My wife and I are planning a trip to Asia in February 2017. We fly into Bangkok (arrive 11:30 pm on Feb 1) and out of Hong Kong (9:30 am flight out on Feb 16) and I need suggestions to fill the time. We have February 2-15 (inclusive) on the ground. We know we want to experience a bit of Bangkok (without being overwhelmed), Angkor Wat and Phuket (or another beach location). We would like to see an elephant preserve (not the super touristy places of dubious repute) and temples. We want to see the cultural high spots and don't mind moving every 2-3 days to see the region. Considering Cambodia and Vietnam as well for short stints. This may be our only trip to the region. Any thoughts on places to stop on the way to Hong Kong? If you were going here, what would your itinerary look like? We will probably spend the last 3+ nights in Hong Kong. TIA for your assistance!
This is a travel forum for Europe. Check out www.tripadvisor.com where there are specific forums for both Bangkok and Hong Kong. We have traveled extensively to those cities and would advise stopping off in Vietnam, maybe Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon when I was there long ago) or Nha Trang with beautiful beaches. Trip advisor experts can help you out. You can learn the basic phrases in both Thai and Vietnamese on www.travlang.com, foreign languages for travelers. Click on the appropriate flag and many basic phrases are pronounced for you. You won't have any worries about terrorists in Asia.
As a reminder, this is the section of the forum titled "Beyond Europe." While the focus certainly is Europe, there is nothing wrong with posting here. Have you thought about Laos? I've spent time in SE Asia, but have yet to go to Laos. I would also recommend heading up to Chiang Mai/Chiang Rai area. Unfortunately, as last summer has shown us, you do, in fact, have to be aware of terrorism in that part of the world.
February is a great time to visit! I would allow at least 3 days for Bangkok. You can get cheap flights within Thailand so fly to the south (I'm not a beach person, so I don't have recommendations). Try to fit in at least 3 nights in Chiang Mai (flying). I visited this elephant preserve and highly recommend it. It's all about the animals, not the tourists. You should try to go on your first weekend to catch the annual flower festival.
I flew round-trip from Bangkok to Siem Reap, Cambodia (to see Angkor Wat) and it was expensive, but worth it. You'll want 2-3 days and a private guide with car.
I was briefly in Vietnam (cruise stops): day trip around Danang (to temples - if you go to Angkor, skip this) and 2 days in Saigon, one was a private guided excursion up the Mekong, the other in crazy Saigon. I would love to see more of Vietnam but I think Thailand has more sights and is much more colorful. If you can fit it in, 2-3 days in Saigon would be great. You can get around the city by taxi on your own for a day, then a day or two for day trips to see the villages.
In Hong Kong, I preferred the Kowloon side to the Hong Kong side. It's all "Hong Kong" but the island is "HK side" and the mainland is "Kowloon" side. The Salisbury YMCA is a terrific place to stay, it's really a 3-4 star hotel in a superb location. Use a day (or an overnight) to take the ferry to Macau. Skip the casinos and there are beautiful sights and the Portuguese influence gives this city a completely different vibe. At least 4 days in HK.
When I was flying around Thailand/Cambodia, I left my suitcase in storage at the Bangkok airport and traveled with just a small gym bag and a backpack. The hotels had same-day laundry service - drop it off when you go out in the morning and pick it up when you come back before dinner - and it was cheap.
Shopping was most expensive in HK, great bargains in Thailand, and silks were dirt cheap in Vietnam.