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wanna help me decide where to go?

Travel Forums General Talk wanna help me decide where to go?

1. Posted by hkro (Budding Member 4 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I am 25. I want to go travel but i am having a bit problem to decide where .So I have limited it down to 3 alternatives (
Souteastasia (vietnam + mabye cambodia and laos or mabye mayanmar or tibet ) ,Cuba or Peru )

So...Some questions:

1. How do you get around in asia like from Hanoi to any beach or island and from there to cambodia ?

2. Is Cuba really so sleepy as i might think.? Anything to do fo a restless soul in Cuba?? I tend to get bord after a while if its just beaches ..
I mean i picture the old fishing village Hemingway style. when i think of Cuba. and i mean thats nice but i am afraid it would bore me after a day or two.

3.Anyone been to Machu Picchu? is it ovverrated or really worth some airsickness and long walks?

4. Anyone been to several of these destinations ? if so which did you enjoyed the most and why?

Really appriciate all answers

oh and I´m a girl mabye traveling a lone any safety tip, areas that I should stay away from??

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Aug-2014, at 08:17 by hkro ]

2. Posted by hkro (Budding Member 4 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!


3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5087 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

You don't have to walk long days to reach Machu Picchu if you don't want to; the vast majority of visitors take the train to Aguas Calientes, and then the bus up the mountain to the entrance to Machu Picchu. Only a few hundred lucky people per day get to hike for 2.5 days over the "classic" inca trail.
I was one of them, a couple of years ago, and found the hike (which passes a sequence of ever more impressive inca sites) to heighten my appreciation of Machu Picchu a lot - its scale is so overwhelmingly superlative that I kinda suspect most of those arriving there directly lack the frame of mind for truly appreciating that.
All the same, it's a truly amazing place, and Peru as a country is filled with many other delights, so I can heartily recommend it. Arequipa and the Colca Canyon were two highlights for me (plus the Cordillera Blanca, but that's hiking paradise, so sounds like it's not your thing.) I also met several female solo travellers in Peru. You unfortunately undoubtedly can look forward to some unwanted attention, but overall it should be more than safe enough (as long as you use some common sense).

No experience yet with the other two destinations, alas...

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Aug-2014, at 10:22 by Sander ]

4. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 713 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Yes, we did the four -day Inca trail between Christmas and the New Year - as Sander says, it really does help you appreciate Machu Picchu even more and gives you a sense of achievement. The route climbs to over 4200 metres in places so altitude can be a problem for some. And the walk down Colca Canyon from Cabanaconde to Sangalle was good practice for the Inca trail.

Getting around SE Asia is pretty easy - from Bangkok we caught an overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai and then got a minivan to Chiang Khong on the Laos border and the slow boat down the Mekong to Luang Prabang. Then a minivan up to Sam Neua and another minivan across the northern border into Vietnam and Hanoi. From there you can visit Sapa and Ha Long Bay. We caught sleeper trains down the coast to the beach at Hoi An and then another from there to Ho Chi Minh City. There are then coaches across the border into Cambodia and Phnom Penh and another to Siem Reap for the Angkor complex. We then got a minivan across the border again into Trat and over to Koh Chang for some beach at the very end before heading up to Bangkok and the flight home.

It's really easy to arrange transport as you're travelling around in SE Asia and you can meet loads of travellers on the way too, especially on the slow boat down the Mekong.

Burma is a little different because you will need to organise your visa (we did it in NZ for leaving - you might be able to do it in Bangkok) but it is still easy to organise transport and accommodation as you're travelling around.

Can't say anything about Cuba yet - we're heading there in December!

Of Peru and SE Asia - I loved them both equally and would quite happily do either again. Whichever you do this time, you'll probably do the other in the future.

Enjoy! :)

5. Posted by hkro (Budding Member 4 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

thank you so much for answers .

I would consider do the long walk if i go to Peru then. ^^
Colca Canyon sound intresting Sander thanks.

Borisborough in SE Asia you just found other travelers and shared minivan with?... traveling alonI would be sceptical just going a minivan all alone as i guess these are no company or anything organised these vans right? But I might be overly cousius ... did you book hostels or hotels before hand or did you do that when you got there? i will look in to that slow boat down Mekong ^^ dont you need visa for Vietnam and Cambodia too?

Thank you again both of you. And Borisborough you probably right about that last thing I hope to visit all these places one time in the future . And good trip to Cuba mabye i see you there then if i decide to go to Cuba.^^

6. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 713 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

We found a travel shop in Chiang Mai which sold us a ticket for the minivan to Chiang Khong, a night's accommodation there and the journey on the boat (two days with one night at Pak Beng for which you can either buy accommodation there once on the boat or wait until you dock at 5pm and buy then). With all our accommodation, we researched before we left and wrote down two or three addresses and phone numbers and then walked in and got a room (it was December/January).

At the border from Thailand and Laos, we bought a Laos visa before we got onto the slowboat (at Laos passport control). We had already bought a Vietnamese visa in NZ before we left. And we bought a Cambodian visa at the border between HCMC and Phnom Penh.

Travelling on your own shouldn't be a big problem; this SE Asia circuit is a well-worn route and quite easy for "first-time" backpackers and there are lots doing it - you should be able to make friends with some fellow travellers who are doing a similar route quite quickly and you can probably stay together for much of the circuit. :)