I'm a newcomer to travellerspoint and am excited to say I'm planning a lovely trip to asia in the very near future. I have a few questions and welcome all suggestions...
Ideally i would love to visit: South Korea (Seoul specifically because a dear friend lives there), China (Hong Kong in particular because of another friend), Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.
I was wondering if anyone had any advice on the best sequencing of those places (starting in Seoul) and the most affordable yet efficient means of travelling from place to place. I'm open to any suggestions...and would love tidbits of your favorite places and all that fun.
I was also wondering if two to three months of travel sounded adequate for all of those places......and if anyone had a vague idea or gauge of about how much money a trip that extensive might total up to.
Can't wait to hear from you!
I haven't visited all of those countries, but I've been to Thailand and Hong Kong. I think 2/3 months is adequate for all the countries, but it really depends on how long you want to spend in each place and what you want to see when you are there. For example China... if you really want to travel around China then you could spend 2/3 months probably just doing that! If it's just Hong Kong, a week should be plenty (I spent 2 days there once and saw quite a lot in just such a short period), just for seeing things.
Travelling in Thailand, I found the buses to be the most convenient. We took local buses most of the time and these were pretty on time and good value for money. Don't expect anything luxurious though.... Of course if you want more luxury, it's available at a higher price tag.
Thailand was/is cheap and I'm sure Vietnam and Cambodia will be too (haven't been to those two, but from what I hear). I think I spent about 700 EUR in 2000 in about 2.5 weeks in Thailand. And I felt like I was a big spender too, you could do it with less back then pretty easily. South Korea and Hong Kong on the other hand are quite expensive, but if you can stay with friends in both those places that will cut down on one of the biggest expenses!!!
Hope that helps somewhat; I'm sure others will be along with more up to date advice
As for Vietnam I think it is even cheaper then Thailand, best thing too is you can bargain for anything, even hotel rooms!
Most people travel around Vietnam by bus, but I wouldn't say it's a very pleasant way of travelling, bad road, even worse drivers & very long! Saying that it is very cheap to travel this way. I didn't try the train, but have heard it takes as long to travel by train as it does by coach. Internal flights with Vietnam Airlines can be pretty cheap & will save you heaps of time.
Cambodia was a little more expensive. The road from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is pretty good & I found the coaches were quite well run. Do not take a coach/taxi back to Poipet (border town on border of Thailand) road is the worst I've ever been on & this was the dry season, it's even worse during the rainy season.
If you have any questions regarding Vietnam, Cambodia or Thailand, please feel free to ask.