Itinerary for travelling South East Asia for four to six months

So you're planning a trip and you're wondering how far you'll get South East Asia within four to six months? This is my list of places I visited in four months without rushing from one place to another using local transportation when possible and flights when needed, including Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines and a little bit of Vietnam. It can easily be stretched to six months by staying longer at a few great places or by adding a few.

Beach Thailand Koh Lipe
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Newsflash: Mandalay isn't horrible

Planning my trip to Myanmar, I told a couple of people about my itinerary:

Starting from Yangon, I wanted to work my way up north over Inle Lake and Bagan to Mandalay. The common response to that was: “Cool, but don't spend any time in Mandalay. I heard it's a horrible place”.

So I was obviously on a mission to find the beauty of Mandalay, and spoilers: I did.

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Views from the Yangon Circular Railway

Myanmar won my heart right after I stepped out of the airplane in Yangon.

I walked down the street past a mother with her child eating rice. She looked up to me: "do you want to share?" – I was overwhelmed by her generosity and declined.

She looked at her child: "say hello to the foreign girl". The little boy looked at me and waved, a big smile on his face painted with Thanaka: "Minglabar".

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