Hi All Im Luke
Im from Bristol in England and travelled to a few places but only on resort holidays so not really exspirenced real travel.
Im 19 years old and really want to go to Thailand and travel there for a few months then travel through China. Thing is non of my friends really have an interest in traveling some say they will go in the future but i dont think they will so i will be going on my own when i have saved enough money. I just want to ask people who have been before what should i expect it to cost me for 3 months in Thailand then 3 months traveling china ?
I also wanted to know how easy is it to meet people while your traveling? I
always have this worry that i will go on my own and end up not talking to anyone and be on my own the whole time lol.
Do you have to book visas before you go? And what airlines do quite cheap but open air tickets? I have lots more questions I dont plan to go till summer 2010 currently working and trying to save some money and need to get as much advise as i can.
Sorry lots questions lol
You should be aware of the weather before booking. Rainy season in Asia can mean anything from a heavy shower which dries up in minutes to a few days of very heavy rain. Don't wait for your friends or you'll never go. I have travelled around the world on my own without too much trouble. There are plenty of people you will meet on the way but beware of deadbeats and thieves, both of whom will prey on you. Also beware of pick pockets, notably in Bangkok. Do get yourself a few credit cards for emergencies, even if you don't use them and cut them up when you get back home.
Are you flexible with travelling dates? If I was going, I would have tried for December to February in Thailand then March to May in China, working my way north from Hong Kong. If you were in Thailand now, you could be on the beach somewhere, with temperatures over 30.C .
I would say pick up the Lonely Planet guides for both countries (they come out at irregular intervals and new guides may be out before you go). Get some good maps. China has China Travel Bureaus in some towns and the people there are very helpful and speak some English. Thailand has TAT (Tourist Authority of Thailand) bureaus scattered about. Both places have travel agents you can use.
You will need visas (from their embassies in London. Check their sites on the internet). I have had a Thai visa for 3 months. The Thai police are very strict on visas and overstay can cost 500 baht a day. In very rare cases (maybe someone is not paying protection), tourists can go to jail for a few days for overstay. You should have your passport on you at all times (in a money belt is good) and a copy (separate) of all relevant pages is helpful in case worse comes to worse and it is lost or stolen. For China, when you apply for a visa, they will want to know where you are going, when you will be there, etc. Bureaucracy. I made up places and dates and didn't stick to them. It is not realistic unless you are on a tour.
Check out The Mail on Sunday which has lots of travel adverts and phone up some who are offering round the world flights as they tend to be more knowledgeable. Be aware that you can (for instance) fly in to Bangkok and fly home from Shanghai. Check around for prices and destinations before booking.
Distances are great and railways are not always cheap in both countries. Airasia (the Malaysian version of Ryanair) is good for internal in Thailand and a cheap flight to Hong Kong. You can book online but get it right first time. No refunds.
How much money? As much as you can get (the pound has fallen a lot since Brown came to power and no one knows what the financial situation will be in 2010). If you stay in only a few places, it can work out cheap (especially in Thailand). If you travel about a lot, your costs will go up. You can eat cheap in both places. Book accommodation online before getting to different places, if possible. Get yourself a good digital camera and invest in a few large memory cards. People who have downloaded cameras into computers in Thailand have sometimes caught a virus on their camera and sometimes lost all their photos.
Many thanks for your advise.. lots and lots to plan!