First of all, you won't be alone for long unless you choose to be. There are so many young backpackers bumping around SEA that you are bound to link up with others doing what you are. Trying to see as much as possible with a limited budget.
Now money. Figure $30/day for room, food, tours in VN, Laos, Cam. P.I. Not as easy in SIN, Tland, Malaysia. Not sure about India, China, but should not break your 1.1K GBP/monthly budget. You do have some flights, but they should not break your budget either. Air Asia flies from SIN to the P.I. They also can get you to China & India. Plug in some dates and get your quotes. Other Asian discount airlines might have better prices and flight times. Compare.
Now 24 weeks to visit all these countries. Yes, it is possible, but you will be on the go most of the time. I will suggest a route and you can add or subtract days for each country.
First 2 weeks BKK, No. Tland. Into Laos via Friendship Bridge, visa on arrival, 2 weeks. Buy your VN visa while in Vientiane, bus into VN. 3 weeks. I would use the open tour bus system to go between HAN-HCMC. Cheaper & more convenient than the trains. The train is safer however, so decide what is best for you. Bus into Cam. 2 weeks, visa on arrival. My blog covers my bus ride: HCM-PP. Beach time in S'ville, PP, end in Siem Reap. Overland back into Tland. free 15 entry permit, 2 weeks. Beaches down south, bus or train into Malaysia, free visa on arrival, 3 weeks. Bus or train into SIN, free visa on arrival, 1 week. Fly to P.I. free visa on arrival, 3 weeks. Fly to China, 4 weeks, obtain your visa before entry. Fly to India, 4 weeks, obtain visa before arrival. Fly back to BKK, free 30 day entry permit. Home.
Emma, this route takes 26 weeks, so you need to trim days or stay a few weeks longer. Good luck and I hope this helps with your planning.
[ Edit: Edited on 03-Dec-2012, at 23:36 by vegasmike6 ]
Woooo that's awesome information, thanks heaps. 26 weeks could work. After India I'm going to the uk so I wouldn't need to fly back to bangkok would I?? So I need to get visas for India and china before I leave, but all the rest of the countries I will get a visa when I arrive, is this right?? And it's free? Do I get it at the airport or have to go some where? Would u reckon leaving out any countries that might not be worth the money? Are all these countries safe for a young lady to travel alone? How many flights would I have to get? Malaysia to SP- SP to indonesia -ind to pp- pp to India then bus to India from china or what? so four flight?
I appriciate your reply it's very helpful :-)
Flying is the best way of getting around long distances, but it is expensive, even with budget airlines.
I would miss out the Philippines as it is a fair way out of the way and not much there to justify the cost of getting there, and with your schedule you don't have that much time.
Thailand is cheap and you get 30 days visa free on arrival so I would spend most or all of that time there. India is very cheap and lots to see there. Singapore is expensive so maybe just a few days there.
From NZ you could fly to Singapore and then work your way north to Bangkok and from there Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and then China. Then India on your way to the UK, which is of course expensive.
Can you get a RTW ticket: NZ to Singapore, Bangkok to India and to UK. The rest would be side trips.
Or you could do some places on the way there and some on the way back, so different stopovers, and overland sections.
But I believe that even living cheaply you would need more money as travel alone will take a very big bite out of your NZ$15,000.
Be careful if you are getting your India & China visa before you go (from NZ?) as some are only valid for 3 or 6 months.. that being that from the date it is issued you will have to have activated it within that amount of time. You can get some visas from other Asian countries - ie you could get your China & India visa in Thailand.
Cambodia - you can get the visa at the border $20 (they will try to scam you for more no doubt) or in advance
Laos - you can get the visa at the border.. around $30 from memory but the price does depend on what passport you hold
Vietnam - if you are going overland you should get it in advance from Laos/Thailand or Cambodia - Around $30 I think
If you do decide to go to the Philippines, which grated is a bit out the way but has a lot of lot there to justify going (it was our favourite country in SE Asia) you can get a visa on arrival for 21 days and can extend if you wish.
The above information is from what I remember... prices and information may have changed since we were there but visas are not all free - some are and different rules apply to different nationalities so check each country carefully before you arrive and get a shock!
Not sure about all your abbreviations but from what I gather flight wise...
- Malaysia to SP (Singapore?) - no need to fly.. you can get a bus or train
- Indonesia to PP (Philippines?) - you will need to fly this one. Depending on where you fly from you may need to change - eg Bali - Manila (Clark) you have to change at Kuala Lumpur with Air Asia
- Philippines to India - yes you will need to fly, again check if you can fly direct, you may need to change in bangkok or KL
- India - China - I haven't travelled this route but I am not sure you can do it by bus?
You can book flights when you are out there with the local Asian airlines. Some visas do require you to have a flight out the country before you are granted a visa (eg Philippines) though so check on this first too, some don't check but you don't want to be the one who is asked and hasn't got proof of onward travel.
You can fly to the UK from India, no need for BKK. I included it as you ended your adventure in BKK. Do some research on flights back to the UK from India. I just don't know who offers low cost flights back to UK.
Visas. Please re-read my post. Laos, on arrival, $35. Cambodia, on arrival, $20. VN visa must be bought before entering overland. You can get a VN visa arrival if you fly. My blog covers my arrival: SIN-SGN. Arrange your China & India visa before entering their country.
Dropping countries. I agree with one poster. Drop the Philippines. Out of your way and primarily known for its beaches. You will get enough beach time in VN, Tland, Cam. Malaysia.
You never mentioned Indonesia in your post so I did not include it. Indonesia would be another 3-4 weeks and you don't have that time budgeted.
Fly Air Asia from Singapore to China. China to India. Home. Good luck with your planning.
[ Edit: Edited on 04-Dec-2012, at 10:27 by vegasmike6 ]