South East Asia Queries
Replies: 3 - Last Post: Mar 28, 2013 9:21 PM Last Post By: jonappleton
Mar 28, 2013 5:49 PM
South East Asia QueriesHi everyone!
So I am planning an eleven month backpacking trip through South East Asia. 3 months in total I will be partaking in volunteer work, (1 month Cambodia, 2 months Vietnam). My weekly food and accommodation will be covered for this period of time (pre-paid). I will also be spending three months at the start of my trip in Koh Tao completing my diving certificates (Open Water to Dive Master). My travel plan is looking something like this...
Thailand (Koh Tao) 3 months
Cambodia - 1 month
Northern Vietnam - 1 month
Laos - 1 month
Cambodia (volunteer) - 1 month
Southern Vietnam (volunteer) - 2 months
Bali/Indonesia - 1-2 months
So I am planning on paying for my flight to Thailand and flight home in advance. My volunteer work fees will be also paid for in advance. I am hoping to take over $15,000 for the total time. This will include travel costs between each country, accommodation, food, and spending money (diving certificates). I am not phased in the accommodation side of things, staying in a backpackers will be fine with me. I am more than happy to eat street food. There are a couple of things that I would like to do in each country e.g do a dive in Cambodia or go to the gillie islands in Indo that may take me a bit over my weekly budget as such. However do you guys think that fifteen thousand will be enough?.
Here are a few other queries of mine. If anyone can help me out it would be greatly appreciated...
1. What is the best way to access my money?. I will be coming from Australia and have a VISA debit card. Should I be looking at taking it all out before I go? should I change it to USD? Should I just take it out here and there when I can in the bigger cities and then when I go somewhere rural should I just take cash with me?
2. Taking particular items. I really want to take my macbook as I want to document everything. I will also be looking at taking my gopro, camera and iphone. Is this a bad idea? Should I just not necessarily sort of flash them around in public (in particular my macbook)?
3. The time that I have allocated for each country, will it be enough?
4. Are there any hidden secrets in any of these countries that anyone recommends me seeing?
5. Is it best to travel by land or air from country to country.? Obviously by land will be cheaper, however I have heard that some of the border crossings are difficult.
6. I have also heard that you need to organise your VISA before heading into Vietnam. Is this difficult to do without a travel agent?
These are all my questions as of now. If anyone could help me or offer some advice it would be greatly appreciated!
Mar 28, 2013 6:29 PM
11. Debit card is the best way. Find a bank that doesn't charge fees for international withdrawals. Do not get USD except in Cambodia.
2. Possessions weigh you down. See if you can cut back a bit. In any case, buy a travel-safe.
4. If we told you, they wouldn't be secret.
5. None of the border crossing is so difficult that I'd really worry about it. 20 minute of hassle at the worst.
6. If you're flying in to Vietnam, you can get a visa online in about 10 minutes. If you are crossing by land, I think you still have to visit a consulate, which will take 20 minutes.
$15,000 should be plenty.
Something I tell everybody: Southeast Asia is a terrific place for impulse travel. Try to do things at the last minute. That's how you find all the weird places.
Mar 28, 2013 7:07 PM
Mar 28, 2013 9:21 PM
3Re Money 1.
You should take two brands/types of Credit/Debit card, sometimes the ATMs in a particular place/time will not work for some reason on one, then use the other. Aussie backpackers use the 28 degress debit card as there are no fees for overseas withdrawals. You will need to let the banks know of your rough travel plans as they will put a block on your card when they see that first overseas withdrawal if they don't have a note on you.
Take $200 in US dollars as an emergency backup in case anything strange happens with your plastic cards.
Re Gadgets 2.
For three months, that electronic stuff seems to be somewhat standard. Just a suggestion with your cameras, the first photo should have an image of either a printout or computer screen of a document with your name, mobile no. email reward just in case an honest person finds it and looks at the photos then will have your contact details. Slim chance but better than no chance. Also scan your passport and documents and take photos of your gear showing serial number then email them to yourself so you can access them if need the details.
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