Singapore,China,Tokyo - do-able on a budget?
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Oct 26, 2012 6:48 PM Last Post By: MTL
Oct 17, 2012 1:08 PM
Singapore,China,Tokyo - do-able on a budget?Okay so like some others on the forum, I am new to travelling and excuse me for my lack of experience, however I write to you experienced travellers out there for your help. I am 27 years old and have a huge desire to travel and see whats out there! Quickly left school, dived into a job and not had the funds to venture out yet....ideally would like to head away for 6 months to a year, but have now come to the conclusion that a 4 week break next September 2013 is my only option to fit into my life, work, relationship and budget.
So starting from London, I would like to see what you guys think of my flight plan - London > Singapore > Hong Kong > Tokyo > London. Basically I would love to concentrate on SE and NE Asia, take in some nature and city life. At the moment I have priced a flight plan at a rounded figure of £1500. This is me costing flights on each leg of the journey, is there any advice on internal flights or routes to decrease this figure?
Better still if you guys have better travel destinations within this area, to and from London, I am welcome to other suggestions to help the all important budget!!
Thank you and very grateful - new to forum chats too!
Oct 18, 2012 1:58 AM
1Regardless of whether it's doable from a budget point of view, I wonder why you'd spend so much money on flying 1000s of kilometers to see 3 big cities into 4 weeks.
A much more interesting trip would be to travel overland from Singapore through Malaysia to Bangkok and fly back from there, or to spend all your time in HK+China, 2 weeks each in one region of China + Japan, or all 4 weeks in Japan.
Your budget would definitely not be enough to spend a considerable amount of time in Japan, and it would be a pity to fly all the way there only to see Tokyo, which is a great city but only one of many things worth seeing in Japan (Kyoto, for example, has much more to offer in the way of traditional sights).
Oct 18, 2012 3:00 AM
2Agree with aribo...I'd concentrate on one area rather than trying to do all those different ones.
Either SE Asia,China or Japan.
Se Asia will be the cheapest,Japan the most expensive.
Oct 18, 2012 2:32 PM
3Thanks Aribo and lucapal - that's really helpful. Having done some more research flight plans are more accessible via Singapore, Sri Lanka and Bangkok - also like the idea of venturing from Singapore overland to Bangkok. Really appreciate your feedback. I have taken your point about Japan being expensive and thinking to leave that for a seperate trip for another time. For meantime SE Asia keeps within budget.
Re hotels, hostels.... My plan is just to arrive and see what accommodation I can find when there. Is that easy to do? Is it cheaper to that, as opposed to pre book? Again sorry if for my lack of experience.
Oct 18, 2012 10:16 PM
4If you are (say) going to start in Singapore and finish in Bangkok....with an open-jaw ticket....then I'd probably book the first couple of nights in Singapore in advance.
Its good to have a place to go when you get off a long flight,without having to trek around a city you don't know.
After that I would do as you say...see what you can find.It is probably cheaper (esp.if you are prepared to bargain) and is certainly more of a guarantee that you will stay in the sort of place that you want to!
Oct 19, 2012 12:49 AM
5also like the idea of venturing from Singapore overland to Bangkok
I did that a year or 10 ago, also in about 4 weeks (way too short!). Singapore is an excellent place to spend a day or 2-3 sleeping off your jetlag, enjoy some fabulous food and adjust to the different sounds and smells of the region, in case you're apprehensive about travelling outside Europe for the first time. It's also a much more hassle-free place to start a first trip around SE Asia than the other main hubs in the area, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, if only because English is the lingua franca.
From Singapore we took a bus to Melaka, then on to Kuala Lumpur, Cameron Highlands and Penang in Malaysia, before crossing the Thai border to Hat Yai and onto Krabi by minibus. From there we took a ferry to Ko Phi Phi for a few days of snorkelling and beach time, before taking a ferry and flight to Bangkok. Next a train trip to Phitsanulok (mainly for a sidetrip to Sukhotai), followed by a bus ride to Chang Mai. Eventually we took another domestic flight back to Bangkok where we spent our last days in the country, including a trip to Ayutthaya.
My plan is just to arrive and see what accommodation I can find when there. Is that easy to do?
I would book only my accommodation for Singapore in advance, that way you won't have to find a place to stay right after a 13-14 hour trip. After that, once you get to your next destination, the guest house touts will find you before you find them - in every Malaysian and Thai town they'll be circling around you the second you get off the bus.
You get used to this welcome pretty soon, and if you've ever been to a country like Egypt, Malaysian and especially Thai touts are refreshingly laid-back; it does help, however, to be aware that these people may promise you anything to make you stay at their centrally located airconditioned tropical paradise with ensuite facilities, which often turns out to be a bug-infested dive right next to a mosque on the outskirts of town, with a broken fan on the ceiling and a very dry shower (in a few places I stayed the hose next to the loo was the only part of the shower that seemed connected to the water supply - and then only just).
Ergo: no need to book in advance, but it helps to be aware of the layout of a city before you arrive and to insist on checking a room before you hand over your money.
Oct 19, 2012 9:40 AM
6Wow really helpful info again from both of you! I now fully appreciate the need for forums, it's great. It makes sense to have accommodation lined up for when first arriving to Singapore and agree all new experience, so will be nice to relax and take it all in to begin with. Take the point from there on in, plenty places to stay on offer and to make sure to check room before parting with money - all sounds good and sensible.
I now feel happy to at least book the flights flying into Singapore, and back home from Bangkok. It seems easy to travel between these two places and that will be my next dose of research.
Oct 21, 2012 3:57 AM
Oct 21, 2012 4:03 AM
8September is not bad in Singapore...but probably pretty rainy in Bangkok.Often it only rains heavily in the afternoon or evening,but Bangkok can also get completely flooded.
Its going to be hot anyway (it always is in those places ;-)
Oct 21, 2012 4:08 AM
9On the budget...depends on so many things.Accommodation,food,transport,activities can vary wildly in price.
Singapore will be the most expensive,followed by Malaysia and then Thailand (though some of the Thai islands are not so cheap anymore).
For a month I'd say around £1000 is a pretty decent budget (not including flights,insurance etc).That will get you a dorm bed or cheap room,good local food,bus travel and some activities....
Oct 21, 2012 5:31 AM
10just to note the UK travel warning for the four southern provinces of Thailand. That means you may not have insurance cover for this bit, which includes the train via Hat Yai.
you can avoid it by flying or getting boats.
Oct 26, 2012 7:38 AM
11#10, there are probably 100s of trains and buses a day passing through Hat Yai. including many coming from Malaysia. How often do we hear about any of the passengers on these being in trouble? never. The Thai Deep South has been restive for years, and it's probably nt a good idea to venture out into small villages where the muslim population isn't happy about the way they're being treated by the Thai Government. But to pass through by train is no problem
If one is really paranoid one can take a boat from Kuala Perlis to Satun. That's a very quiet route.
Oct 26, 2012 12:53 PM
12it may or may not be a problem. OP just needs to be aware that they will not have insurance and make an informed decision.
last bomb in Hat Yai in March, say the FCO. 300 injured, four killed.
I got the boat from Koh Lipe to Langkawi.
Oct 26, 2012 6:48 PM
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