I am planning a trip for around a year with my boyfriend, hopefully starting next Oct.
My family and friends think I am taking on too much and am being over ambitious, so I was wondering if there is anyone who has done anything similar who can give tips, advice and reassurance!
The (very) basic plan is
start in Tibet
travel through china
then finish in Japan.
Please let me know if you have advice about routes etc
and how much roughly per day i should budget...
Looks like a good plan. I think a year would be good to cover all that.
You can do much of it overland - from Tibet to Indonesia. Time wise I would plan something like:
Tibet/China - 2 months
Vietnam - 1 months
Cambodia - 2 weeks
Thailand - 1 month
Malaysia - 2 weeks (more if you want to hop over to Borneo)
Singapore - couple days
Indonesia - 2 months
I don't know much about the Philippines or Taiwan, but I would guess you would want a couple weeks in Taiwan, and at least 2 or 3 weeks in Philippines depending on how much beach time you want. So maybe that's another 1 - 1 1/2 months. For many people, time in Japan is directly related to budget since it's the most expensive place in Asia. I think if you want just a quick trip to see most of the major highlights you can do it in a well planned 2 weeks. 3 weeks will give a chance to see a few more less known places, and if you can afford a whole month, you certainly won't run out of fantastic things to see.
So that's about 9-10 months to see all that. But you will probably find a few places that you want to spend a bit more time in. Thailand's very popular and you could easily spend two months there. You've also missed Laos on your list which I recommend you visit for a couple weeks. Tibet is an interesting place to start since it's not the most direct place in Asia to fly in to. You may want to consider flying into Delhi and going overland through Nepal to Tibet which can add another couple months on to your trip.
When planning your trip, weather may be something to consider. Though most of Asia can be visited anytime of year, some places are better at certain times so you maybe want to figure out if there are any times you want to avoid.
For budget, it will vary quite a bit throughout the region. Southeast Asia is very cheap and $30 a day will allow you to live very well. I've always found $20/day quite comfortable, especially when splitting costs with a partner. Southwest China was only barely more expensive, though from what I understand the cities along the coast are much more expensive. I can't really help with the Philippines though I'm told it is similar value to the rest of Southeast Asia. Japan will be your big expense, and will probably run you 3 times more than Southeast Asia, probably more like $60-70/day on a tight budget.
At this point I don't know what else to advise. It's definitely a good plan, and it's a well trodden route. I don't think it's too ambitious, and if I could do it all over again for the first time I would do something similar. Feel free to contact me with me with any more specific questions as you continue to plan.
Just want to second the motion that you shouldn't miss Laos, lovely contry...happy planning!!
So pleased to see you are planning on visiting Indonesia and I second the other poster who mentioned 2 months- well that is the minimum if you really want to experience this incredible country.
You are more than welcome to send me a private message with your email and I can send you maps and details of Java and Sumatra and Aceh to help you with your planning.
Pamela who has been to Indonesia 9 times since 1997 and spent 5.5 months there in 2006.
Thanks so much for all your replies!
You have made me feel a lot more confident in my plans.
Degolasse and Buffalo- I hadnt really considered Laos, but will deffo look into adding it to our trip,
also, thanks Degolasse for the advise for the starting point, ideally I want to start somewhere cheap to fly into and in the right direction for the trip, Nepal is a real possibilty, where would you recommend in Nepal as somewhere that will be easy to travel from overland to Tibet without adding too much time to the trip?
I have an awful lot of planning to do! So will take you up on your offer and ask you more questions later in the planning stages! Thanks
pPamela- I am really excited about the Indonesia part of our trip, I will deffo contact you for more info, thanks
Wow, a trip around Asia for a year.. that means no work and no pressure and stuff like that for 365 days. I am so envious. I really wish I could go back to the times that traveling is very easy and I could do it whenever I wanted... anyways, in those times that I was actually traveling I enjoyed a lot of the Philippines and Thailand... one thing that I enjoyed most about this two countries are their food... if you would be going to the Philippines, definitely don't leave without trying out their balut and in Thailand, their soup with Tom Yum...
Certainly, I would recommend you to include the Philippines in your travel itinerary. The country is RAW as far as tourism is concerned, but it can be your most rewarding trip ever with it's 7,107 island-pearls that are phenomenal and incomparable.
The good thing about the Philippines is variety. It has mountains to climb, dive spots (amazing corals, aquatic life, wrecks, submerged cemeteries), several kilometers stretch of talcum-fine white sandy beaches, surfing destinations, historical places like Vigan, Intramuros and Corregidor with rich spanish influence, whale-watching adventure in the Southeastern island, trip up the volcano's crater within a lake within a volcano, within a lake (!), rice terraces which when put end-to-end translates to a half-way trip around the globe, trip to El Nido (the world's best but underrated beach, which is about having a beach to yourself against the backdrop of a virgin environment), the Bohol island that features lunch by the river in a boat complete with seranade, the trip to the Chocolate hills, the island's white sandy beaches, adventure parks and the famous Tarsier (the smallest monkey in the world, the size of the fist), the camiguin island with volcanoes, hot springs, water falls, island beach away from everything else, ... oh, i can go on and on to tell you how beautiful and magnificent the Philippine countryside is and the islands that are impossible to cover in one lifetime
You just need to be in the Philippines to discover the paradise i'm talkin about. And to top it all, the people are warm and loving and hospitable. One month though is not enough because it's infrastructure is crude.
For your travel plans, google OUR MELTING POT MAKATI CITY. This hostel is run by very helpful people who are just as willing and able to provide you with all the insider info on how you can maximize your trip to the Philippine archipelago. Good luck then!