New member looking for tips

Travel Forums Introductions New member looking for tips

1. Posted by juliabirgitta (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8w Star this if you like it!

Hello!

I'm 19 and looking to backpack through Asia during the spring. As of now I plan to visit Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia.

I'd love any tips you have for what to see/what to avoid as well as general backpacking tips as I've never done it before and would like to be well prepared.

(Please bear in mind I'm new to the forum and still figuring things out.)

2. Posted by GraemeBots (Budding Member 5 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Dear Julia,
I made several visits to East Java in 2016, so a while ago now. I was there for work and wasn't backpacking, but I spent every minute I could spare out and about, and found the area fascinating. Few tourists venture to Tegal and the surrounding districts, and the language barrier was something of a problem, but the friendliness of the local people made up for it - a few words and a lot of goodwill go a long way.

General tips ? Taxis and tuk-tuks were inexpensive, and the local train services were a great way to see the countryside. Most locals can't afford a car so the public transport systems were well developed. Motor scooters were common and I was offered many rides on these. But at least in Tegal the police are very strict about requiring helmets. The local food was superb, but there was an outbreak of cholera whilst I was there so I avoided everything that wasn't steaming hot. One night when I had no way of boiling water I brushed my teeth with beer, but you can't rely on finding alcohol in strict Muslim areas and next time I go I will pack a small travel kettle.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Indonesia and I expect you will also. Good luck !

Graeme

3. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 4627 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Five countries. Each country has their own particular entry requirements. Check out weather conditions for each country you visit. (Although tourists show up every single day if no epidemic is going on.)

Money. Do you intend to work to supplement your available spending money? Some countries do not want foreigners (you) taking jobs away from their citizens. Work permits may be required and they are not easy to get.

If you plan on using a card to pay for everything have back up sources for spending money. Cash is still used for many day to day purchases.

My suggestion, work up a budget to see how much per day you have for hotel and day to day expenses after factoring in the cost of flights. Perhaps stay for less time overseas and have more money for day to day spending. Not all countries are the same for day to day spending.

Different countries, different cost of living. Bali is popular with women for the beaches and the many gigolos. To save time flying is recommended to get there if you first land in Thailand, Laos or Vietnam. Singapore is more expensive, my opinion, than Bangkok for instance.

Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, for me, is cheaper than Italy.

Do not abuse your passport! Keep it dry and free of scribbling or damaged pages. Lose or damage your passport can be costly and a whole bunch of problems.

Entering some countries with a one way flight could be a problem. Make Google searches your friend.

Some travelers get by with a single carry on bag and some, like me, prefer to have a check in bag with extra stuff that I know from past experience can be useful.

Map below:

https://www.google.com/maps/@8.7197676,116.607154,4z

Plenty of time to work things out.

Post 4 was removed by a moderator
5. Posted by Leandglenn (Budding Member 15 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Hello, I’m new here too.

I’ve travelled Asia extensively and been to everywhere on your list except Laos, many times.

Some parts are slightly more expensive than others, Singapore is dearer for accomodation for example.
All of them are cheap for food if you eat where the locals eat.
I always worked out how much money I had per day for each place, for example $100 and that’s all I would spend, make sure i didn’t run out.
My favourite place in Vietnam is Hoi An. It depends on what time of the year you go, the south is always hot ( HO chi Minh city ) but the north in sapa, Hanoi, can get cold. The middle Hoi An can get cool. So plan accordingly or layer your clothes, maybe a lightweight down jacket and scarf rather than too many items.

I would consider adding Cambodia if you can.

I guess you know that you need a special visa/letter of invitation to enter Vietnam.

Indonesia, again its such a large area, do you want Bali or java or ?
Once you’ve worked out which places you want to go, I am more than happy to tell you what I know.

It’s all in the research and you can’t know too much.

6. Posted by Psamathe (Budding Member 322 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Leandglenn

Hello, I’m new here too.
...
I guess you know that you need a special visa/letter of invitation to enter Vietnam.
...

Depending on your nationality you could get an e-Visa online within a few hours. https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/trang-chu-ttdt.

Or if a brief stay the visa waiver for up to 15 days was re-started after Covid from mid-March 2022 (for some counties.

Ian

7. Posted by Psamathe (Budding Member 322 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Leandglenn

Hello, I’m new here too.
...
I would consider adding Cambodia if you can.
...

I would agree. Of all the SE Asian countries I found the most interesting were Cambodia and Burma (and unlikely Burma will be on your route at the moment).

Ian

8. Posted by Leandglenn (Budding Member 15 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Psamathe

Quoting Leandglenn

Hello, I’m new here too.
...
I guess you know that you need a special visa/letter of invitation to enter Vietnam.
...

Depending on your nationality you could get an e-Visa online within a few hours. https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/trang-chu-ttdt.

Or if a brief stay the visa waiver for up to 15 days was re-started after Covid from mid-March 2022 (for some counties.

Ian

Oh we went for a wedding in feb 2020 just as covid was hitting. So I haven’t checked post covid. That’s good to know. Thanks.