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India and Asia travel

Travel Forums Asia India and Asia travel

1. Posted by sodriscoll98448 (Budding Member, 23 posts) 2 Dec '12 05:46

Hey guys, i'm sure these posts have been asked billions of times but a lot of the posts i've read are 2010/11 and I jut want to make sure things havent changed :D so sorry.
Firstly here are mine and my partners plans.

India - 1 month
Thailand - 1 month
Laos - 10 days
Cambodia - 12 days
Vietnam - 16 days
Hong Kong - 2 days
Macau - 4 days
Tokyo - 4 days

okay that's a rough overview, mainly travelling overland except for flying from india to thailand then Macau/Hong Kong to Tokyo.
My first question is What would you budget for this altogether? I want to be able to sight see, bungee jump in Macau tourist attractions, travelling mainly overland. I do want to budget travel as in cheap clean hostels and local foods but I do want some leave-way and to have fun, full moon party, visit museums, temples etc.

I also realize that I am not spending a lot of time in Asia and this i also where I need help. I am not leaving till November 2014 (which I know, ages away and I should leave planning till later but the travel bug got me). I'll be saving about £800 per month until this time. About 4500 of this will be going on a two month tour through from Alaska to Mexico so that will leave me wth approximetly, £12300.

Will £12300 be enough to last the whole Asia trip? If it's not enough how much more, and if I have plenty where would you reccommend extending my time in??????

Thats a confusing post but im so rushed lol, I hope you can understand it!!!!!!

2. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru, 1747 posts) 2 Dec '12 07:36

To be honest there is not really that much in Tokyo for the tourist and if you are only going to spend just four days in Japan, in Tokyo, without going anywhere else, is it worth the big expense of going there?

I had two 7 week holidays in India and I travelled and travelled, sometimes night by train and touring by day, and still did not get to some places. It's very cheap there so you can add on more time for not much more money.

Hong Kong possibly deserves a few more days.

Mexico still has lots of problems with a (innocent) beauty queen shot and killed just last week in a gunfight between drug cartels and government troops. Deaths are averaging at about 10,000 people a year from the fight.

Alaska has lots of nice scenery but so does Norway which is nearer and cheaper. You could get a Ryanair flight to Oslo and spend a week driving around. In summer of course as even then up north can have lots of ice about (while right down south can be very hot).

Many here could travel for a year on £12,300. It depends on what kind of accommodation, food, drinks, lifestyle, etc that you want on how much it costs. Hostels are cheap but not always desirable. There is a good Accommodation link at the top of the page. Other sites like asiarooms, lowcosthholidays and the likes will fill in any gaps.

Book early as cheap and desirable rooms go first.

Insurance is good and not very expensive, though you must mention bungee jumping and anything else remotely dangerous.

You will have to check on visas, like you get 30 days visa free for Thailand. Some you can pick up at the border or sort them out online and some you must go to embassies for.

No China? Lots and lots to see there. I would take that over Laos any day.

3. Posted by sodriscoll98448 (Budding Member, 23 posts) 2 Dec '12 07:59

Thank you for the reply. To be honest it was only Tokyo I was going for and the reason I was gong for 4 days was because of how exspensive it was..... but I guess you're right, the flight over is just not worth it, maybe spend longer in cheaper countries.

I would love to go through China, however; I heard for a first time traveller it was really hard to get around and I was best to go with tour groups, what do you think? I really want to do the trans mongolian to beijing, go to Xian, Shanghai, etc then through SE Asia. I just wouldnt know how to get around.

What would you recommend as an itinerary for say, 4 months in Asia? Im struggling as I dont really know how long to spend everywhere. I just know that I want month in India, then a month in Thailand, I have no idea how long t spend in other places. I was thinking of doing a tour through China but so expensive!!!

Thank you :)

4. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru, 811 posts) 2 Dec '12 10:40

Budget:

12300 pounds for a short trip through Asia? If that's what you have for a only 3 months, you will most likely be the richest backpacker you'll meet.

In South East Asia, I would say on average, a typical backpacker who stays in cheap places, takes public transport, eats locally, but still spends a bit of money on drinks, renting scooters, boat trips etc... will spend about 1000 pounds/month. That's $50US/day, which goes a long way in Asia if you are careful. This was actually the per person budget that I spent on honeymoon in Thailand when we stayed in a nicer place and ate and drank all we wanted. So with that benchmark, you could last a year no problem if you are careful. Double your budget, literally live like a king, and you will still have enough for 6 months.
Or, if you are a prudent budget traveler, and always look for the cheapest way to do things - which for many, makes for a wonderful experience - than there is no reason that you can't live off $30/day or less and your 12,000 will last you 20 months or so. This is normally the budget that I find comfortable for this region.

India can be much cheaper and it is possible to keep your budget to $20/day. But I'm finding these days it's harder to do. I took an extended trip 8 years ago, and managed to average less than $10/day without much of a challenge. When I returned to Rajasthan this year, I found it hard to keep it less than $35/day, though I didn't keep to strict budget like I normally do.

You will find Hong Kong, Macau and Japan significantly more expensive, but they don't have to be. Accommodation is very expensive, but that will be the bulk of your budget. In HK, the majority of sights are either free or very cheap, and food can be cheapish if you eat at basic places. Drinks are also very cheap if you buy them from convenience stores instead of bars (don't worry, half the party culture is on the streets anyway). Transportation is also really cheap. In Japan, transportation will eat away at your hard earned savings. If you are worried about your budget, limit your time in these areas.

Itinerary:
First off, I would agree with Cyberia and ditch Japan. Don't get me wrong, I love Japan and it has a special place in my heart. But Tokyo is not the highlight of Japan for a tourist (awesome to live in) and for only 4 days it is a lot of money to spend on flights. If you feel you have enough time and money for a couple weeks to get out and see some of the real highlights (which you probably do), then do it. Otherwise, save it for another trip.

I'm kind of curious about 4 days in Macau and 2 days in HK. Generally its the other way around. HK is a fascinating city with tons to see, and 4 days just isn't enough. Macau on the other hand is very small, and while the old historical area is really nice to wonder around, and if you are a gambler, then the casino thing is fun, you will have tapped out the interesting bits within 24 hours.

China - challenging for a solo traveler? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely. You don't need a tour, you just need patience. China is a safe place to travel and the people are very welcoming. You will constantly be challenged by language barriers and sometimes simple things like buying a train ticket can be a headache. But you can sort it out, and there is an growing network of travelers hotels and restaurants, and transportation is reliable, clean, efficient, and mostly cheap. I've taken a few trips around China in the last two years, and I was very surprised by how easy it is to travel there these days compared to 10 years ago when I took my first trip. It also doesn't have to be overly expensive. Shanghai, Beijing, and most major cities along the coast are expensive for accommodation. But food and beer is still very cheap if you eat locally. Once you get out to the countryside, life is much cheaper. I would highly, highly recommend traveling around Yunnan province in the South. Not only is it beautiful and interesting, but it's also just as cheap as Thailand.

The rest of your trip looks fine. A month in Thailand is good. 12 days in Cambodia and 10 days in Laos sounds about right. Of course you can spend more in all of these places, but if you want to see the highlights, it's good. 16 days in Vietnam is short. I would give it a month. I find there is so much more to see than there is in Thailand and it's just an all around lovely country to be in. But you know what, you have the money, so if you want to extend the SEA lag of your trip to 3-4 months, you will not get bored, and you can add in Malaysia, Philippines, and even Indonesia.

A month in India is a good start, but you have the money, so if you have the time as well, I would stay for 2 or 3 and really get to know the place. There is just so much to see and do. With one month you have to choice one region which doesn't give you a full appreciation of the country. With 2 months you could spend half in the north and half in the south, and really get a full view. With 3 you can also add a trip up to the Himalayas with is really a special place.

Another thing I would say is that at this point you should actually just ditch your whole scheduled plan. You have everything down to the day and it's 2 years away. Most travelers with that kind of money don't work out the details to the day until right before they leave, or even until they are on the road. Trust me, once you are out there, you are going to fall in love with some places and decide to stay longer, and you are going to hate some places and move on right away. Your day to day schedule will be scrapped.

5. Posted by sodriscoll98448 (Budding Member, 23 posts) 2 Dec '12 11:26

Wow, thank you. The reason i'm worried about budget is I was told by numerous people i'd need at least 50GBP per day as opposed to 30-40, thats a huge relief.

Okay so maybe 2 months India and a month in Vietnam. I thought I would struggle in india with £40 per day and in Thailand with £50 per day.

LMAO, I know its ages away and I know i'll proabably end up throwing plans right off when i get over there im just excited and want to make sure I have enough cash. Me and my partner both have the same job so in the end will both have saved exactly the same amount, the amount stated above.

Maybe i'll extend India to 2 months and Asia to 4 months and deffo hit China too.

Thank you so much :)

6. Posted by sodriscoll98448 (Budding Member, 23 posts) 2 Dec '12 11:37

Ps, I deffo want to budget travel, budget hostels, food etc. We want to travel as long as possible!!!

7. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru, 811 posts) 2 Dec '12 19:34

Now don't get me wrong - it is definitely possible to go with a budget of 50GBP per day. You will find that people travelling on a shorter trip who want a good holiday and aren't overly concerned with their budget will spend about this much (As I have on weekends in Bangkok, or week trips to an Island). They may consider themselves to be budget backpackers, but I would say they fit more into the mid range "flashpacker" category.

Let's break it down into an example of what my wife and I would spend on a more expensive day in Bangkok:
We usually try to stay at a cheaper guesthouse along Rambuttri street, but when we splurge, we stay at Rambuttri Village Inn (for the pool), which costs 950 baht for a nice double room. That's 19GBP for the most expensive room I ever stay in.
When I eat at a tourist oriented restaurant, I usually plan to spend about 150 baht/person each meal. Two people = 6GBP/meal x 3 = 18/day.
I usually drink about 3 litres of water a day. At about 10Bbaht each x 3, that's 60 baht a day = 1.5GBP
If I'm in the mood for a drink or two, I'll spend up to 90baht/large beer at a tourist restaurant. Even if we're drinking a few, lets say 6 between us, that's 540baht = 10GBP.
On any given day I might spend 100baht on taxis and rickshaws if I'm going between a few different sights = 2GBP.
Add all that up, and you get pretty close to 50GBP for two people or 25GBP each on a day where I am absolutely not on a budget, and drinking way more than usual.

But, you must add in a few random things that aren't daily costs but have to be factored - like laundry, snacks, museum fees, the odd day tour, visas, and inter-city transportation etc... I usually figure we'll average 700/day per couple on extra stuff assuming that we takes a 800-1000B bus trip every week or so.
That's about 14GBP that you can add per day, take the total up to 32GBP/day/person for a fairly luxurious budget. When I'm on a beach holiday, I might also factor in the odd massage which might add another 5.

But , what I actually usually spend on an extended trip around Thailand, when I'm not being a spoiled holidaying flashpacker:

Accomodation: 500 baht = 10GBP
Food: 100 for Western Breakfast, 60 for lunch, 150 for dinner x 2 = 610 = 12GBP
Beer: 2 bottles from a cheaper restaurant = 120 baht = 2.5GBP
Water: Same = 1.5 GBP
Taxis: I usually walk as much as possible or take buses or bargain hard for rickshaws. I might average 30baht/day = .60GBP
Add that up and on a typical day, we spend about 27GBP for 2 people or 13.5 GBP each.
Add the extra expenses which don't change much on a budget, and you get about 20GBP/day/person as my typical Thailand budget.

8. Posted by chardcrest (Budding Member, 20 posts) 2 Dec '12 23:36

Hmm, I think that will cost a lot, when I traveled in Macau I spent 3 793HKD for only 4days maybe I just got an expensive accommodation. I suggest you look first for best accommodation which offers good deals so you wont spend too much or spend with in your budget.

9. Posted by sodriscoll98448 (Budding Member, 23 posts) 3 Dec '12 02:33

Thank you, Well me and my partner would have £50 per day each so I guess we'll definetly be fine with that budget, maybe if we cut it down to £40 per day and stay out there longer?? The more expensive things well be doing are Scuba Diving and a bungee jump.
We'd be mainly buying beers from stores, except for very occasional nights out, more interested in sight seeing, I really want to visit Karen's tribe also.

In SE asia we also want to do things like take a cooking class, tour the temples, full moon party, get a tattoo (well i'm still in the process of convincing my partner that this is a excellent idea!), Island hop, visit Chang Mai Zoo. We'll be mainly travelling overland but it'll be a case of some days will be expensive when it comes to excursions and others will be more laid back, lounging around and walking through the tows and cities.

10. Posted by atika (Budding Member, 4 posts) 3 Dec '12 03:06

travelling in india is cheap.. you can take train, actually in india travelling with train is very cheap option... usually you can travel 1000 km for just 4-5 £....