Hey guys. I'm thinking about backpacking around Asia for a few weeks before going home to Canada. I'm in Australia right now.
What is the best way to get around from country to country. Some cities I have in mind are Tokyo, Bejing, Shanghi and Soel. Do they have a good train system there? Or is flying better?
Be more specific. Which countries are you intending to visit?
Deffinately China, Japan, and South Korea. Maybe Vietnam. Any suggestions?
Vietnam is very cheap to travel around by bus, can be a bit crazy though, mad driving, bad roads etc. But still fun. Trains are also easy, although they take a bit a longer. Vietnam airlines also do domestic routes at quite reasonable prices. Depends how much time you have, but you will get more of Vietnam if you travel from North to South or vice versa by bus rather then fly. There's nothing better then looking out your window and checking out the scenery!
Sorry I don't know about the other countries you mentioned.
Flying isnt very expensive, Southern China airlines is reasonable. Make sure you arent being overcharged because you are a foreigner though.
Keep in mind that Beijing can be very cold at this time of the year and pack the right gear. If you have problems with catching taxis, sometimes they wont pick up foreigners or arent allowed to stop in certain streets duck into a hotel and ask the doorman to get you a cab.
If traveling by train there are hard seats and soft seats and no seats. For short distances I have traveled in the "dining car" with my luggage piled at the end of it, which made me very nervous. Loud, smokey and a lot of drinking going on.
Shanghai can be rainy in February - get yourself into the area of the Bund, where there are cheaper hotels, and its a great place to meet people and make friends. There are hostels in the area too. But watch out for pickpockets. There is so much to see in Shanghai ! Well worth the trip there IMO.
For hotels in China and some flights I use elong.net You can save as much as 45% on hotels through them - well worth it, and if there is a problem with the booking and the price when you arrive you just call them up --
if you plan to ga from japan to china you can take a boat between osaka and shangai,
it takes around two days
it s cheap around 175 dollars
it is a good experience and you have time to meet a lot of people.
in japan we stay in kyoto also, it is a very beautifull city you should not skip it if you stay in japan.
gion corner is a goood place to sea geishas. it was less touristic than the hill and very nice.
we stay first in a guesthouse so nice, but it was too hot so we change for another also very nice guesthouse.
i can tell plenty of good place again but it will take too much time.