I'm a 24 year old woman who's planning to backpack through South-east Asia next year ( Nov-Jan).
This will be the first trip I'm planning on my own, nd I'm mainly looking for a relaxing time with a lot of beach-time and city-wandering.
I'm planning to to Thailand--Malaysia-Singapore-(maybe Indonesia) Philippines, Vietnam and ending the trip in either China or India.
Anyone who has been in any of these lately , and have any tips and Words of wisdom to share?
Or anyone who is thinking about going next year, haven't found anyone to go with, and would like to meet up for part of the trip?
"Words of wisdom to share?"
There are quite a few posts from women traveling alone, take the time to read some of them. Some cultures who see a young woman traveling alone see a woman who is looking for a date. Be prepared for that scenario.
Each country will have their own particular visa requirements. Some may have a requirement of verifiable "proof of onward travel." See if that will apply to you. The money you start with will have to see you through your entire trip. Usually these countries do not want foreigners working to augment their income. Work by foreigners may require a work permit anyway. (Find these countries on a map and figure out the most economical way to go between countries and to get around.)
November through January is high season for Thailand and some other places. This means higher cost for flights, higher cost for hotels and especially for Christmas and New Years holiday periods you should probably book your rooms ahead of time.
You may think you have a lot of time but for 5 to 7 different countries you will be in the air, on buses and trains a lot. Most of the time you will be using one way flights too. Some countries are cheaper and some are not. China (Hong Kong, Taiwan and some places on the China mainland) plus Singapore are more expensive than Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia.
You should work up a budget and see how much you can afford for your hotel rooms and day to day expenses. My advice is to look at how much money you have for a hotel. If you don't have a lot of money and you will be forced to stay in crappy places maybe don't visit so many places or stay so long.
If you just visit Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and maybe Malaysia you can visit these places overland or use cheap discount airlines. You could even fly round trip to Bangkok from your country (cheaper than 2 one way flights) and return home from Bangkok. But if you have a lot of money and don't mind paying for several one way long distance flights - go for it!
Do not rely on a single credit or debit card for your traveling money. A single card could be lost, stolen or damaged and then you are out of money. You must notify your banks ahead of time that you will be overseas or your card could be blocked. When charges (without prior notice) start coming from all sorts of countries your bank may first suspect some sort of fraud.
Keep in touch with your family and friends. Tell them where you are and where you are going. Even if you can who you are with. This is for your own protection.
Singapore is a beautiful city to be in. The energy is contageous. But be prepared to spend alittle more money on acomodations. Other than that food is really cheap and tasty.