Alright, heres the basic idea of the my plan. It's very vague which is why I have come to ask for advice on where to go, what to do/see, and how to go about it. Later this year, in July, I am hoping to start a little adventure around Asia and Australia. I will be starting off in Japan for 3 months. I will be in Japan studing Japanese and I'll be staying with a host family. Afterwards I want to take a boat to S. Korea for a couple days, then travel to China, whether it's going through N. Korea or jut taking another boat. I want to travel down the eastern part of China all the way down to southern Asia to Singapore, get on a plane to New Zealand, or possibly stop in Indonesia for a few days, no reason why, just stop and hang out with anyone else I might meet at a hostel there. Then from New Zealand to Perth, Australia. Travel along the southern coast of Australia to the eastern coast to Brisban
e, then fly back to Singapore to continue my trip around Asia. This time traveling north and visitng central Asia, like parts of India, and western China. And after all that travel up to Russia grab a train to Moscow, and fly home.
So as you can see, there is a lot of countries I would like to visit. I have no intention of always traveling by car, in fact, I would like to travel as much as possible by biking, walking, or taking a train. (The train for long distances) I am allocating probably 8 months to a year in traveling. I have no intention of seeing EVERYTHING, I more so enjoy seeing the sites, visiting new places and just relaxing. I have no people joining me on trip so... If I'm out of money, I'm screwed. Actually I was hoping, while in Australia, to get some odd jobs for a few weeks and getting payed cash. Not a lot of money, but it will really help.
Now here is where I would like input from everyone else. I need suggestions in where to go, where to visit, what food to try, good places for hostels, travelling advice. (ex. Don't travel by foot through N. Korea, they will shoot you thinking you're American) I'm kidding. Advice on how to travel, like packing, what to bring, what not to, what I should prepare for or be worried about. And so on. So any input would be greatfully appreciated thanks!
And no i'm not going to the middle east, I'd rather stay out of the war zones.
Taking a ferry from South Korea to mainland China will be advisable. Going "through" North Korea isn't really feasible and taking a tour for North Korea (can't go in without one) will cost you about 200 USD/day.
Travelling by train (especially overnight sleeper) is one of the most economical ways to travel in mainland China.
Stay well clear of China in the 1st weeks of May and Oct.
Why avoide the first week of October and May? My penpal said their national holiday in the first week of October? Something I should know about it? And ya, I've been figuring that N. Korea would be a bad idea. And I haven't been able to find a hostel in Fuzhou
Well, first of all, I would say this is far more than a 8 month trip if done properly and with the spontenaety that it seems you want. Is this also including your three months in Japan?
Travelling from Japan, down the East Coast of China to SEA and ending in Singapore will take you 3 months if you take the most direct route and dont stop for more than a day or two in the interesting places. If you plan to visit some beaches along the way, hang out in towns that are interesting, actually get to visit the countries you are travelling through, and not feel like you are on the bus the whole time, then I would plan for 4-5 months for this lag of the journey. For NZ, if you want to take your time to see stuff on both islands (can't miss the South) than a quite trip around the country will take a month minimum. If you want to take the time to do some hiking, get into the nature, and really see it, then 2-3 months is a good amount of time for NZ. The Perth-Brisbane trip should also take you at least 2 months, and if you plan to work, I would say 3-4. Keep in mind that a Working Holiday Visa is very easy for Canadians to get, and so you can work legally for a year while there. Also keep in mind that alot of the easy-to-get-with-little-commitment backpacker jobs follow the resort/tourist seasons and the fruit picking seasons so consider where you want to be and when.
Then back to Singapore, it will take you another couple months to get up to China, though maybe you can go faster since you've already gone through it. From China through Tibet and into Nepal and India will take you another month or two, especially if you want to stop and enjoy the himalayas in Nepal. Then there's India, which requires a month for a quick highlights tour, or 6 months to get the full tour and really get to know the place.
Then I have no idea about going from India to Russia and I don't even know what kind of route is possible, but Im sure it will take at least a month if going overland.
So there it is, with this route, you are looking at a bare minimum of 11 months for a trip (not including Japan) that will be mostly travel with little time to relax and enjoy the places you are visiting. Or it'll be just visiting one or two towns in each country. If you actually want to take the time to see at least a few of the highlights of these countries, get to know the place, and do any activities like hiking, short tours, relaxing on beaches etc...then I would say plan on 18 months as a minimum:
Japan - Singapore - 4 months
NZ - 2 months
Australia - 3 months
Sing-China - 3 months
China - Nepal - 2 months
India - 3 months
India - Russia and home - 1 months?
As far as your other questions go, what food, where to stay etc....they can be figured out once you figured out where you are going. There are cheap hotels in every small town in Asia so that's never a problem, and there are an abundance of hostels in NZ and Aus. A good guidebook, like Lonely Planet, will help you out with most of the little details like that.
Oh and those 2 weeks are even worse in Japan than in China. It means that almost the entire population is out travelling. Sold-out trains and accommodation, less discounts for plane tickets and accommodation, people everywhere stepping on your toes and elbowing you in the ribs. You already have enough to deal with on your 1st trip to China with the language barrier, culture shock and any possible jet-lag, without adding those to the mix. Trust my advice and do yourself a huge favour, please.
oh crud, my bad. Sorry aobut that, I included the 3 months in Japan with the 8-12 months traveling >.< Sorry. I wasn't actually including the Japan trip in the 8 months. The 8 months around Asia would eb after Japan. I will be staying there with a host family till I leave, September 29, but I could probably get my host family to let me stay for another week or too. :P I'm gonna try to stay with the family I stayed with the last time. And I was actually hoping to spend most time in China, I have a few penpals there I was hoping to meet. And after looking over it a bit more I would probbaly try to take, by bus or train, through my trip up to Russia, then to Moscow. I wasn't going to go too far into India either. Going to India would have been just so I could say I went there. :P lol
Thanx for the advice on the estimated time line. How much do you soppose this will cost me. And ya, I like to be a little spontaneous on what I do. I don't really like it when there is a fixed time or event or activity planned. And if it will take me longer than so be it. I'm willing to spend more time out there. I guess the 8-12 month thing was a little ignorant. Well even so, I still have 7 months that I can plan for before leaving Japan for the rest of Asia. I have plenty of time to look up places. I already have few destinations and ideas of where I want to stay.
In another forum where I asked the same question all I got chewed out for being too general in my question. I never meant to have any specific questions yet. I just decided after about of month of debating whether or not to go this year or next year. So I posted my "general" question on a few sites. :P You've been the most help so far.
That's strange then, I don't think I've seen you on any of my other few travel forums, and the ones that I'm on are pretty major. However I'm just on perhaps one particular branch of each though.
Which travel forums are "yours"?
Consider travelling to Sabah, Malaysian part of Borneo. I am sure you will like it. Lots of rainforest, diving and snorkelling spots, beautiful seaside lodges, beaches, mountains and wildlife.