I am in the process of planning a RTW trip with a friend starting Jan next year and lasting rougly four months. We are planning on the following:
LDN to Beijing on Trans Mongolian Express (15 days)
Beijing and northern China (1-2 weeks)
SE Asia (1 month)
India (2-3 weeks)
Fiji (1-2 weeks)
Peru (3 -4 weeks)
We are in two minds about Australia at the moment?
If we went we would only have a week or two. Is this enough time or is it better to skip it altogether and focus on the other places?
If it is worth going, then where would it be best to go (bearing in mind we can only fly in on the ticket we want to either Sydney or Brisbane).
I would be very grateful for some help. I know Australia is one of THE backpacker destinations but is it unmissable?
Great places, strange route though. If four months is all you've got I'd be tempted to stick with it and go back to Australia another time. A week most definitely isn't enough - except perhaps for a good 'city-break' in Sydney.
My partner thought Oz might be 'dry and boring'. How wrong we were! Nine weeks later, we were desperately sad to leave. We might not have done if it hadn't been for the lure of two months in NZ as compensation.
There is absolutely nowhere else on this planet the same as Australia and, although it seems like everybody goes there, it is with good reason. But you shouldn't really contemplate anything less than a month. And you will want more.
hey yah. 4 mths to look around is quite tough i would say. 1 mth for SEA?! its very very tough, cos there's a lot to do. i would say 2 mths for SEA, that means, extending the whole trip. why not give yourself 6 mths, at least you dont have to rush here and there to see attractions.
AUSSIE - a week is definitaly not enough. i took 3 weeks to see victoria, and even so, i havent see much. there have this spirit in the air, that is kind of infectious. hahah. they are pretty lay back, which makes you wanna stay in a cafe and slack! so yeah. watch out for that!
the whole of aussie, probably take 1 - 2 mths, and that is the minimum. you wouldnt want to be some crazy dudes, staying in melbourne for 6 mths.
Australia is unmissable, but given you only have 1-2 weeks, I think you will have to skip it this time around and wait for a future trip where you can allocate considerably more time. Your whole 4 months in Australia wouldn't be enough to see the whole country and take everything in, let alone getting a taste in only a week or two!
I think that the times you have allowed for the regions is rather tough as well, maybe make Peru 3 weeks and then add a week on to South East Asia, because you could only just see a little bit of Thailand and go the whole length of Vietnam, get a 3 day 2 night Mekong Delta tour to Cambodia and rush through Phnom Penh and Siem Reap getting an Air Asia flight back to Bangkok in that time (and that would be very rushed as it is). I did something similar but it was extremely rushed with very little time for any relaxation and always meant maximising my time by getting the earliest or latest buses or early or late planes. Like to save time you could get an Air Asia flight from Bangkok-Hanoi and then go overland through Vietnam to Cambodia and then get another Air Asia flight from Phnom Penh-Bangkok. Those flights will save you a lot of time and if you book when a sale is on and in advance the flights can be very cheap. Mine were actually cheaper than the cost of going overland that same distance, but that was in early last year but booked in late 2004.
Have a great trip whatever you decide on.
[ Edit: Edited on Apr 26, 2007, at 3:32 PM by aharrold45 ]
You could always just take a short visit to somewhere such as the Gold Coast and chill on the beach and check out the theme parks, or Melbourne for city sights. Both places have the opportunity to get into nature just an hour or 2 away, and maybe it'd be a nice little taster of the country. Although, as per the other comments, 1 month for SEA is really cutting it fine, so you might use up your possible "Aussie time" extending your visit there. I'd say re-assess it during your trip if you can
Forget the Gold Coast recommendation, that's really pathetic part of Australia. But Melbourne, Sydney and in between (nature) is nice for a couple of weeks.
Have fun! Michael.
You and your friend are certainly in a rush. I am wondering why you are travelling. Is it to experience different cultures, scenery, languages, cuisine or something else? Depending upon what you hope to experience or see, I would also like to add to the majority advice, to skip Australia this time round. It needs the four months+ itself, with a break in Asia on both the outward and return flights. Australia covers roughly the same area as Europe or USA.
I would also add that from my experience, 5 weeks spent in Peru, was definitely not too long (and this was an organised trip, where one did not have to worry about/spend time, finding accommodation or transport), especially if you include the Ballestas Islands, Nasca, Chaucilla cemetery, Arequipa, Chivay and Colca valley, Lake Titicaca and Huaraz area, which many tourists miss, concentrating on Cusco and Machu Picchu.
Wherever you end up going, enjoy and keep safe.
only my veiw mate.
i did a month on oz and was no where near long enough.
you could spend a week in most places and still not see it all. brisbane, sydney (ha and go see james), the reef and even the gold coast has some nice of beaten places mate, depends on what floats your boat.
do yourself a favour, dont try and cram too much into your trip, you may not have time to see the best bits.
dont skimp on oz. if it means you miss it this time so what! make sure you go next time mate.
No not enough time for Oz. Do justice to the places you plan to visit, don't try to do too much - you'll burn out.
Why not also bypass Fiji & do a bit more in South America this time.
Come back and do the South Pacific another time, you can then experience the variety of destinations that Oz offers and, you should also include New Zealand. Come back for a couple of months minimum during Feb - Oct for the best travelling time in this area.