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Travel virgin!!!

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1. Posted by wales100 (Budding Member 9 posts) 12y

wales100 has indicated that this thread is about Thailand

My girlie and I are soon to embark on a journey involving, in order of visit, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, NZ, Fiji, LA.

We're really looking for ideas, places to go, things to see and do.
When we land in Bangkok we're looking, also, to see Vietnam, Laos, and we'll be overland travelling through Malaysia to get to Singapore.

Any ideas will be greatly appreciated...

Is it worth taking my Lonely Planet book with me? As superficial as it sounds, I'm worried about looking like a duffer if nobody else would be seen dead with such a book while travelling!

I can't think of any more questions, but any info on south east asia, packing (ie, what to take etc) ANYTHING!!!!!!

I know this may seem like an annoying thread, but I really could do with some advice. Nerves are starting to kick in, with a major mixture of excitement too.

Thanks in advance
Matt

2. Posted by stucavs (Budding Member 10 posts) 12y

I would bring as little as possible with you.
Thailand is a great place to buy virtually all you need such as ...
Camera - marginally cheaper here
Malaria pills - cheaper in Bangkok - don't get ripped off by a private travel clinics at home.
Without wanting to sound irresponsible...
remember that if they were to tell you that where you're going is fine, and just if you fall ill get it checked at a decent hospital / clinic as quick as you can, they wouldn't be able to sell you lots of their expensive pills etc.
Clothes / shoes - great variety too.
wash kit stuff - cheaper here
In fact I can't really think of anything that isn't cheaper here in Thailand.
Maybe it's worth investing in a good quality rucksack but apart from that don't worry.

The Lonely Planet can be useful for the getting around sections. As for accommodation / dining recommendations in the Lonely Planet, I'd avoid them or take the advice with a pinch of salt. Look around for yourself, talk to others and don't be afraid to go somewhere that isn't listed. Places that aren't listed tend to be newer, cleaner and trying harder to give good service.

Tip / blatant advertising: When you head to North Thailand don't miss Chiang Dao - http://www.chiangdao.com

cheers
Stuart

3. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 611 posts) 12y

Hi Matt,
stucavs is right about Thailand, it is really cheap, as is most of SE Asia. So you could stock up on clothes and things out there.

Are you travelling just to look cool, or to actually explore the places?
Then why worry what you take? If you do what every other backpacker is doing, you are about as individual as a sheep! There are no two backpacks alike out there.

Two books would be worthwhile - one on SE Asia and one on Oz. I like Lonely Planets personally, as they give an opinion rather than the bare facts. Have a good look around at the different ones before you go.
LP do a really good one called "East Coast Australia" just for that specific (well-travelled) region.
I'd never heard of Noosa before I read that, and probably wouldn't have gone there if we hadn't bought the book. Noosa sticks in our memories now as our first and best Australian beach day, and a beautful little town.
I'd agree about the eating/drinking bit though, and I'd also say that guidebooks are selective about accommodation too. They couldn't possibly fit it all in, so find out for yourself - that's what you're going for isn't it?

4. Posted by HaadRinGuide (Travel Guru 542 posts) 12y

I would recommend taking a couple of Lonely Planets with you. If you start with a Thailand and Australia copy then you'll probably come across a few book exchanges on your travels where you'll be able to trade these once you've finished with them in exchange for guides to Fiji, NZ, etc.

And I wouldn't worry about 'following the done thing' as most backpackers don't really judge people.

5. Posted by wales100 (Budding Member 9 posts) 12y

Stevieh - that stings man!

Course I'm not going travelling to look cool. But surely you must understand, I don't want to be walking into a hostel somewhere, head buried in a LP book, and getting sneering glares from more experienced travellers.

I know where you're coming from, and as I stated in my original post, I know it sounded superficial, but I want all bases covered before we go. You know?

But seriously, cheers for the advice, and after reading back my post, I must have sounded like an image conscious sheep! Wasn't meant to sound like that!!

Emmett70, cheers for your advice too. Its nice to know that there isn't really a judemental feel to travelling.

Stucavs, is Thailand really that cheap? Can't bloody wait then! Got most things this end already, but its good to know that most other things I can get upon landing in Bangkok!

oooooooooooooooooh! I cannee flipping wait!

6. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 611 posts) 12y

Hi Matt,
Didn't mean to sting, just to make you not worry about it!

As for Thailand, myself, partner and two kids used to eat out in Phuket for about £8 including drinks. And that was in the better places!

7. Posted by meowpok (Full Member 44 posts) 12y

Hi Matt

1. Lonely Planets are good, but make sure they are up to date. Many of the places change location quite frequently, I was caught once miserably trying to locate 3 different restaurants, all which have moved!! In the rain...

2. Thailand is cheap if you want it to be. But it can be expensive if not careful!!

3. For Vietnam, the N-S coastline is worth a slow leisurely visit.

4. Singapore...hmm...no offence to anyone...but I am living here at the moment and there really is not much to see (do not get fooled by guide books - things always look very inetresting there), as compared to the other countries u r looking at... so, make it a short day or two thing.

Have a SMASHING time!!!