Hiiiii to anyone that can help!!
We are a couple of 21 years old from england, traveling China, the whole of south east asia and australia starting from may 14th. We are getting SCARED now as we have never done anything like this before and could really do with some tips! Does anybody know the best ways of transport around theses places? we have been told train is the best means of transport?? Also could anybody recommend any hostels or any attractions or activities which would be good to go too? FINALLY...anyone around these places around these times?? Were in china and the rest of asia for 3 months, then on the 14th of aug we fly to melbourne and travel up the east coast!! if anyone is around at these times let us no!!!
PS does anybody know how to sort out visas, as we have nooooo idea!?!
Sinead and James
[ Edit: Edited on 24-Feb-2012, at 05:47 by sinead2012 ]
The rainy season starts June-July in Asia and you might get dry weather and you might get rain day after day.
For visas you need to go to the embassy of that country with your passport and a few extra passport sized photos and take money enough to cover the visas. Collect them a few days later. I don't know if China still asks but last time I went, the embassy wanted my itinerary so I made one up as to where and what dates. They don't check on you. Visa service is often morning only. You can do it by post if too far away. Check online for your nearest embassies and their details. You will not need a visa for Thailand if you arrive by land (15 days free) or by air (30 days free). Malaysia and Singapore are OK too.
Distances are great in China and other parts of Asia and Australia so unless you like endless days watching boring scenery from trains, take a flight. In China I found them little more than rail travel in cost. I also found I could pop into an airport and pick up a flight within a short time but this may not always be possible. Asia has some budget airlines like AirAsia which are best booked early as possible as prices go up if left late. Plane tickets are cheaper if bought before arrival in Australia.
For attractions and accommodation, you need to be specific on locations. Cheaper end accommodation can be booked with hostelbookers, hostelworld, travellerspoint and the like. asiarooms is pretty good for Asia. You can find budget accommodation on the internet by just typing budget accommodation and the destination into a search engine. For attractions, type in destination and either attractions or tourism.
China has China Travel Bureaus (tourist offices) in some towns and I found them to be good; Speaking English, arranging reasonable priced accommodation, suggesting attractions and booking tours, etc.
Remember, anywhere in Asia - Patience and manners, no matter what the provocation.
From Melbourne, I popped over to Tasmania as Hobart is only a short hop away by plane. As well as the main cities, do check out the Gold Coast on your way north from Melbourne.
When you get back, you'll wonder what you were scared about. These are all well travelled areas by westerners and there will be lots of tourists about. English is spoken by many people you come into contact with in Asia. Your biggest danger will probably be petty theft so do keep your eye on your money and valuables. If you get to Shanghai and someone offers to show you the tea ceremony, turn around and walk away. It's an expensive con game.
Lonely Planet do good travel guides to China, Australia and other countries. They are packed with must know information and can save you money on accommodation as well as make sure you do not miss out on hidden attractions.
Check with a chemist or doctor to see if you need any injections or tablets. If you take malaria tablets, take them as long as asked to. Malaria parasites can still be in your body for days after you get back from your holiday and stopping the drugs too early can mean you get malaria.
Do consider travel insurance. Not expensive but if something unexpected happens, it'll be worth it's weight in gold.
Thank you for your reply, its sooo useful!
Were worried about the rain season now, as when we booked the trip we were told the rain season was in sep? Now that we've recently read about it it seems pretty bad! We're starting in china (beijing) on may the 14th and travelling to hong kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos Thailand & down to Singapore, which we fly from there on the 14th of aug to Australia. Being that youve been to these places do you know how bad it is during the rain season? Any places we should avoid or any reccomendations? Should we expect delays or cool weather? We were told also to expect bad floods in the south of china, do you have any experience of floods?
Okay that's a great help with the visas! Does this mean we literally take a hand full of pictures with us and do the visas when we get to china? Or is it best to send of for the visas by post before hand? We are planning to arrive in Thailand by land but stay a little longer than 15 days. Is this possible and how would we go about it? What about Cambodia or laos would they need visas?
Yes flying does sound like a much better option for some parts of the journeys!
Could you reccomend any particular pieces of clothing or equipment that would be useful or any extra tips for travelling overall? No we have no insurance yet, do you know any good insurers?
Sorry to bogg u down with questions, it's just we have never so much as been on holiday and are quite apprehensive and worried!
Thank you for you help it is very much appreciated!