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RTW route - advice needed

Travel Forums Round the World Travel RTW route - advice needed

1. Posted by spig (Budding Member 4 posts) 10y

My girlfriend and I are finally getting to the point where we need to buy a RTW ticket. We're selling flat in London, packing in jobs and going off travelling again for at least a year before we hit 30. We're planning to get a Virgin escapade ticket, something like Singapore, up through SE Asia (Laos, Cambodia, Malasia, Vietnam etc) out of Bankok to Aus, NZ (maybe working here with WHV), Fiji, LA, NY London. We were hoping to get a seperate ticket down to South America to do that depending on time and money, realising we will may have to throw away the last part of the RTW ticket back to London if we go over the maximum 12 months.

The problem is that it's taken longer than we though to sell the flat as we expected to be leaving several months ago. We're now likely to be leaving in around 2 months from now. I'm reading advice now saying that SE Asia will be very hot and humid by then with the best time to be there being the earlier months of the year which we've now missed. I don't mind a bit of rain, although mosquitos do seem to love me so I'm assuming it would be wise to avoid the hot sticky rainy season in SE Asia.

The alternative would be to do the same route backwards, starting in US. I'd have prefered to do the cheaper areas first (SE Asia) before the more expensive ones (USA) so that I don't spend all my money and miss out on SE Asia when we would finally get there next year. Also due to constraints on the RTW ticket we need to do South America seperate, which would be more complicated if we went around the world east to west doing USA first rather than last.

Does anyone who's been to SE Asia have any advice they can give on this? I don't want unpleasant weather to spoil the few months I'm planning to spend in SE Asia, but am I just worrying uneccessarily and therefore should stick to the original plan of going west to east doing SE Asia first?

2. Posted by ian_w (Budding Member 44 posts) 10y

Hi mate, I was in the same boat as you. I have been trying to get away since late last year but due to problems renting out my flat etc it is only now that I am able to go.

I was about to get my ticket and go starting in India in May, China, Japan, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia ending in Oz at Christmas before I went to NZ, Fiji, USA.
I too was worried about the weather and as you said I dont mind a bit of rain but it turned out that I would have been hitting every country at exactly the worst month of the year! Its not only the rain but the humidity and mosquitoes and it makes it harder to get around apparently. Another big thing for me is the diving. Even if it rained for just a couple of hours it could churn up the sea and spoil the visibility even if the boat could go out. A few people have said that it isnt too bad but then other things I read said it best to avoid these areas at this time! I I still havent found out excatly all the answers I wanted but I bought a couple of books:

Weather to travel by Maria Harding
Rough guide to weather, Rough Guides.

which have helped me make a decision. I have decided to go west first and try and do America as cheaply as I can (there are ways!). I have never done anything like this before and am going on my own so it also gives me the advantage that when I get to Asia next year it will be the best time for weather and diving and I will be a lot more used to travelling and probably get more out of it that if I went straight there and maybe waste a few weeks getting used to everything. I know its still going to be a culture shock but I would rather learnt a few things first.

Sorry for the long answer but I know how frustrating it is, I spent weeks trying to decide.

Hope this helps a bit.

Good luck


3. Posted by nickla (Respected Member 223 posts) 10y

Asia in june/july/august will not be pleasant! Here in Japan it rains almost for the whole month of June (though at present i think the rainyt season has started early!) and come July / August time it will be unbearly hot and very humid. A lot of Asia is worse than japan, so if you can, i would go to America first and then head over to Asia later in the year and do it during autumn, which is a lovely time to see the place.