My fiance and I are hoping to travel to either Indonesia or Thailand in July/August for 2 weeks.
We are on a (very) limited budget and love the idea of backpacking but are both travel virgins and there are just some questions that cannot be answered by guide books!
How much in £ can we expect to spend?
Is it safe?
Is it a good idea to 'pop our backpacking cherry' with either of these places?
Which would be better to visit?
Is it ok to just turn up without any fixed plans?
There are so many more I could ask but all in all any advice you could give would be great.
Thank you so much,
Rachel and Steven
Well not sure how much money because you are not really sure where you are going. I would say to take a small carry on bag each. Whatever you can fit is what you take. Avoid the hassle of large heavy pack, you will only bring things you dont need. It is easy since you are only going for 2 weeks and you will be only in warm weather.
Thailand/Indonesia is as good as any place to start. Why not? It is tourist friendly and easy to get around. Should be safe as long as you are resonably street smart. (Don't flaunt your money, leave jewelry at home, dont leave your bags alone anywhere, alway lock your door to your room, if you can) You should be fine.
In those places I would just wing it. Setting plans restricts you. You can go and check out different places and negotiate prices, its part of the fun.
as a thai representative i would say yes it is safe to travel here
the budget should be around 1000£ for both of u for traveling in thailand for about 2 weeks. thats not included the plane ticket tho. but i think u can find some deals if u book ahead.
u dont need to have a fixed plan but planning ahead would be very helpful if u have limited of both time and budget. if u need some recommendation about the trip and where to stay just feel free to ask
Thanks both of you, really appreciate your help.
Can't wait! Wish I could go tomorrow!
If you only have 2 weeks i would go for Thailand as it's cheaper to fly to from the UK (and quicker as i don't think there are any direct flights to Indonesia since Garuda has stopped from flying out of the UK) and you will spend less time travelling from place to place than you would in Indonesia. Only down side is that it might be a bit wet in Thailand in August.
Westeastravel are a good place to phone for cheaper flights, also the usual suspects like flightcentre, travelbag.
Also i think it's easer to get things organised in Thailand without having to plan too much in advance, its' very backpacker friendly. The pound is not good against the Thai baht at the moment, but i think you can apply that to the pound against most currencies!!
Hello, I'm sure by now you don't need any more conformation but nevertheless I'd like to back up what the others have been saying here and say that Thailand really is just the perfect place to "pop your backpacking cherry" and in my experience, after traveling there in a group of 4 girls for 3 weeks, it's perfectly safe and easy.
Also, my experience from backpacking around Asia is that most of the time it's fine to just show up at hotels etc without booking ahead. Just be aware that sometimes when you arrive in new places via public transport there will be hustlers swarming around you with hotel-brochures. Most of them are not trying to cheat you, it's just that they can be a bit pushy so you really have to put an effort into "shopping around" and saying "no" until you find the best option. While in Thailand the only place I wished I had booked a hotel in advance was at Koh Phangan during the Full Moon party. Just because it would have been easier in order to find the perfect place, not because it was a problem to find one, we just had to settle for something that was not exactly what we had had in mind.
Also, if you do end up going to Thailand, don't spend too much time in Bangkok is my advice. Go to the islands and some of the natural parks, enjoy the scenery and the smaller villages. Bangkok is ok but after all it's just a city and quite Westernized as such so 2-3 days is in my opinion more than enough there, give the rest of Thailand it's fare share instead.
Do as much research on-line as possible, none of it will be wasted,