Upcoming trip

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1. Posted by jlala (Budding Member 36 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

I am planning a long break (from work) and I intend to travel for abt 4 - 6 months. Appreciate if anyone here be able to provide me with some information.

Basically, I intend to do 2 major trips

Trip 1: To Europe and maybe part of central America.
The must visit places are: Greece, New York, Costa Rica and Mexico (in order of importance). I don't mind going to other places such as visiting part of Europe since I have not been there and i've already paid a bomb for my airfare.

- Any recommendations of where I should go?
- Travelling modes?
- Any sample itineraries?

Trip 2: South East Asia
I am planning to visit Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and maybe Myanmar.

- Does anyone have sample itineraries? I am still very undecided on how I shd get from 1 place to another.
- Should I avoid travelling to this region from Nov onwards due to rain.

Your valuable inputs are most appreciated.

2. Posted by Hookey (Budding Member 22 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

I think the first question is, where are travelling from, and for the first part of your trip, when?

For the second part, November is OK for visiting SE Asia, the rainy season is pretty much over at that point (I went in October and it was still a bit wet when I arrived). Once again, depending on where you're flying in to defines your trip; A typical itinery (I did this) would be:

Fly into Bangkok (most and cheapest flights), internal flight or bus to Chang Mai, cross into Laos, Then across to Vietnam by bus to Hanoi. A lot of people do a side trip to Halong Bay, then back to Hanoi, and either minibuses from town to town, or the Reunification Express down to Ho Chi Minh (don't worry you can get off), with stops at Hue, Hoi An, Na Trang (that's what I did) and then Saigon. Side trip to the delta and then Cambodia (bus), to Phnom Penh, then bus, or better, bus and boat to Siem Reap to visit Angkor Wat (which is worth visiting but very busy). Then bus back to Thailand.

This is obviously only one way to do it, taking this circular route seemed to be quite popular, especially if you don't have too much time. Got to say I love Vietnam and I'm going to go back later this year as part of my rtw trip, and hopefully be a bit more leisurely about it.

3. Posted by jlala (Budding Member 36 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

oppss..I missed out some critical info. Thanks Hookey for pointing it out.

For the first trip I am travelling from Singapore. The tentative route is

Singapore - Greece - Italy - Germany - France - Spain - Costa Rica - New York.

I am meeting my friends in Greece, Costa Rica and New York and the rest of the countries are optional. I want to see part of Europe cos it is actually a long way from home and with the airfare I am paying to travel to meet my friends, it will be worthwhile spending more time to visit other places.

I am planning to visit Western Europe from Sept onwards and now I am trying to decide on the duration and route.

Any inputs is appreciated.

4. Posted by Hookey (Budding Member 22 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

In Europe flying is pretty cheap with lots of budget airline competition. Having said that, if you actually want to see Europe, and have the time, I'd go overland. You can get to Bari in Italy by taking the train from athens to Patras then getting a ferry (I think you can get a ferry all the way from Piraius to Italy through the Corinth Canal, but it takes a while). From Bari you can head up the east coast, or cross to Naples where there are fast trains up to Rome and the North (I've done Naples-Rome by train, its very quick and you see a lot of Roman ruins and nice scenery). Then you can take your pick of northern Italian cities (I'd recommend Florence, and Milan is quite nice, Turin isn't really one for the tourists although it has its charms), before heading up to Germany via Switzerland or if you take the Eastern route, via Austria. Don't know about Austria at all but Lucerne in Switzerland is very pretty, while Zurich is dull. Once you're in Germany there are fast trains to pretty much everywhere.

You then say you want to go to France & Spain. Once again there are fast trains (NB. There are euro travel cards available even if you're not a student/over 25; they just cost a bit more, but are still good value). Like Germany, you have a lot of choice in France & Spain, not just the capitals; in France I like Lyon and Dijon/Beaune in particular (scenery, food, nightlife and Lyon is a lot friendlier than Paris), and in Spain there are loads of great places; personally I'm not a huge fan of Madrid, but I love Salamanca, Santiago di Compostella is an experience, and in the south Seville is one of the most pleasant places I've ever been. Depends what you're into really.

I know nothing about Costa Rica, but at least you'll get the best flight options from Madrid (a lot of European flights to Central/South America go via Madrid). One thing, if you're leaving for Europe in Sept, I'm guessing you're not going to get to NY until late in the year, or maybe early new year; New York is cold this time of year; seriously chilly.