myself and two of my friends have booked our rtw travels, leave october this year, leaving for approx 10 months, route is:
london-beijing//hong kong-bangkok//singapore-perth-ayres rock-cairns//sydney-aukland-santiago//rio-london...
as this is the first time either one of us has done anything like,, any advise would be grateful... best places to go in each of these countries, things to do etc.
and also does anyone know of any good insurance companies that will give decent quotes??
When in Chile, if you have time it'd be good to go down the far south of Chile to Patagona. It is an extremely long way down from Santiago but is meant to be really spectacular, so if you have more than a week or so to spend in Chile that'd be a good place to visit. In Brazil, A place I found nice was Foz da Iguacu (Iguazu Falls on border of Brazil, Argentina and very close to Paraguay). From there you could visit Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil all in a few days if you wanted to say you've stepped foot in those countries and as a UK citizen you are lucky enough to not need a visa for Paraguay like most of the major developed countries do. I wouldn't say that Paraguay is exactly that fantastic, but Argentina especially Buenos Aires and the southern part are very nice although in Buenos Aires you'd need to be careful of the thiefs that are rampant there, just like you will in Rio De Janiero. I'm unsure of what the // means in your itinerary if it means you stop there and then travel overland to the next place, but I hope it doesn't, because you'd be missing a good chance to do a lot of nice overland travel. Even if it does I suppose you could get a cheap Air Asia flight from Bangkok-Hanoi(Vietnam and then work your way overland down to Saigon, do a Mekong Delta Tour to Phnom Penh/Cambodia. Then do a bit of a tour in Cambodia for seeing Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville if you like the beach and a swim in really warm waters. Then you could try and make your way to Laos and back down to Bankok. Then if the // means overland then you'll need to go down to Singapore. If you did something like I have written, you'd want to try and plan it fairly well especially seeing you need to apply for a Vietnam visa in advance and that requires an arrival date (it doesn't matter if you arrive later than the date given, but you can't arrive earlier)
In Australia you have chosen a few of the less chosen to places on the backpacker trip, but you are going to see the best places that most miss out. I'm unsure how your ticket is working, but if you fly in to Perth and then some time later fly from Perth-Ayers Rock/Uluru, you'll probably be doing a large amount of backtracking if you are to see the best of Australia. Like going from Perth-Kununurra is a long way and to get all the way back down to Perth for a flight to Ayers Rock would take weeks if using public transport or trying to hitch hike. I think as a minimum you should try and make you way up the coast of Western Australia as far as Broome, but making sure to also go a bit off the direct route and see Monkey Mia where you can feed dolphins if that is your thing. I haven't looked in to the cost of buses and airfares recently, but it might even work out cheaper booking a flight on Virginblue from Broome-Perth than having to backtrack all that way by public transport (assuming you booked well in advance).
In Beijing you should definitely go and do the trip to go the Jinshaling-Simatai 18km day hike along the Great Wall of China. That was definitely the highlight of my time in beijing area, that section is far nicer than the Badaling section which is the main touristy part. It is especially nice if you are keen on your photography. Be warned though, you'll need to take a decent supply of food and water, because it is very very exhausting especially if you didn't get a chance to have breakfast due to nothing being open when you left Beijing. Man those last kilometres nearly killed me, I hardly had enough energy to move my legs and not even enough to lift my arms above my head to do the zipline thing which looked really cool. Those last 200+ huge steps going skywards are a killer!
Your trip looks really great, I wish I could go on another trip, but I'm stuck here for probably another 1-2 years saving for my next big one.
Have a great time.
Try the BMC - British Mountaineering Council - for insurance.
I couldn't find any holes in their policy and they were half the price of the big names.
PS Look through small print to make sure stuff like riding motorbikes etc is covered - if you think you need it.
Hi,, yeah the // in the itinery means travelling overland to the next destination,, the time scale we looking at is
6 weeks overland beijing to hong kong,
1 month overland bangkok to singapore,
4 weeks in perth,
1 week overland alice springs to ayres rock,
3.5 month overland cairns to sydney,
1 month travelling about NZ,
then we booked for 6 weeks from santiago to rio to go home but this can be stretched out for approx 3.5 month depending on money situation by that time.
these decent time scale so far or are we spending to long or to short time in any of these places??
I think in some sections of your itinerary, you have got it just right, others too short and others way too long. If you are planning on seeing anything in South East Asia other than Thailand, Malaysia and Sinagpore ie going around rather than just down, you should definitely try and fit a minimum of a few more weeks in. I usually rush through places seeing a lot in a limited time, but Vietnam is worth a minimum of 3 weeks if you go there and Thailand, well that could be worth a month too. If you have only got plans to go from Bangkok south stopping at places, then a month should be alright.
I haven't done an overland trip from Beijing-Hong Kong, but I have been to both places and in my opinion Beijing deserves about a week. I do reckon that 6 weeks would be long enough, but have you looked in to the visa for China? When I went to China in 2005 the visa was only allowed to be valid for a maximum of 30 days, so if that hasn't changed then your 6 weeks might have to be cut to 4 weeks in China proper and then a bit of time in Hong Kong where you won't need a visa if you hold a UK passport.
3.5 Months to go from Cairns-Sydney is way too long when you only allow 1 month in Perth/Western Australia (assuming you aren't planning on working along the way down). If you think that the distance from Cairns to Sydney is probably less than the distance that you have got 1 month for in Western Australia, it puts it a bit more in to perspective. If you are also planning to go from Sydney down to Melbourne and maybe a trip to Tasmania in that 3.5 months, then it wouldn't be too long. Western Australia has so much beauty hidden, so many incredible sites to see, arguably the best beach in the world and hundreds more top beaches are in Western Australia, unique experiences ie feeding dolphins, swimming with Whalesharks etc all in Western Australia. I don't live in Western Australia either, so I am not being bias with what I say about it.
I think unless you are planning on doing the whole East coast rather than just as far south as Sydney, you should look at taking 3-4weeks off of the East Coast section and add that to the West Coast section.
I don't know if you could do it on your ticket, but maybe you could look at landing in Perth then going overland to Broome and get a flight from Broome to Ayers Rock. That would allow you to get far up the wonderful north of Western Australia and not have to backtrack all the way back down south to Perth to get a flight. It might be too late to do that anyway if you have already booked your tickets.
3.5months in South America if your money lasts that far would be great. You should be able to see a lot of things in that time, so just be careful with your money for the prior bits of your trip to be sure you can make your money last that long.
Have a great trip.
[ Edit: Edited on Apr 23, 2007, at 5:29 AM by aharrold45 ]