I am just planning my RTW trip and I land in Bangkok next January. This is the first time I've ever travelled on my own and I was thinking about booking myself onto an organised trip (such as an Intrepid Travellers trip) around SE Asia so that I see everything that I want to see - am I being a wimp? Will I miss out on on the travel fun by not planning my own way round?
PS. I love this site, it is such a good idea and I have got so many good tips from it
Once you get yourself down to Khao San Road on your first day, meet and chat to pretty much anyone there in any of the bars/restaurants (most of them are doing the same thing as you!) You'll meet loads of people and then you can choose to team up for some parts of the trip with the people you get on with rather than being stuck on a trip that'll probably have a rigid timescale, giving you less time in the places you like when you get there and save being stuck with people you may not get on with!
If having trouble finding anyone around there initially why not take a day trip or 2 on an organised tour (Kanachaburi or Ayyututha) and I'm sure you'll meet some folks there.
From recent posts going to be plenty of poeple like yourself in the same place in the same situation at the same time (I will probably be around there at that time myself) Meet up with them, sink a few beers and you'll have a ball.
I felt exactly the same as you on my first RTW trip 10 years ago, after all it's a total shock to the system being in an alien culture after growing up in England buthumans are amazingly adaptive and after the smells and noise of initial impressions of Bangkok start to seem not so bad after all you just get on with it! (Bit more freaky when you get back home though, I went pretty much from months on deserted idyllic islands in the sun to the centre of noisy, smelly, dirty London in a snowy February! That took a while to adjust back to lol!)
I took the plunge and was the most fun I'd ever had so doing the same again now 10 years on!!
Yes,its very daunting and you are very brave to take the plunge but as Lee says just go down the Khao San Rd for a day or two and you will meet lots of other travellers,also have a good guide book and Lonely Planet South East Asia is the best to start your RTW with,when you leave SE Asia post it home as a souviner.
Every place you travel you will meet plenty of other travellers and especial being a girl they will always stop for a chat so stay on your own for a week and after that you will be more relaxed.
I'am landing Bangkok 29-12-05 and having a week to relax down at Pattaya on the coast(sex resort 2hrs from Bangkok with great nightlife)and lovely beach at Jomtiem,dont worry when you have travelled Asia you will have seen it all and that is whats it all about.
Anyway after a week I'am jumping a bus along the coast into Cambodia and their beaches then Sharkeys Bar in Phnom Penh then boat down the Mekong to Saigon then ???????????????????.
If you want to tag along for a while no problem just let me know.
Anyway have a great enjoyable trip.
al de bes
well, you can do whatever feels right for you, but..
from my opinoin,i think that you can have an amazing experience going at it alone. its a way to learn what your capable of and just overall having a unforgettable time! I know its scary, but dont let the fear hold you back! i believe in ya
may the wind be at your back
i suggest you do it alone if you have time on your hands. its so much better to find your way around (and much more rewarding) by associating with locals and fellow tourists alike. just make sure to check information before you take the plunge, as it helps to have a background that doin it blindly (that would be way too much adventure). anyways you could log in to travellerspoint anytime anywhere, heehee.
do try to check my country out, its got a lot to offer
I went through the same debate a few weeks ago. I'm going to South America on my own in January, and I was really leaning towards booking a tour with Kumuka Tours. After a bit of research though, I changed my mind and decided to do my own thing. I suppose there are plusses and negatives to both options.
Booking in with a tour group really gives you peace of mind for the first few weeks, and you can get to know lots of ppl in a similar situation, you might even meet someone you could continue travelling with afterwards Tours organise everything from activities to accomodation, which takes a lot of the hassle of organising out of your hands.
On the other hand, they are usually very expensive. If you dont particularly like the group you are with, you are stuck with them for x number of weeks. You dont have the option of spending more time somewhere that you like - you've got to move at the tour's pace. You might not get as many opportunities to interact with local people. By the time the tour is over you might be realising that you could have just done it all yourself at your own pace for a lot less money.
I ended up feeling that there were more plusses to doing it myself.
It's down to what you feel will help you get the most enjoyment out of your trip, I suppose.
Hope that helps,
Thanks very much for your replies, I really needed the "you can do it on your own" from people who have actually done it on their own. Although I'm still really scared I suppose the nerves are all part of the experience!!! RTW here I come!
Organized tours stink. Suck it up, don't be a whimp! Big Johns's Hostel on Sukhumvit Road Soi 9 is a prety good bet. Lots of people to meet and the prices are right. It's not as packed as Khao San Road, but still good. There is one nice place off of Khao San Road called the Shambara Botiaue Hostel. A little pricey for a hostel but preety unique and clean.....
You could always mix it up. Have an organised tour for one section of your trip then some time doing your own thing then maybe another tour.
I don't think I've actually been on an organised? tour of any great duration. My wife and I did book a 3 day/2 night hike of the Colca Canyon in Peru in April when we got to Arequipa, but nothing like a proper tour (dates/buses/accomodation/meals, etc) as I presume you are thinking of.
Do what you feel comfortable with, and ENJOY!!!