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Asia or South America???

Travel Forums General Talk Asia or South America???

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1. Posted by graby (Budding Member 33 posts) 2y

Hey everybody!
This is a really vague question I know so I'll try to make it as precise as I can.
I'm currently teaching English in South Korea and come March next year both myself and my boyfriend will be leaving here and maybe travel for a while before looking for a job elsewhere in the world. I guess we are hoping for a 6 month travel trip but it could get cut short if we are offered jobs.

But I can't decide whether to travel around Asia or South America.
I have done the Vietnam, Cabodia, Laos, Thailand route before but my boyfriend hasn't so I know what to expect there with regards to prices. If we do the Asia trip we will be doing those countries but also add on Yunnan province of China, Sulawesi, Bali and Bornean Indonesia in Indonesia, East Timor and Northern India (Leh, McLeod Ganj and Jaisalmer)

I'm not sure of where we would go in South America, but I have been researching a few places, maybe Argentina, Brazil and Chile.

BUT before we begin our travels we will also try to do a CELTA course, we have looked at doing it in Chiang Mai in Thailand or Equador.

I guess what I'm asking is what area is cheaper (both for travel and for the course) and what your reccommendations would be??
I know that of course it's all personal opinions but I'm intrigued as to what you think of each place!

Thanks everybody!!

Posts 2 - 4 were removed by moderators
5. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 814 posts) 2y

I've spent quite a bit of time in South East Asia over the years, and I have been to South America on a shorter trip (2 months). Both are very interesting places to travel in, and really, I don't think it's a matter of which one is better. It just depends on what you are interested in. You might get tired of returning to all the same places that you already have been. So if you return to Asia, I would probably spend less time in those places (though it's hard not to want to return to Vietnam and Thailand), and spend more time in new places. I definitely recommend Yunnan and Yangshuo as well in China. Spend as much time as you can in India - it's hard to really get a feel for it in only a few weeks.

For South America, I highly recommend Peru and Bolivia. I find traveling in those two countries very similar to traveling in South East Asia (of course a very different culture). Bolivia was stunning, and one of my favourite places in the world. Peru was also beautiful and had very friendly people and wonderful historical sights. The only thing missing that would make it perfect is Asian food. One thing that made South America great was that the language is more accessible than in Asia, and with the exception of Brazil, it's the same across the continent. I didn't learn too much in my two months, but I found I was able to pick up a pretty good vocab list and some key grammar - much more than I ever could in Asia. It was a very rewarding challenge to add to my travels.

As far as prices go - Peru and Bolivia are very comparable to Thailand. I think Peru is a bit more expensive, but Bolivia can be cheaper. Chile is significantly more expensive than Asia, and Im' not sure about Argentina and Brazil (didn't make it there).

One factor to consider is whether or not you plan to return to Asia again. If once you leave Korea, that is it for Asia, you might want to see as much of the region as you can before you go. Can't help you with CELTA at all.

I don't know if I really helped a whole lot there, but maybe gave you something to think about.

6. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru 1769 posts) 2y

Not really that much in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Peru has quite a lot to see and there is Ecuador and parts of Columbia as well as Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras. Mexico has become quite violent in places.

Airplane is the best way to get around Central and South America but flights are expensive.

7. Posted by graby (Budding Member 33 posts) 2y

yeah that was my thinking too Deogolasse, we will probably be finished with Asia after this and I guess flights will be much cheaper to Asia too. I guess I have a fear that I will never get the chance to go to South America and it's been a place I've wanted to go to for a while.

Yeah I've cut quite a bit off of the countries that I've already been to, since I've been there before I can kinda pick and choose where to go. So far the rough idea is to go from Chiang Mai into Luang Prabang, then up to northern Laos (never been there) and into China then into Vietnam and Cambodia and then onto the other places.

All of South America sounds really great, but I guess I'm really captivated by the Patagonia region of Argentina, Peru and Bolivia look really great too...central America is another place that I want to travel to (lets face it I want to go everywhere) haha

ahhhhh decisions decisions!!
Thanks for your input guys!

8. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 624 posts) 2y

Quoting Cyberia

Not really that much in Argentina, Brazil and Chile.

How in the Name of All That's Holy can there be 'nothing' in 3 countries of at least 215 million people?

Quoting Cyberia

Mexico has become quite violent in places.

And life is calm and unchanged in most other parts of the country away from the US border-what exactly is your point?

Quoting Cyberia

Airplane is the best way to get around Central and South America but flights are expensive.

Busses go everywhere and are relatively cheap.

Graby-if you want the Best of South America go to Colombia Click Here for details and ignore the ignorant naysayers who can't even spell the name of the place.

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Jun-2012, at 21:35 by SamSalmon ]

9. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3606 posts) 2y

Quoting Cyberia

Not really that much in Argentina, Brazil and Chile

I thought Argentina was amazing - one of the most diverse countries I've ever been to! There is so much to see there that I only scratched the surface in 2 weeks there. Buses are of a very high standard in Argentina so are a great way to get around.

10. Posted by DocNY (Respected Member 403 posts) 2y

Honestly that's a very hard question. Both places have amazing charm.

I'd say that you do get more bang for your money in Asia if you are traveling on a very tight budget though, especially if you want to do some nicer kind of things, than in South America, but that's not true all over. But hot and trendy in Buenos Aires tends to be a lot more expensive than hot and trendy in most of SE Asia - although again no hard and fast rules on that.

BUT at least from what I've seen, Asia is transforming much more rapidly than South America and the flavor of it is changing rapidly. That could be a good thing, but a lot of great places are being lost and transformed (ie great beach resorts that cater to backpackers are being transformed into mega resorts) and losing charm in the process. With that in mind I've been traveling more in Asia, figuring that seeing some of these places before they are spoiled by overdevelopment can't really wait, while I still have time to see less spoiled South America.

That said. I LOVE Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Equador. All on my list of places I'd love to go back and spend more time in.