Sorry to start two similar topics, but a few things have changed.
I've read a bit more about Vietnam and Thailand and have only just discovered that Vietnam is actually quite a bit safer than Thailand!
But there are a few things I would like to clear up first that are playing on my mind...
Firstly, I will be travelling for between 6-8 weeks. I am 18 years old, but look about 16/17. I have never travelled solo before, and am not the most confident person.
1. Do you think it's actually wise for me to go to these countries considering the above?
2. I'm setting a budget for £20 ($29) per day. Do you think this is realistic?
3. Are there places in Vietnam/Thailand that I should avoid?
4. What places should I definately visit? (I will be spending most of my time in Vietnam), and how much would these cost, roughly?
5. How likely am I to meet likeminded people on my travels?
6. How do I obtain a vias for these countries?
7. What vaccinations will I need, and how long in advance?
Sorry about there being so many questions! I just need to cover as many bases as possible.
First of all, can you expain why you say Vietnam is safer than Thailand? Thailand, compared to most countries in the world, is incredibly safe to travel in, and it is very unlikely that you will come across any trouble. Money related scams maybe, but Thais are generally gentle people, and you will rarely be in harms way. Vietnam is very much the same, and your biggest threat there is getting in a car accident.
As for your questions...
1. Yes it's wise. You will be one of thousands and thousands of young solo people wandering around Thailand.
2. 20 pounds is almost twice what I spend in Thailand per day. You'll be fine.
3. Most of Thailand and Vietnam is very safe, and any place of touristic interest is probably fine. There are the odd places that you should avoid, like maybe some of the very South of Thailand which occasionally have some skirmishes, but as I said, they are largely off the tourist map and are of little concern to you.
4. Places in Thailand and Vietnam that you should defiently not miss - Halong Bay, Sapa, Hoi An, Hanoi, Mekong Delta, Chaing Mai, and any Island in the South.
5. The chances of meet like minded are pretty much garanteed. You will laugh at this question once you are there.
6 Thailand visa is free and you get it when you arrive at the airport in Bangkok. Vietnams can be obtained easily in Bangkok. Just head to a travel agent on Khao San Road.
7. For vaccination, head to your travel doctor. They are trained pros and are qualified to answer this question. Seriously, go talk to one.
Dave answered most of your questions, send me another PM if you still have questions. Mike
i had to pay 35 euro for my thailand visa through the local thai embassy, contact your local embassy for info
[ Edit: Edited at Aug 21, 2006 9:50 AM by liamo ]
Where are you from? Aussies travel free in Thailand cos we're cute But can't speak for other nationalities. Vietnam you need a visa though. Degolasse didn't mention Hue in Vietnam, I don't think you should miss it! Especially not if you like food, history, scenery - and if you don't you may as well stay home Prices in vietnam are about us$1 for breakfast or beer, lunch and dinner generally depends on where you eat. But I found food was yummy at any price - have breakfast pho at least once. The main way to blow your budget is to buy stuff you don't want - the trap I fell into was to find myself haggling over something I wasn't 100% sure I wanted until I felt obliged to buy it! People can be very persistent, especially in Nha Trang and the bigger cities. Stay in Hoi An as long as possible, it's AMAZING. Thailand costs a little more than Vietnam but still cheap from a western point of view.