singapore, which is home to the best airport in the world – Changi Airport. It is such a busy hub, yet it offers comfort. Many flights are coming here, so you shouldn’t have difficulty getting a direct flight to Singapore from anywhere in the world.

In just 3 days, you can visit Marina Sands, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Universal Studios, see the remarkable Merlion, and enjoy the food at Maxwell Food Centre for hawkers stands.

Kuala Lumpur for 4 days

You can take a bus from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, which is a 5-hour drive. You can also fly, but it might cost more.

Kuala Lumpur is known for its stunning skyscraper called Petronas Twin Towers – a beautiful spot for a panoramic view of the city and the Strait of Malacca. You can also go for a day trip to Genting Highlands and Port Klang.

It is a melting pot of cultures with tasty dishes from various regions in Asia. The city’s culinary scene reflects its diversity, offering a mouthwatering array of Malay, Chinese, and Indian cuisine. Don’t miss the bustling markets, trendy shopping malls, and vibrant nightlife.

Penang for 3 days

Penang Island, often called the “Pearl of the Orient,” is a cultural kaleidoscope in Malaysia. The island’s capital, George Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasting a rich colonial history, stunning temples, and vibrant street art.

Penang’s street food, influenced by Malay, Chinese, and Indian cuisines, is legendary. The island’s picturesque beaches and lush green hills complement the cultural treasures, making Penang a diverse and captivating destination.

Langkawi for 4 days

Langkawi Island, often dubbed the “Jewel of Kedah,” is a tropical paradise in Malaysia. With its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush rainforests, Langkawi is perfect for relaxation and adventure.

The island’s cable car and Sky Bridge offer breathtaking views of the surrounding archipelago.

This island is duty-free. This means it’s more affordable than any place or city in Malaysia, especially regarding alcohol and imported brands. Apart from that, there are also mangroves to visit that you can kayak through or do exciting water activities such as parasailing and boat tours.

MOVING AROUND: From Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, you can either take the bus or fly. You can reach Penang from KL by bus or plane, Then from Penang to Langkawi, you can take a 4-hour ferry or book a domestic flight.

Itinerary #6: Thailand and Laos

If you only have 2 weeks in Southeast Asia, can you blame a person for wanting to visit Thailand?

This itinerary is perfect for people who want to do lots of hiking, thrilling activities, and be around nature. Northern Thailand has some fantastic hiking trails, while Laos offers incredible forests and exciting excursions such as wild swimming, ziplining, and water rafting.

Crossing the borders between Thailand and Laos is quite straightforward as well. Apart from taking a short flight, there are lots of land border points that you can cross by bus, motorbike, or even boat.

If you only want to go to Laos, we have an itinerary for 2 weeks in Laos that you can check out.

2 images - a temple on Chiang Mai and Kuang Si Falls in Laos

Bangkok for 3 days

I have been to Bangkok at least 10x. It’s a mixture of travelling around Thailand and taking a long connection before my next flight. And every time I go there, I always find something new to do. It’s really a fantastic hub for Southeast Asia.

You can visit Bangkok for a blend of traditional Thai culture and modern charm. If you’re into culture, explore the magnificent Grand Palace to immerse yourself in spirituality at temples like Wat Arun.

Shop at bustling markets and contemporary malls where you’ll also find tasty local dishes or unwind with a traditional Thai massage. It’s so easy to spend 3 days in Bangkok or even a week.

Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai for 4 days

It’s time to leave the busy city of Bangkok and find a relaxing atmosphere – to the mountains! Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, nestled in Northern Thailand, are havens for those seeking relaxation and outdoor adventures.

With a laid-back atmosphere, these cities boast serene temples, lush mountains, and aromatic coffee plantations.

The temperate climate makes activities like hiking and trekking more fun. For people who are into yoga or meditation, there are loads of retreats that you can sign up for. And of course, there are still lots of temples to check out and admire.

Luang Prabang for 3 days

Enter Laos by starting your trip to Luang Prabang. With its gilded temples, saffron-robed monks, and charming French colonial architecture, it’s like a page torn from a fairy tale.

Take a cruise down the Mekong River or hike Mount Phousi for an unforgettable sunset. Finish the day by visiting the night markets for some souvenirs or trying out Laotian delicacies. Don’t forget to head to Kuang Si Falls to enjoy a refreshing dip and go wild swimming.

Vang Vieng for 2 days

Vang Vieng is your gateway to untamed beauty and for those looking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure. Located between the stunning karst landscapes, this vibrant town is a great city escape.

Go on a tubing expedition, which is the number one activity here or ride a hot air balloon for a scenic view of Laos.

Vientiane for 2 days

Vientiane is the capital of Laos, offering a mixture of colonial and modern beauty. Walk along the Mekong River or go on a cruise to see the stunning sunset. You should also visit the beautiful temples like Pha That Luang and Buddha Park.

The city’s culinary scene is very interesting. It’s the Orient cuisine with a French twist. From ancient heritage to lively markets and delectable food, it’s a perfect way to end your 2 weeks in Southeast Asia.

MOVING AROUND: From Bangkok, you can take a train, bus, or fly to Chiang Mai. Flying would be the fastest way, while the bus is the most affordable choice. There are minibuses that will take you between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.

Then, a combination of a bus and boat from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang, through crossing the Huay Xai. A minivan ride or train from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng. Then Vang Vieng to Viantiane is a short minivan ride.

Itinerary #7: Borneo

When thinking of 2 weeks in Southeast Asia, Borneo doesn’t really come up as the first destination in mind. However, it’s definitely wroth a visit.

Borneo is divided into three countries; Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia. This is a great itinerary for travellers who love nature and want to explore Southeast Asia through hiking, visiting national parks, and seeing wild animals.

One thing you have to remember, though is Borneo is a tricky place to visit.

If you go during the dry season, you’re most likely able to enjoy the hike without getting on muddy trails, and the weather is cooler, but it also means the colours are not too vibrant.

If you come during the rainy season, the forest is more alive, but there’s a chance the hiking trails are closed due to mudslides.

The best time to go is at least a month after the rainy season. During this time, the forest is still lush green, but the soil has likely dried up, and the trails are open to the public again.

2 images - Omar Ali Saiffuddien Mosque in Brunei and Proboscis Monkey from Borneo

Sandakan for 3 days

Sandakan is where you want to go if you want to see Proboscis monkeys, orangutans, and other wild animals from Borneo. There’s also a turtle sanctuary which is perfect for visiting in October since it’s the “setting off to the water” season for baby turtles.

You might have to arrive in Kuala Lumpur or Kota Kinabalu, then take a bus or fly to Sandakan.

Kota Kinabalu for 3 days

If you’re ready to hike, Mount Kinabalu is the first place to go. It is home to various flora and fauna and home to many wild orangutans.

It’s recommended to stay at least 1 night here and must come with a local guide for safety reasons. It can be done in one day, but you must start early as it can take a total of 12 hours or more, and you don’t want to be caught in the dark.

After that, you can enjoy Kota Kinabalu town proper, where you can visit historical sites and cultural locations such as Mari Mari Cultural Village and Sabah State Museum. Finish your visit by catching a sunset at Tanjung Aru Beach.

Labuan for 3 days

Labuan is a federal territory of Malaysia. This means they have their own government and policy but generally align with Malaysia. It’s an island, so you can either reach it by ferry or take a quick flight. Labuan is rich in history and exciting water activities.

Explore World War II relics, frolic on pristine beaches, and revel in thrilling water sports. If you like diving or snorkelling, don’t miss a trip to the Labuan Marine Park and visit Kuraman, Rusukan Besar, and Rusukan Kecil.

Brunei for 3 days

Continue heading down south and reach the country of Brunei. Keep in mind, this is a Muslim country; hence alcohol is not sold here and can easily be found.

Most attractions are located in the capital city, Bander Seri Begawan. But if you want to explore nature, go to Bukit Ladan Forest or Labi Forest.

Sarawak for 2 days (Sibu or Kuching)

For your final place on the itinerary, the Sarawak region of Brunei is the destination. Sarawak is the dazzling jewel of Borneo. With its lush rainforests, stunning caves like Niah and Mulu, and enchanting tribal cultures, Sarawak is an adventurer’s destination.

If you’re visiting during the right season, you can attend the Sarawak Rainforest Music Festival. During this event, you can get up close with orangutans and savour the rich flavours of the local cuisine.

From longhouse stays to jungle treks, Sarawak is an amazing place to finish your 2 weeks in Southeast Asia adventure.

MOVING AROUND: You most likely have to arrive in Kota Kinabalu then catch another flight to Sandakan or take the bus. You can also start the trip in Kota Kinabalu, then go to Sandakan, then to Labuan on a flight. From Labuan, there’s a ferry that will take you to Brunei.

Decide if you want to go to Sibu or Kuching. In that way, you’ll know which city to fly into or if you can take a bus..

SUMMARY OF 2 WEEKS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

Southeast Asia is easily one of my favourite regions in the world. It’s affordable, adventurious, rich in culture, offers the best cuisine, and is also an amazing place when it comes to exploring the wild nature.

2 weeks in Southeast Asia might not be enough to see and enjoy all its glory, but it’s a good start. If you find out in that 14-day trip that you enjoyed your time here, this just means you can always come back in the future and go somewhere else.

The final take I want you to get from this post is when choosing where to spend your limited time, make sure the places are near one another or have a direct bus or flight to save your time.

Also, research the weather in each country or island you’re visiting because the rainy season in the Philippines is very different compared to Indonesia, Thailand, and even Vietnam.

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Backpacking Southeast Asia is an adventure through lush jungles, ancient temples, and bustling cities. Experience vibrant cultures, delicious street food, and stunning beaches across countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. An unforgettable journey of discovery. via @twoweektraveller