I have afew very improtant questions i needs to ask you lot, if you can bear with me.
Ive got a flight out to bangkok thailand on the 20th of august.
Im planning on staying round there for 3 weeks to get use to the place befor i am going to head up north to chiang mai. i will then be heading to laos, staying there for around 2 month, till i head off to north vietnam. Ill be travling down vietnam for around 2 month, then thru to cambodia, and eventually end up back where i started. Sorry to bore you but theres more, i will then be heading down to the islands and im gunna try and catch a full moon party at koh phangan which ive heard so much about. after this i want to travel down thru malaysia and finally to singapore i am ok with the visas for these 2 places.
Now for the questions.
> how safe will a lone backpacker be in these countrys?
> will i be ok for the visas, ive worked out that i will be in thailand for around 5 weeks at the start then around 3 weeks at the end, is this possible?
> i know its monsoon season when i arive, im hoping that my route wont guide me round all the countrys at there worst weather times?
> Is any one doing a route anything like this or has done it, and how did you find it?
> ive had afew jabs, but i still need a yellow fever one, is that definatly needed?
> also how easy is it to meet other backpackers to travel with, as im abit nervos about going alone?
If you've managed to read all that then thanks, and all advice will be much apreciated.
I can hopefully answer a few of your questions. firstly the time scale you intend doing it over is cool as you will properly be able to explore the places you are going to without rushing. I did pretty much the same route as you last year and loved it!
Re visas for signapore and malaysia - as a UK passport holder (which I assume you are looking at your profile) you get stamped in on entry to these places so no visa is needed.
Re safety - there are plenty of people travelling alone and its a safe part of the world, but be on your guard for petty crime as you would be anywhere. according to my guidebook violent crime is still fairly rife in parts of cambodia, but i never felt threatened there. I don't think you will have a problem meeting other backpackers - it's a very well trodden route so you'll come across other backpackers in guesthouses, bars etc quite easily.
Your visas for thailand should be fine, again you get stamped in on entry and it doesn't matter if you have 2 visits close together like you will be. for Laos and Cambodia you can get your visa at the borders. for vietnam you could get your visa at the embassy in Vientiane.
I'm not sure how bad the monsoon will be and how it will affect your plans - i know that some of the Thai islands are hard to get to in the rainy seaon because of the rough seas but i don't know a lot about the rest of the region.
i didn't have a yellow fever jab and as far as know you don't need one for SE Asia; I just had Hep A and Typhoid. also have a tetanus booster if you need one. some people also opt for rabies and Japanese encephalitis jabs. also bear in mind that some regions are malarial so you will need to speak to a doctor about getting the appropriate anti- malaria tablets and obviously for advice on jabs too.
hope all this helps a little, send me a personal message if you want any more info, and have a great time!
[ Edit: Edited on Jun 29, 2007, at 3:25 PM by bex76 ]
do u mean ure planning on staying in Bangkok for three weeks? if you are then id think again. I mean Bangkok is great, but i think three weeks is to long there at one time, its to intense.
Anyway, first question...perfectly safe, wont go into detail but i had no problem what so ever, just apply common sense and initative like you would do wherever you go on your own and everyone else will tell you, you'll have no probs at all.
Visas shouldnt be a problem either,I did a similair thing to what you are planning to do. I actually overstayed my visa in Thailand due to working on the tsunami clean up and i just got a fine for every day i was over which i paid on departure.
Yellow fever certificate isnt a requirment at all. but i do believe u can be randomly asked if you have it in some countries and if u dont have it they can make u have it there.i know that is the case in some African countries. be prepared if u do have it, mine set me back 50 squid which i wasnt expecting! at least it lasts ten years though!
when i travelled SE Asia i didnt have one then cus the whole thing as a spur of the moment thing.so i gess the answer to your question is no its not definately needed.
And yes you'll meet loooaads of people in the same boat as you along ure travels. especially in Bangkok when you arrive. Spend some time on ''Kho San road'' which is basically backpacker galore.Never know you might find someone whos going the same direction as you!
Google kho san road you'kk know what i mean.
Anyway,hoped iv helped, ull have the time of ure life, wish i was going again!!
For Malaysia, you'll get a 6-month social visit pass on arrival. As for Yellow Fever vaccination certificate, it is only needed if you are from, or you had visited within the past week, any of the Yellow Fever endemic countries in South Africa and South America. So you can save the money for the jab for something else.
Regarding the monsoon, if you plan to hit the islands on the east coast of Malaysia (Perhentian, Redang, Tioman, etc), I suggest that you either do that area first or do it before October. Monsoon hits the east coast badly from October onwards, and most operators on the islands shuts down their businesses before resuming in March, effectively causing the islands to be closed to tourists during these months.
Unless it is really unavoidable, I suggest that you do NOT even try to overstay in Thailand. Times have changed. Some members here have reported that one could get arrested by the police and be put into police lockup if they're found by the police to have overstayed. They have seen it happened before. Although it is very unlikely that a police will pull you up to check your visa, one would never know about this when the bad luck strikes. If you want to stay longer, just cross over to Malaysia (no limit on the on-arrival visa) for a few days before returning to Thailand.
[ Edit: Edited on Jun 29, 2007, at 6:30 PM by Hien ]
Hien is exactly right. Do not stay 5 weeks on a 30 day entry permit. The penalties are too severe if you are caught; a fine, jail and deportation are possible. You can extend your 30 day entry permit for 7 days, cost is 1,900 baht. Go to an Immigration office before your 30 days are up.
My best advice;
Cut your first visit to 30 days or buy a 60 day tourist visa in the UK before you leave.
Cheers for all the advice guys
I think i will get a 60 day tourist visa befor i go. it seems the easyest way.
and just one more thing, has any one stayed in hostels in any of these countrys and how did you find them, is it safe to leave your belonings in them? i will be trying to budget money to around 150 a week or less!
You really don't need a hostel in many SEA cities. I saw two in HaNoi and they were charging more for a dorm bed that I paid for a single room. You can find a room in VN, Cambodia and most of Thailand for under $10/nite. A hostel may save you $2-3 in a few cities, hardly worth it. Check your LP guide to SEA and you will see many places to stay for reasonable prices. Always have a notebook with you to write down e-mail addresses, room recommendations, transport tips, etc. from fellow travellers. Find out where others stayed, what they paid, likes & dislikes. This is a great way to meet others while on your own. A simple, "Have you been to...?" can lead to a new friend or perhaps travel companion. Be open to others and your trip can go off in surprising directions. I met my GF walking down the street in DaLat. You never know!
In VN, you will have to leave your passport at the front desk, have some large envelopes and leave your air tickets, money, credit cards, etc with the front desk as well. A much better option than in your room. Do not leave anything in your room that you really cannot afford to lose. Have an undergarmet pouch that allows you to carry your valuables with you when going out. Make it difficult for thieves to ruin your holiday.
Have a great trip and send me a PM if you have questions.
Can i ask any one if they have used this company for travel insurance befor, if its reliable and if it is a good price, i am wanting it for 18 months
i used this company for my big trip away and they seemed fine, but I didn't have to make a claim so i suppose that's where it really counts! my friend did have to make a claim though as he lost his camera and he said they were fine. they were by far the cheapest when i was shopping around.
Ye ive noticed they are the chepest, i think im going to use them then, which one did you use out of the diffrent classes?