Hi, Im planning a round the world trip and i need some advise...
I dont have as much time as I would like to have just 3 to 4 months...
The countries that I would like to visit are India-Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam-China-malaysia-Singapore-New Zeland. i dont wanna fly from one place to another... i want to know if it is OK and affordable to do it via bus or train around most of the countries.
Is it OK not to reserve accomodation and just stay in each country depending on the fun we have, will we have problems finding accomodation. And how much you think i should calculate for each country... or any other advice you can give me...
All those countries in 3-4 months? are you kidding? you will be running around like a headless chicken!
Maybe you should just concentrate on south east asia for now?
Yeah I agree!With the time you have, you could really see a lot and make the most of South East Asia!Theres a lot to see there and it would be a shame to miss out on it by rushing around so much!I think to do such an intense, whistlestop trip of everything, you would really miss out on some really valuable experiences and only cover the surface of places!
It is possible to get to all of those countries in 3-4 months but you wont have time to see very much (in fact, if anything at all!) so it's probably best to choose a few countries you really want to see and focus on those. In Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia/Singapore there's easily enough to keep you occupied for 4 weeks in each country. They're so big and there's so much to do in India and China that you'd need at least 4 weeks but most devote 6-8 weeks just to do them some justice !!
I guess it depends on what you're interested in and/or the kind of experience you want. Thailand and Malaysia/Singapore are less 'travelling' than 'holiday' destinations these days, so if you want it to be fairly easygoing then they're a good choice. Next up Vietnam and Cambodia are still pretty easy to get around but it's more 'gritty' travelling, especially in Cambodia. Finally China and India will challenge you the most and leave you with 'war stories' of the traveller's kind. India's poverty and dirt and begging will shock you whereas the language problem and the vast cultural difference between Chinese and Westerners will force you to dig deep in your resourcefulness (and patience!) on any trip to China.
As for money, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and India are very cheap so you could get by on US$15 per day (that includes accommodation), though 20-25 would free you to eat a wider variety of food and see more sights. US30 would see you living like a noble ! Malaysia and then Singapore are more expensive (Singapore, of course, MUCH more so !) so you'd really need US$30 and up per day. China is the most expensive, especially on the Eastern Coast and Hong Kong so when you factor in trains and long distance buses you're looking at $35-40 per day and rising from there.
oh, and p.s, no you wont need to pre-book any accommodation - you might get sick of being harrassed by hotel touts at every bus stop but at least you'll never go without a bed to sleep on !
We're currently on a similar itinerary & we are 40 days into it and have only gotten through Vietnam, Cambodia & Bangkok. We're going to have to speed things up in order to get more places in. So maybe you should pare down your list, or be sure to just see the highlights of each place.
My husband & I did a 3 month trip 6 years ago and went all the way around: Singapore, Penang, Malyasia, Bangkok, Kathmandu, a few cities in northern India, Egypt, Israel, Spain, Paris, then home. We spent only a few days in each place. It was a wonderful overview & kept us itching to do it again (here we are). Guess it depends on whether this is a "once in a lifetime" event, or the start of many adventures.
Overland is possible in many of those places, but it is SLOW, and will eat up your time, so choose your overlanding for the most scenic or cheapest routes. Do a lot of research on the most efficient routing from country to country. You'll have to fly to NZ of course, but most of the other places can be done overland depending on where you start.
This is our routing:
Hong Kong - Nanning China, Hanoi & south thru Vietnam, Phnom Penh & north thru Cambodia - Thailand (straight to Bangkok) - south to Malysia - Singapore - Indonesia (to Bali eventually) - then we have to fly back to Bangkok - then overland again to northern Thailand - Laos - China - Trans Siberian to Moscow - Eastern Europe - Western Europe.
Most of this will be overland with the exception of a few flights.
So far we have not reserved any rooms, but you might want to consider it in large cities especially in peak season. We had a huge problem in Bangkok as it is all fully booked and the prices are jacked up.
So far Vietnam has been the cheapest. Cambodia was VERY expensive - mainly due to the Angkor Wat admission fees & food, but if you eat street food it will save money.
Bus & trains are cheaper than flying. Beware of low cost bus tickets - they come with a hitch - usually that they stop for anyone flagging them down, stop for lunch at fly specked restaurants, breakdown, etc, etc. Nice fodder for the blog, but not a lot of fun while it's happening.
Trains in Vietnam are late quite often.
Buses in Thailand are efficient - first class that is.
That's about all I know for now.