Myself & my boyfriend are planning on going to thailand in april of next year for around 3 months. We will be travelling all around thailand but I would also like to see some of the surrounding countries, vietnam, singapore, & (if possible) I would love to see china & japan. I would really appreciate if anybody could give me any information on travelling in aisa, prices, best value, and what is worth seeing. This info would be so helpful as we are trying to budget (and save!) and aren't too sure how much we would actually spend on travel alone.
Thanks a mill!
Myself & my boyfriend are planning on going to thailand in april of next year for around 3 months. We will be travelling all around thailand but I would also like to see some of the surrounding countries, vietnam, singapore, & (if possible) I would love to see china & japan.
I would start from Thailand first. In Thailand there are many travel agencies that often post the prices of their plane tickets to the nearby countries. You can find some good deals on air travel out of Bangkok.
You have to start with a budget! Only you two know how much you have in the till for everything. You have to figure out how much you have available per day for hotels and tours and transportation - separate from you initial plane trip to Bangkok. How much you can spend per night for a hotel will determine what hotels are recommended to you.
For Japan you have to fly. Japan may be the most expensive place to visit. Thailand would be the cheapest. Singapore might be almost as expensive as Japan if you are not careful. You can take land transportation to Laos and Cambodia, from there you can continue by land to Vietnam if you want. Flights to Singapore are usually cheap, however, you can also use a series of trains and busses to eventually reach Singapore via Malaysia.
When you figure out how much you have available to spend then you can work on the other stuff.
Read, read and read some more on these areas BEFORE you leave home! See what interests you and plan your trip in some sort of logical order.
You can get 30 days permission stamp in your passport for free at the airport in Bangkok. If you plan your trip to a nearby country before the 30 days are up, you can get another free permission stamp in your passport when you return to Thailand again.
It depends really on how you intend to travel and what things you like to see. Thailand is almost certainly the cheapest place - that's why it's so popular - plus its people are extremely welcoming.
The normal backpacker route also takes in Malaysia and Indonesia, which could be equally worthwhile, but I haven't been there myself.
We went to China and Japan funnily enough, and really enjoyed it. But Japan ain't cheap. Standard hotels are about twice western prices, so we booked a Ryokan - a traditional guest house, where you can wear the gown and slippers and take a proper Japanese bath. We didn't regret it for a second. In fact it made our stay really authentic. Even this isn't cheap though - still the price of a 3-star hotel in Europe, but four of us shared one room, so it was worth it. I think there are some hostels and YMCA-type places too.
Unfortunately, the cost did limit the length of time we could stay, so we just made the most of it, spending 3 days in Hiroshima too.
China is different. You can find extremely cheap to extremely expensive. We got a hotel (The Capital) right near Tian'anmen Square for $90 a night - again with 2 adults, 2 kids in one room. It was worth it for our short stay, but if you want to stay longer, you might need to be more adventurous and find a hostel. But do your homework particularly well on China before you go.
The big cities like Beijing and Shanghai are very cosmopolitan, but travelling independently through the countryside is not to be taken lightly. China has the biggest gap between rich and poor on the planet and, although the people we met were great, you need to be aware of how wealthy even the average European backpacker is going to look in a country where a year's education (in the countryside) amounts to the cost of one Big Mac - and they can't afford it, so they don't go.
That should not put you off, but research it well. There are some great student organisations who can help you organise things, as they are more likely to speak English.
[ Edit: Edited at Oct 12, 2006 4:09 AM by stevieh ]
Thanks a mill Stevie, & Frosty,
Yeah the main reason for thailand(besides the obvious beauty, and fun to be had!) was the low cost of living. Myself and my boyfriend were planning on going to Australia for a year, to travel, work etc. But decided that we could have a 3 month holiday in thailand for the price of 1 month in australia, if even. My boyfriend really wants to go to Vietnam, & I would really love to see Japan, although I don’t know wether it would be worth it at this time. We really want to make the most of our money, but Malaysia & Indonisia sound lovely, I've looked at other travellers opinions and I just want to go everywere! Did you stay long in thailand? There are so many places I just don't know which to pick to see a bit of everything. CHOICES AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!
Also, frosty, you mention Laos, Ive heard a lot about this, whats it like?