Asia on buttons?
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Dec 5, 2012 8:07 PM Last Post By: SoloHobo
Dec 5, 2012 3:35 AM
Asia on buttons?Hey guys, me and my very good sidekick head to beijing on the 2nd of feb 2013. Are plan is to make it through asia, on foot to Singapore. Is there anyone out there doing the same, and is there any major things you could recomend we MUST see.
Were getting most visas at the borders. Bar Viet Nam and china.
Let me know what you think.
Dec 5, 2012 3:48 AM
1Do you mean that you will walk from Beijing to Singapore?
My list of must see (not necessarily most interesting or enjoyable) in order of must-see-ableness are
1. Great Wall
2. Angkor Wat
3. Halong Bay
4. Jiuzhaigou Valley
5. Tiananmen Square & Forbidden City
6. Louang Prabang
7. Hong Kong
8. Yangshuo Karst
Dec 5, 2012 4:57 AM
2This post makes no sense.
1- How long to you have to see all the areas between Beijing and Singapore? That would be Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Burma, Malaysia.
2- How do mean of foot, walking? Or do you mean surface travel? Trains, Busses, ferries and shuttles?
3- What are your interest? Hiking? Scuba Diving? Partying? Beaches? Ethnic villages?
4- What nationality are you? Not every Passport gets a Visa at a border.
This would take most people, seeing the typical tourist trail highlights of each country-
China 4-6 weeks
Hong Kong 3 days
Macau 2 days
Vietnam 3-4 weeks
Cambodia 1-2 weeks
Laos 2-4 weeks
Thailand 3-4 weeks
Burma 3-4 weeks
Malaysia 1 week.
If you are going all via surface, you will need a Multi Entry/Exit Visa for China, if you visit Hong Kong or Macau, as you need to come back thru China to get to SE Asia.
You also need a Visa to enter Vietnam. Foreigners can not cross borders from China to Burma. In fact, foreigners crossing any border with Burma is a pain, its best to fly from Kunming or Bangkok to Burma. See the SE Asia threads. Also, entering Thailand via land borders only gets you a 15 days Visa, flying into Thailand, gets you 30 days. You can get a 60 day Visa at a Thai Consulate in any of the Capitals in Asia though.
China and Beijing will be very cold in Feb. Watch out for the TET Festival in Vietnam, a crazy time to travel there, but fun.
Dec 5, 2012 5:41 AM
3Ok let me be more specific. When i say on foot, i mean no flights, were avoiding hong kong, were travelling through china to viet nam, then cambodia, laos, and thailand, Were Irish, as far as i know theres no limitations on us recieving visas on the border with our passports.
We plan to spend about four weeks in china before crossing into viet nam. Then spend three months in total going around viet nam, cambodia, laos and thailand.
In terms of interests. one of us loves partying, beaches ect. While i enjoy this two, am aiming to learn more about the cultures, history and lifestyles of the countries/cities we visit.
We head from singapore to austrilia at the end of the four months. Were going to spend only a month is Austrialia because we have heard how expensive it is. Then fly out from Sydney to Auckland. going to work here and save money for south america. In terms of visas
going to get our Vietnam one in china, and our china one before we go. Planning to only stay in singapore a few nights because of the price.
Im actually a journalist/singer songwritter and will be writting a book on our travels. so any other tips would be much appreciated. I dont want to plan too much of this adventure as it leaves little room for spontaneous behaviour.
Dec 5, 2012 7:26 AM
4Okay good to know. Why even bother going to Singapore, why not fly from BKK to Aussie? I would not miss Burma, it truly is the cultural highlight of the entire region, the birthplace of Buddhism and an excellent country to Backpack, AirAsia flights from BKK are cheap, and get Visa easy there too.
You need to get a guidebook for the SE Asia region, there really is too many must sees depending on your tates/interest and budget. This circuit below is well trodden and easy to get from point A to next point B. Guesthouses in most of SE Asia are $6-$12, nice rooms, TV, AC, private bath, many w/balcony, breakfast included. Big cities double that, Hanoi/Saigon/Yangon/Bangkok.
Vietnam/Laos and parts of Thailand is fun to rent a moto locally if you are comfy on a moped and can handle the risk. Highlights for most people are:
Hanoi culturally and eating wise is loaded- 3 nights minimum, stay in Old Quarter.
Sapa region- great trekking and ethnic villages- Take night train from Hanoi to Loa Cai (Border with China). Allow 2 nights and with night trains both ways, thats 4 days. Great area to rent a moto, go up to Fanispan.
Ha Long Bay do a 1N/2D trip from Hanoi OQ oufits and stay on a Junk Boat in stunning scenery, kayak, swim and caves.
Ninh Binh Red River Valley , 2 National Parks, great food, rent moto for 3D/2N loop.
Hue The Cultural bedrock of all things Vietnamese, temples, citadels, markets, great regional food, and nice pace and easy going town, allow 3 nights minumum
DaNang Most people dont stop here, is on the DMZ but its also a typical middle class VN city, great riverwalk, cafes, seafood and BBQ beer gardens on the beach. China beach surf.
Hoi An a very touristy and cute french colonial town on the river, lots of cafes and great food, tailoring capital of VN if you need some nice shirts, pants and a few sport coats. Allow for multiple fittings. With clothes allow 3-4 days, without, 2 nights.
Cham Islands Few go these hard to reach fishing villages on the sea, via boat from south of Hoi An, but well worth the efforts. 3 nights.
Nha Trang is a fun beach town to party, swim, decent diving, and good off a few nights, nearby is temples, mud baths, and Doc Let beaches, Jungle Beach great to shill around there 3 nights. Rent a moto for everything.
From here you can go to the Highlands in Dalat or into Mue Ni the kite surfing capital of SE Asia, good beaches and nice time to party too, getting a tad developed/westernized.
Of go to Saigon a damn fun city on many levels, I went there solo for New Years 2005 and stayed 5 days, had a damn good time for guys.
Mekong Delta 2 nights max, recover from Saigon and eat fish and relax, bicycle, boat around. Super peaceful and nice and tropical.
Get a boat from Saigon up river to Phnom Phen or head to islands in south. PP is a 2-3 day stop, can party a lot here too, culturally important as well. Then boat or bus to Siem Reap and the Unesco WHS Angkor Wat Temples allow 3 nights, there is a lot to see and take in, the temples complex is great via hired cyclo, spend at least an entire day there with a licensed guide, this one of the must see area likey Egypt or Machu Puichu. Fun town too, great bar area and good times for all.
Get bus/shuttle from SR/AWT to Laos border, there you have the largest waterfalls in SE Asia, endangered freshwater dolphins on the river border, and then to 4000 Islands nearby. Don Det/Dong Kong 2-3 nights, party and relax riverside in a hammock, enjoy the Mekong lifestyle.
Paske- the jumping off point to the Bolevan area, get a moto in this city as a base, leave packs in lodging and go for a 2-3 night ride on rural roads thru ethnic villages, banana plantations, lots of great waterfalls to swim, and plenty of markets to eat and drink and be merry, stay in Attapue a night and Salavan a night, a damn good time and few tourist.
From Pakse you can go to BKK Thailand or best to work way up to Vientiane 1 night in capital, then shuttle to Vang Vieng, where the infamous tubing is, and also great scenery to trek. From there get a or bus to Luang Prabang another UNESCO WHS, lots to do there the least of which is party and eat until you want to leave. Kayaking, waterfalls, treks, boats across mekong to villages, temples in all directions. Pakse and Vientiane have riverfront beer gardens, a good time at sunset, move to discos after a shower and nap.
If you want more outdoors/treks and more rustic and ethnic villages, which is what Laos is all about IMO, then keep going north, you cna do a big loop (get a moto) for 4-7 days. Beautiful countryside and mountains in the north. If not from LPB, head either up Mekong on slow boat to Thailand border, then to Chang Rai
Making your way south, will depend on interest, this area n the north is also great trekking, the town, well now a city, Pai is a great hub for rivers, waterfalls, treks and ethnic markets, if you want to head to the Golden Triangle now is the time. You can cross for the day into Burma and leave Passport with Burmese military/immigration.
The rest of Thailand is rather obvious, but Chang Mai the old capital is great area, ton of culture, food and partying to be had. Train to Bangkok, you can attack BKK on many levels, but 4-5 days is not a long time to see the fun sites, sounds, markets, temples, and get nuts just like the movie. From here, head to the Islands or fly to Burma Best to avoid Pattaya as its really in your face sex tourism that rather raunchy, older EU men with 18 year old girls...ugghh
Get PADI Scuba certified in Thailand, best and safest and a great classroom, an ocean with warm water and reefs. Though rainy season starts in June, so be prepared for heavy rains in the SE Asia region. Not sure if Liveboard diving is good those months, but Simillian Islands off Phuket/Ko Lok is some of the best in the world, and for Liveboard (sleep on boat/night dives) its a deal.
This once sleepy country for tourism until last year is now the new must see, but despite the fact the secret is out, now is the time to still see this time warped country, for its people are the sweetest you will ever encounter, the temples and culture in Bagan are jaw dropping, and another Unesco WHS that is a must see, a great contrast to the Khmer Kingdoms in Cambodia, and the VN Cham Dynasties as the old Chinese Dynasties in China. Yangon is a great capital, best one in region IMO, and Inle Lake the highlands, and Kalaw area are great places to chill out/hike/moto, and Beer gardens are in Mandalay a lot of nearby culture, as well as Bagan is a great place to enjoy life on the river and drink/eat and relax.
Dec 5, 2012 12:58 PM
5Tim this is great stuff man!! Thanks so much for some of this stuff. I got the the lonely planet guide to China, at the moment its just a bit overwhelming. The amount of stuff to do and see is crazy. but are budget limits us to about 15-20 pounds a day. The definition of basic!!
We got are flights with sta travel and the best they could offer us was flight from london to beijing, then singapore to perth, then Sydey to Auckland.
Burma? Are only fear was price for visa and how easy it would be to obtain.
Where do you think the best place would be to get it? and will it be easy enough to get while travelling?
The bonus of our package is that it allows three changes to the flight dates so if we want to prolong our stay in asia we simply email them and they change it.
Once again Tim, awesome stuff. If you ever decide to take a trip to our lovely green fields i owe you a pint!
Was recently in Boston, playing for a few months but i hear Chicagos a must see
Dec 5, 2012 7:34 PM
6Oh dear. You said the 2nd of February departing for Beijing. You'll run smack into the run-up to Chinese New Year which is Feb 10. This will make getting tickets for overland travel (train in particular but also intercity buses) difficult. The crunch begins 2-3 weeks before the official NY date and lasts about the same amount after. Domestic China flights are usually more reliable for getting tickets if you book a few weeks in advance (can do online) but you said you didn't want to do that. Sorry 'bout that, really bad timing for you.
Dec 5, 2012 8:07 PM
7Burma Visa is easy and cheap, get in any Capital, they have a consulate in each, as does all Asian countries in eachothers capitals, but get your China Visa in your home country...Can also get Burma Visa as well in Kunming China, most get it in BKK, drop off in morning and get it 1-2 few business days later, I thinks its $25 or $40...
Ahh, the Chinese New Year....hunker down Beijing, train to Shanghai. Use CTrip or ELong for flights...
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