Me and my friend are planning a world backpacking trip and part of it consit's of traverling through Asia.
We are coming from Europe where we plan to work and earn some more cash ontop of what we are saving now.
My main question is can anyone suggest the best route through Asia coming from Europe and the best way to get from country to country. We havn't really set a limit on how long we want to spend in Asia.
I have already began researching Visa's in all the country's, cost and the different types available, but any extra insights would be grately appreciated.
Of course there are several routes which all have their positive and negative aspects.
The northern route could take you in one journey from Moscow to Beijing, requiring two single visas and from China you can easily travel overland to Southeast Asia overland.
The southern route will take you from Istanbul through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan (border?) and into India. But if you want to travel further to Southeast Asia without going through Nepal and Tibet to China, you will have to fly probably because border of India with Myanmar is still not open to travellers if I am correct.
Also Pakistan is maybe a bit tricky these days (see other topics).
Of course you can try to do some detours, for example from Iran northwards through the Stan countries. This requires a lot of (expensive) visas for countries like Turkmenistan (only transit unless you book a tour), Uzbekistan and Kazachstan. And probably Kyrgyzstan if you would like, not necessary though). From Kazachstan you can travel into China again and head eastwards. Or southwards from Kasghar into Pakistan again, but see earlier comment on safety in Pakistan.
Even from Turkey you can go eastwards without having to travel into Iran (visa hassle), by going to Georgia and maybe a side trip to Armenia before going to Azerbaijan. From there you can travel by boat to Turkmenistan again, but make sure your visas are ok. I don't think it is possible anymore to get your visa in Baku, not sure to be honest.
Personally, unless you really want to visit countries like Iran and the Central Asian countries, I would opt for travelling through Russia to China. Especially when you want to spend most time in Southeast Asia, don't want to spend too much money and don't want to hassle too much with visas. On top of that you can go to India pretty easy by travelling overland via Tibet and Nepal. And then fly into Southeast Asian country.
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 8, 2008, at 12:44 PM by Utrecht ]
Hi what route would you recommend for travelling Tibet - Nepal?