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Hello everybody! On this submit, I’ll be sharing our itinerary for 16 days in South Asia visiting Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Our preliminary itinerary didn’t embody Malaysia, as we have been planning to fly on to Sri Lanka from Bangladesh, however on the finish, the flights via Kuala Lumpur have been twice cheaper, so we determined to spend 2 days in Malaysia as nicely.
This itinerary is perhaps too busy and tiring for some individuals, so should you choose relaxed journeys, I’d counsel dropping Bangladesh and Malaysia from this journey and specializing in Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.
Additionally, our itinerary didn’t embody any trekking in Nepal, should you’re planning to trek, enable at the very least 7 days for the trek and ensure to spend 1-2 days to see Kathmandu!
Earlier than we begin with the itinerary for 16 days in South Asia, I’ll attempt to reply the questions you might need earlier than the journey.
Do you want visas for the counties in South Asia?
Relying in your nationality, you would possibly or may not be eligible for the visa on arrival. All of the EU nation residents can get a visa on arrival in Nepal and Bangladesh. For Sri Lanka, you might want to apply in your e-Visa earlier than the journey and for Bhutan, you might want to purchase a tour bundle, because it’s not attainable to go to Bhutan with no tour.
For Malaysia, EU residents don’t want a visa for as much as 90 days.
The right way to transfer between counties in South Asia?
The best (and quickest) means can be by airplane. Nonetheless, should you really feel prefer it’s an excessive amount of flying, you possibly can cut back the variety of nations visited on this journey. You possibly can verify the costs and availability of the flights right here.
Are these counties protected?
We felt completely protected in Nepal, Bhutan, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. As for Bangladesh, we didn’t have any issues both, however some areas of Dhaka generally is a bit more difficult than the others. It’s all the time nice to have journey insurance coverage although. Should you don’t have any, you possibly can verify the costs right here.
The very best time to go to South Asia
We travelled in November and stayed in Sri Lanka through the first week in December. It’s a great time to journey round South Asia, because the climate is usually good in all places and never too sizzling.
Nonetheless, in Sri Lanka, we bought very unfortunate with the climate – we solely had 1 day with out rain. As for different counties, Bhutan was fairly chilly in November.
How costly was this 16-day journey to South Asia?
Should you’re questioning, how costly was our 16-day journey to South Asia, I’m all the time open to speak about journey prices. The costliest a part of the journey was the tickets and the price of the tour to Bhutan. We flew from London and took a multi-city journey arriving in Kathmandu, Nepal and departing from Colombo, Sri Lanka. We paid £500 for every ticket (return).
Bhutan is pricey as a result of you might want to pay at the very least $200-250 per day per particular person for the tour. That’s why we opted for the shortest and therefore, essentially the most reasonably priced tour. The flights to Bhutan have been additionally costly. In whole, the Bhutan a part of the journey to South Asia price us ca $3000 or £2200. Is Bhutan value that value? You possibly can learn extra on this submit.
For the remainder of the journey (4 evening in Nepal, 1 evening in Bangladesh, 1 evening in Malaysia, 5 nights in Sri Lanka), we paid roughly £500 for inns, £350 for inside flights and £400 for meals. We additionally spent £130 on visas (visa to Bangladesh was the costliest one).
In whole, we spent round £4600 on this journey or £2300 per particular person, which isn’t that dangerous in any respect for a 16-day vacation, however undoubtedly isn’t low cost.
A 16-day journey to South Asia: Our Itinerary
4 evening in Nepal -> 4 nights in Bhutan -> interchange in Dhaka, Bangladesh -> 1 evening in Kuala Lumpur -> 5 nights in Sri Lanka
4 nights in Kathmandu, Nepal
An apparent itinerary to South Asia would come with India, nonetheless, as we went to India final 12 months, we didn’t embody India within the journey this 12 months. Furthermore, it might have made the journey much more tiring.
We needed to journey to Nepal, so we began with Kathmandu. We didn’t wish to trek this time, as for trekking, we would want to enhance our bodily situation first. Furthermore, I don’t really feel nice in excessive altitudes, which makes trekking a bit extra problematic. Anyway, it’s a bucket checklist exercise, that I hope to perform sooner or later!
We have been planning to remain in Kathmandu for two full days, nonetheless, because it turned out, we have been tied to the schedule of the flights to Bhutan and the one accessible flight was departing on Wednesday. Therefore, we stayed for 4 nights in Nepal and didn’t remorse it.
After we realised that we are going to be staying 4 nights in Nepal, we itinerary needed to go to one other metropolis, nonetheless, we discovered a whole lot of recommendation on Tripadvisor saying that 4 days wouldn’t be sufficient to see one other inside vacation spot in Nepal.
In Nepal, we spent the primary evening in Bhaktapur – considered one of 3 cities of Kathmandu Valley. We stayed on the Inn Sangrahalaya subsequent to Durbar Sq.. The remainder of the journey, we stayed at Kathmandu Suite Dwelling – a tremendous resort very near all the principle landmarks and eating places.
Kathmandu was a bit overwhelming typically with all of the visitors and the mud, however the structure was beautiful, meals was nice and folks have been very welcoming.
I wrote one other weblog submit about our itinerary for 4 days in Kathmandu Valley right here, be sure that to test it out, should you’re !
The highlights of Kathmandu that we visited:
Kathmandu Durbar Sq.
4 days in Bhutan
Our subsequent vacation spot was Bhutan. As I discussed earlier than, due to authorities coverage, Bhutan may be very costly for non-SAARC nations.
We might love to remain in Bhutan for every week, however that may be too costly. Nonetheless, because it turned out, 4 days have been excellent to see the principle highlights of the nation.
You could find my itinerary for Bhutan and extra data on which company we used on this submit about 4 days in Bhutan.
Bhutan was very totally different in comparison with our expectations – it wasn’t higher or worse, simply totally different, that’s it. Nonetheless, many individuals have extremely excessive expectations for Bhutan. Learn my second submit about Bhutan and whether or not it’s value it and the way to not be disenchanted in Bhutan.
As every little thing was achieved and organised for us (as we had to purchase a tour in Bhutan), we couldn’t choose our inns and I can’t advocate you any.
The highlights of Bhutan that we visited:
Massive Buddha in Thimphu
Chorten Nationwide Memorial in Thimphu
Paro Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest).
1 day in Bangladesh – interchange in Dhaka
Essentially the most handy and reasonably priced flight from Bhutan was to Dhaka, Bangladesh. Nonetheless, whereas we have been nonetheless planning the journey, the flights from Dhaka to Colombo in Sri Lanka bought very costly, so we needed to provide you with a special plan.
We waited for a month and acquired promo tickets to Kuala Lumpur from Dhaka with Malindo Air, and from there, very low cost flights to Sri Lanka with Air Asia. Due to the late departure time, we had over 12 hours in Dhaka and we determined to exit to town.
As there isn’t a left baggage or lockers at Dhaka Airport, we needed to ebook a really low cost resort simply to go away the luggage, nonetheless, we ended up spending a little bit of time on the resort, as we bought very drained from the flight.
Our flight to Malaysia bought delayed by 6 hours, so ultimately, we had much more time in Dhaka.
All people had warned us that visitors in Dhaka is loopy! Effectively, it was, however we nonetheless managed to get to town centre and see a few lovely buildings. Total, I have to say that we didn’t see a lot in Dhaka, nonetheless, we managed to get an total impression of town.
It’s actually not as dangerous because it’s typically portrayed and we’re completely happy that we managed to see it with our personal eyes!
Dhaka can also be altering quite a bit and shortly there shall be a metro that hopefully will assist to resolve the visitors downside at the very least partially.
What we noticed in Dhaka
- Gulshan neighbourhood
- Gulshan 2 Lake Park
- Curzon Corridor of Dhaka College
If you wish to learn extra concerning the issues you are able to do in Dhaka throughout a protracted layover, right here’s a submit I wrote: 8-12 hours transit in Dhaka: what to do.
1.5 days in Kuala Lumpur: one of many highlights of the journey
Although our flight from Dhaka with Malindo air was severely delayed (and I like to recommend staying away from Malindo Air as nicely) and we misplaced a little bit of our beneficial time in Kuala Lumpur, we nonetheless managed to see quite a bit. We landed in Kuala Lumpur round 10:20 am.
In Malaysia, we had a day and a half or roughly about 36 hours. I already revealed a submit about one of the best issues to do throughout a protracted transit or a stopover in Kuala Lumpur, you possibly can learn it right here. Simply to summarise, I completely like to Kuala Lumpur and I believe town deserves far more than two days or even perhaps every week, if I had the prospect I’d keep there for at the very least a month.
As we have been solely staying for lower than two days in Kuala Lumpur, we determined to ebook a pleasant resort and it was additionally as a result of there are even the nicest inns in Kuala Lumpur is the place not as costly because the are in locations like Tokyo or Hong Kong. We managed to ebook a Mandarin Oriental are for simply £140 per evening and that included a marvellous breakfast.
Our resort was situated simply 10 minutes strolling to the well-known and in style Bukit Bintang – a buzzing buying district of Kuala Lumpur.
Bukit Bintang is among the essential highlights of Kuala Lumpur and it has nice buying and eating choices for any style. There may be even a Japanese shopping center. There are such a lot of meals choices in Bukit Bintang – from standalone eating places to the enormous meals courts on the numerous buying malls.
In case you gained’t discover what you fancy consuming in Bukit Bintang, you possibly can head to the native road meals market, nearly 5-10 minutes from Bukit Bintang.
Another superb areas to discover embody Batu Caves that has just lately undergone a wonderful makeover, China City and the Central Market. On the Central Market, you should purchase a whole lot of souvenirs, meals and garments. Additionally, the world across the Central Market seems to be very fairly.
For me, Kuala Lumpur was a foodie capital of Asia – there have been so many superb locations to eat, from Japanese to Indian and every little thing was superb.
Should you nonetheless have time, be sure that to take a look at the Botanic Backyard of Kuala Lumpur – it’s very spectacular; with a lake within the center, it resembled Central Park in NYC.
Total, Kuala Lumpur was in all probability my favorite cease of your entire 16-day journey to South Asia, nonetheless, this submit shouldn’t be over but, as I’ve a small half about Sri Lanka as nicely.
5 days in Sri Lanka: driving round Sri Lanka (with no driver)
The final leg of our 16 days in South Asia was Sri Lanka. I had little or no expectations from Sri Lanka, however I fell in love with this island. Meals in Sri Lanka was superb, individuals have been pleasant and the costs have been very budget-friendly. It’s laborious to imagine that we solely extracted £100 and didn’t spend them throughout 5 days in Sri Lanka – and we ate in some nice locations and even paid for the gasoline.
We employed a automotive in Sri Lanka and determined to drive ourselves, with out hiring a driver. It wasn’t as difficult as we thought. Nonetheless, we would have liked to receive a Sri Lankan driving allow earlier than coming to the nation, so Sixt automotive rental simply made it for us for a payment. The automotive rental in all probability ended up being severely overpriced, however our automotive was good and new and introduced us to all of the superb locations in Sri Lanka.
I wrote two separate posts about Sri Lanka: a information to driving in Sri Lanka (issues you might want to know) and whether or not Sri Lanka is value it – first timer’s information to Sri Lanka (spoiler alert – it’s 100% value it).
Total, I have to say that 5 days weren’t sufficient to see all of Sri Lanka, because the distances within the nation are large and the roads are slender and filled with vehicles. You would possibly find yourself driving 150 km for 4 hours and even longer. Ensure that to not repeat our errors and don’t plan an excessive amount of throughout even 1 week in Sri Lanka. In 5 days, I simply advocate you to see Sigiriya and Kandy and possibly Ella or simply go to the South seashores as a substitute – e.g. Tangalle, Matara and different lovely seashore spots in Sri Lanka.
Abstract of our itinerary for 16 days in South Asia
Total, I actually loved this 2-week journey to South Asia and this itinerary for 16 days in South Asia was good. Nonetheless, we returned a bit bored with this vacation. Then once more, our itineraries are normally busy and jam-packed and permit us to see a lot of the world whereas working full-time for an organization in London.
If I had an opportunity to look again and alter one thing, I’d have spent solely 2-3 days in Nepal (not 4-5) and attempt to get to Sri Lanka instantly from Bhutan (through a change in Nepal or India). I believe that Bangladesh in 12 hours wouldn’t be sufficient and Kuala Lumpur actually deserves a separate journey (as there are superb locations to go to in Malaysia).
Among the different posts you would possibly like:
12 days in South-East Asia: Thailand, Cambodia and Singapore
Visiting India’s Golden Triangle
Is Bali definitely worth the hype? Visiting Bali in December