Me and two friends are off on our RTW trip in May next year and would love to get some advice on the places we have chosen....
In order we have decided to do...
Delhi - 3 days
Singapore - 3 days
Thailand - 2-3 weeks
Vietnam - 2-3 weeks
Australia - 8-9 months
New Zealand - 1 month
Fiji - 3 weeks
Cook Islands - 1 week
L.A, San Fran & Vegas - 2 1/2 weeks
basically im ok with Australia as ive been there before for 4 months and travelled the west coast but we are unsure of Asia mainly.... only because we are not sure of standards, we are all on a tight budget and we dont know what the hostels are like there... i know Asias cheap anyway so im thinking will it be worth staying in a hotel in Asia as we are going to save alot of money by camping in Aus and NZ? also we want to hire some mopeds and travel up to the north of Vietnam, we think this would be a fun way of seeing the country but most people ive told are very concerned by this... is this valid?
Thanks for any help in advance!
You have got your itinerary out of preportion in most areas really. Three days in Delhi is pretty much pointless even going to India. You should at least allocate a week and then you will be able to visit Agra to see the Taj Mahal as well as seeing a couple of other places like Rishikesh. That would atleast make it worth your while paying all that money for the visa to India.
I'd say 2-3 weeks would be OK for Thailand to just see a couple of places, but it's more a dream to believe you are going to see Thailand well in only 2-3 weeks. For Vietnam you should try and allow 3-4 weeks but the closer to 4 th better chance you have of seeing most of the main tourist places.
If you made the Australia part slightly less to allow a little more in those other areas that would make your trip a lot better overall and a lot more worthwhile than the current itinerary would be.
If this is your first big adventure that covers the USA, if you are getting a RTW ticket, you should try and add another flight on and stop for a 4-5 days in New York or maybe a week if you wanted to explore in greater detail.
As for hostels in Asia, I struggled to find any hostels in most of Asia and apart from in Thailand the ones I did were extremely poor quality so it was much better to spend a few dollars more (literally only a few dollars more) and stay in a budget hotel. Most the time in Asia you could find budget hotels for between $5-10USD a night but normally about $5-7USD a night. I didn't see much of Thailand, but I did see pretty much all of the touristy places in Vietnam from north to south.
As for what you are asking about with the moped, I didn't do anything like you are talking about doing in Vietnam, instead I got the open tour bus which was only $20USD from Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City (or the opposite direction). I felt safe pretty much all the time I was in Vietnam and didn't see anything that would suggest you need to be worried about anything dangerous happening (apart from the dodgy driving and constant tooting that goes on). In places like the UK, USA and Australia if drivers drove and carried on like they do in the major cities in South East Asia in particular Hanoi, everyone would have had their license taken off of them (they wouldn't have even passed the test in the first place).
[ Edit: Edited on Mar 18, 2008, at 4:17 AM by aharrold45 ]
Thanks for the help!
With Delhi we only put 3 days as we are flying over it and as our ticket is for a certain amount of miles we felt it was worth getting a taste of India for free (in a round about way) but the Taj Mahal is one of the things i would love to see and if you dont think this would be long enough then again we will rethink.
The reason we allocated 8-9 months in Aus was because we are going to need to work our asses off there to get more money again for the rest of our trip... although its def worth considering cutting that time down now youve pointed out where we are going wrong.
So where did you stay in Thailand? What hostels were nice? I think we are def going to stay in hotels in Vietnam though... as for the mopeds..... im in two minds. if it wasnt at the start of our year trip then i would def do it but because its not i dont want to risk a major accident just for being too adventurous!!
As youve travelled to so many places i would be greatful for your 'must see's' in the countries im going to! its all well and good looking it up on the net but talking to someone who has been there is so much better!!
In my opinion your spending far too much time in Oz and seem to be skimming over the rest of the world.. India is an amazing country & to only spend 3 days in Delhi is such a waste.. as you have to stop there why not spend a month or so exploring a little bit of this incredible continent. I only had five weeks there but managed to visit Delhi, Agra (Taj Mahal), Jaipur, Jodphur & Jaiselmer and I can honestly say that these were some of the best weeks of my whole trip. India is very cheap to live, eat and travel within & the sights you'll see are second to none.
As for South East Asia I'd definitely try & spend more time here.. you must try and get to Laos, another amazing country, very laid back with a really good travelling network, 7 - 10 days will be enough to see the main places. I can't really speak for Vietnam as I spent very little time in the south but I would imagine 4 weeks would be ample time. Are you planning on going to Cambodia??
Thailand is by far one of the easiest countries to travel in.. so no worries there! Its very cheap & there are loads of nice guesthouses to stay in for like £5 - £8 per night, which between three of you is nothing.. if your heading to Koh Phangnan, theres a great place to stay just off Haad Rin called Seagarden.. they have amazing rooms and it's right near the beach!
I'd allow like 3+ months for SE Asia.. it really is an amazing place.. there is so much to see and do & you're money will go alot further than it will in Oz!
Where are you planning to go in Oz? Are you sticking to the East Coast? As you've said you've already been to the West?
A month in New Zealand is adequate.. we had a month there and hired a camper, which is a MUST!! It allows you so much freedom, you can go, do & see whatever you want & you don't have to worry about finding a place to stay.. New Zealand is geared up for Campers so its the perfect way to see this beautiful country.. the South island was my favourite, Christchurch, Dunedin, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Franz Josef, Able Tasman & all the wonderfully quirky towns & breathtaking scenery in between!
Cook Islands.. a week is definitely enough, its incredibly beautiful but very expensive & theres not a great deal to do after a week, definitely recommend hiring some bikes and exploring the back roads of the main island.. there's loads of scuba trips & boat trips out to the more exclusive islands but its super expensive!
If you can try & rent a bungalow for the week, we had this amazing place which we rented with a couple we met on the plane, it was right near our very own private beach & the little old lady who owned it brought us freshly baked bread & banana cake every morning.. if you msg me I'll give you the details, it works out cheaper than staying in a dingy hostel!
Trip to San Fran and Las Vegas is a great idea.. hire a car if you can. LA is ok.. a bit dingy but there's some interesting sites!! Also if your into theme parks, I'd definitely take a trip to 6 flags, incredible!!
Right I've waffled on far too much.. if you have anymore questions just msg me & I'll help you out, em