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Travelling 2014; India, Nepal, China and Indonesia

Travel Forums Asia Travelling 2014; India, Nepal, China and Indonesia

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1. Posted by avenabrig (Budding Member, 5 posts) 19 Jun '13 02:35

Hello everyone,

I'm currently planning on leaving home to travel around India, Nepal, China and Indonesia for roughly 8 months next March. I'm doing a lot of research and was hoping if you could help me with a few issues....

- Travel; I've read that in India you need to book train journeys before hand as you're unable to buy on the day. Is this true? If so, how far in advance is it suggested to buy your tickets? Also my travel plans often change, so if I wanted to stay in a certain destination for longer than I originally booked, are refunds available? :)
... Also with buses, are you able to book them last minute? And are they as frequent as they are in Thailand?

- Travel (again); I've read that there are many bus services running from India into Nepal, mostly to Kathmandu. However i've read little about getting access into China. Is this possible? I hope to fly as little as possible, so any suggestions/experiences would be most helpful :)

- Musts; No matter how much research I do, there are places I always miss out, and the best way to learn is from you guys. Do you have any places that are off the beaten track that aren't suggested on such guides as the Lonely Planet? I really want to immerse myself in their culture this time, so living with families would be a great option for me.

- Travel visa vs working visa; I'm currently doing my TEFL course and should be finished soon. I hope to teach while i'm away, and being paid isn't an issue. I'll happily help out wherever I can, so is getting a working visa still necessary?

Any tips and advise would be a great help,

Also if you're planning on being in any of those places next year, let me know and i'd love to meet up :)

Thanks in advance,

Avena and Brigham xx

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Jun-2013, at 02:36 by avenabrig ]

2. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru, 806 posts) 19 Jun '13 04:08

Indian trains - There's no rule that says you can't book a train on the day of travel. However, most of the time, and especially during holidays and popular travel times, all seats will be booked. You don't need to book several weeks in advance, but at least a few days will save you from running into full seats all the time. I know it's hard to be spontaneous and go with the flow if you have to book stuff in advance, but maybe just think about your next two journeys and book them a week in advance. The flexible you are, the easier it is. If you don't mind waiting in a town for an extra day or changing around your itinerary because the train is full , then you'll be fine. For really important trips - like back to a town to catch a plane, book it as early as possible so you are not stuck.
If you are just going a short distance, then getting a hard seat in the lowest class of train will often work on the day of travel. Buses are easier to book on the day, though less comfortable then the train.

3. Posted by vaibhavm23 (Budding Member, 85 posts) 19 Jun '13 04:51

Hey Avena,

Reservations in trains for confirmed seat is required 60 days in advance. Refer irctc.co.in for more information or booking and trust me its not that easy, probably you may get the tickets in foreign quota. Also tatkal (Emergency reservation) is also available but that is a little bit costlier and there are no refunds on Tatkal tickets. aand other refund policy depends on the Class of travel you're opting and canceling how many days before the date of journey.

Bus reservations are available mostly metro or big cities are interconnected with AC buses volvo, other than that State transport buses are available and that runs from time to time.

Regarding travel to nepal from India, buses operate from India to nepal border and then you need to change it to go to kathmandu or other places in Nepal. I am not very sure about route to china from Nepal and other visa formalities probably you need to google a bit.

Regarding the places to travel to India & nepal, it would be easier to highlight the places after you let us know what all places you're planning to visit and by what time?;)

I am not very sure if you would be able to get to teach in school/college since mostly the recruitment of teachers get freezes before the session starts. And the school would prefer a permanent teacher rather than teacher who's dependent on Visa.

let me know if I can assist you any further...

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Jun-2013, at 04:57 by vaibhavm23 ]

4. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru, 806 posts) 19 Jun '13 06:31

vaibhavm, are you saying that you must book train tickets 60 days in advance? There might be a special advanced reservation quota where this is the case, but booking trains right before your trip is possible, as long as there are seats.
Last year when I went to India I arrived in Delhi and then planned all my train tickets for the next two weeks. I had no problem booking them at the train station, including one out of Delhi the next day. Only one of our trains for the whole two weeks was booked already and so we simply made an itinerary chance and all was good.

5. Posted by avenabrig (Budding Member, 5 posts) 19 Jun '13 07:43

That's brilliant, thanks so much for the info guys, it's really helping me out

If you are able to book your tickets on arrival then that would definitely be the better option for me. Degolasse was that option also available when travelling around to the smaller towns or just in Delhi?

& thank you again vaibhvacm23, your info is really useful and will definitely be able to help my plan my route more and plan the time I hope to spend in each destination. I'll happily take buses instead of trains to help with my spontaneity, though I really want to have at least a few train journeys in India as they seem like a great experience and a fun way to meet the locals :)

In terms on my itinerary, we have nothing concrete yet but are hoping to work our way from Goa (with maybe a trip to Kerala), and work our way north, then north east from there. Hoping to visit Varanasi, then north to Darjeeling and Sikkim and then enter Nepal that way? In Nepal i'm hoping at least Kathmandu and Pokhara, but again both in India and Nepal I would love to do as much volunteering as possible, whether it's through teaching or just being involved and helping out.

In terms of time, again there's nothing set, though the entire trip I hope to take around 6-8 months, and starting in Goa around 14th March, making it just in time for next years Holi Festival :)

I know that's pretty brief but any suggestions would be more than welcome :)

Thanks again for your quick responses and help so far, i'm very grateful

Avena and Brigham xxx

6. Posted by vaibhavm23 (Budding Member, 85 posts) 19 Jun '13 08:06

@ degolasse its always adviseable to book ur tickets in advance. Generally tickets or seats are not available and even we prefer to book our tickets well in advance to avoid last minute disappointment. Especially if you want seats in AC coaches.

@avena prefer to take buses for over night journeys rather a long journey Coz it could get hectic as the roads are bumpy and state transport buses are not very comfortable for v long journeys. Depending on the month you're arriving in india, you may plan your journey accordingly. Say in 2013 November 1st week you go to varanasi for dev deepawali festival. Go to Goa during February as it would be Goa carnival time. Goa is accessible from Mumbai overnight journey through AC bus.

Nepal has various entry points - and it depends from which entry points you enter to Nepal. I have been to Nepal from Lucknow to basti -baharaich to nepalgunj. Nepalgunj is part of Nepal. I went to kathmandu through flight from varanasi (45 min).

Holi is famous in vrindavan and I am sure you will love that.

Better Google out the festival calendar in India and then plan ur trip, it will help u.

Let me know if you need any more info...

7. Posted by avenabrig (Budding Member, 5 posts) 20 Jun '13 04:28

That's brilliant, thank you both.

I'll be sure to book my main trains in advance and then go with the flow with the others

@vaibhavm23 I completely understand about the buses, I've had a few nightmare-ish ones in my time so I definitely would like to avoid repeating that as much as possible haha.

I've had a look at their calender of festivals next year so will definitely do my best to get my timing right to be sure I don't miss out on any of their festivities that i've heard so much about :)

Thanks again for all your help,

Avena and Brigham

8. Posted by trekker.np (Inactive, 3 posts) 21 Jun '13 02:09

Hello there Namaste
And warm welcome from Nepal.
i am from Nepal and been on tourism for years and i have a trekking and adventure company here in Nepal. As you discussed about coming china, India and Nepal. its good to hear. as earlier the friend told its an easy entry from Nepal-india -Nepal , by road transport or short flight. and as well as china from tibet. it depends on wether you want to travel by flight or ground.

job: you have not really written clear about doing jobs in which country? yeah teaching job as a volunteer can be done in Nepal.

talking about beautiful places and unbeaten tracks. in Nepal. i am sure you are gonna surprise with the unique trails which you will find good culture, people and beautiful trails. all you need to make up your mind to travel with the unbeaten paths. there are numbers of such paths which Nepal offers for you.
wish you best of luck.
any helps/ inquiry/ kindly contact me:
ram gurung

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

Post 9 was removed by a moderator
10. Posted by miracletreks (Inactive, 2 posts) 4 Jul '13 09:07

HI
To get nepal is not hard. Just get india with prepared programme then nepal you can get easily by bus or flight and many programs can be made durnig your staying in nepal
tenzin