Replies: 14 - Last Post: Oct 10, 2013 8:52 AM Last Post By: bigal1
Oct 7, 2013 6:15 AM
New member here. I am Female, 22 an recently graduated from University. I am going travelling in January 2014 and will be doing so alone. I will be starting in Bangkok and plan on doing all of SEA in 12 weeks before going to Australia. I have been advised by many people who have been to Thailand to book an organised tour for my first few days in Bangkok as it can be quite a culture shock, however, I haven't been able to find any that are purely for Bangkok. Can anyone recommend a tour? Also, I don't want to do a tour for more than a few days because I don't want to be restricted to being in certain places for a set amount of time, plus I don't want to pay a fortune for an organised tour. Since I am travelling alone I am a bit nervous because I really want to meet a lot of young people who are also travelling, can anyone recommend the best places they've met people? Any advice anyone can give me to do with travelling alone or in SEA or to do with tours would be very much appreciated!
Looking forward to hearing from all of you experienced travelers!
Oct 7, 2013 6:41 AM
Oct 7, 2013 6:51 AM
2I really don't think you should do any organized tours, it's pretty easy to do by yourself, assuming you have a good head on your shoulders. There are some short tours that go to specific places (like Grand Palace, or Ayuthaya, etc) which can be good places to meet others, on top of the usual nightlife spots.
What worries me more is that you think you can "do all of SouthEastAsia in 12 weeks." There are too many countries in SEA for you to do that..better to choose just a few, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, for example.. Even Indonesia alone is not completely doable in 12 weeks.
Oct 7, 2013 7:19 AM
3Agree with the above. Tours are not the way to go with VN, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia. Not really much idea about the rest. Short day trips with well organised companies is a different matter.
Remember organised tours go where they believe to be highlights and often take shortcuts (eg; some tours go to just 2 of the tombs and temples along the Perfume River in Hue, yet there are at least 6 worth the time and effort).
12 weeks is too short for ALL of SE Asia. Thailand and VN alone can take up 4 weeks each and you will still have the feeling that you have just scratched the surface.
Also, you won't be alone for long. Meeting people along the way is easy. In 200+ days of being in SE Asia I have never felt alone whether I am talking to fellow visitors, ex-pats or, best of all, the locals
Oct 7, 2013 9:15 AM
4Yes agree about 12 weeks for ALL of SEA, but its good for the loop through Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos and back to Bangkok. May have enough time for some Thai beaches and islands?
Oct 7, 2013 10:39 AM
5cambodia 1 week -Vietnam-2-3 weeks Laos 2weeks days -Yunnan (china) 2 weeks - Myanmar 14 days myanmar chiangmai -beach
clcik here FAQ75 SEA basics
Click here Yunnan http://www.chinatrekking.com/
FAQ72 burma basics
FAQ 86 updated
info Cambodia http://canbypublications.com/ OK so far dont worry about female alone on your own travelling is not alone, youll meet plenty like minded travellers on the way, to share the journey, just take normal precautions and common sense.
route Bangkok to siem reap VOA $20 US cash (angkor wat)-Phnom pen- HCMC (get viet visa Phnom pen) open tour bus TNK $25 to Hanoi stopping Dalat/ HoiAn/hue/Hanoi overnight Halong bay then hanpoi to sapa overnight cheap sleeper train.hanoi to Vientianne via Vihn and Laos visit konglor caves soon after crossing border route 8 border Vientianne onto Vang Vienne tubing onto Luam phrabang mong noi and Oudamsi night bus direct to to Kumming stay cloudland YHA (Visa in advance from Home or Hangkok ) etc Dali /Lijiang /Tiger leaping gorge ( 2 day trek ) Shangri la back to Kumming visa for Myanmar from home or in Bangkok like china 3 mths validity Rulli to Lashio to Hsipaw andKyaukme and train to Mandalay bus to Inle lake pick up Kalow and day bus next am top Bagan overnight bus yangon to Moulmein leave via maesot bus chiangmai 2 day trek here overnigh Bangkok head for beach and home
Oct 7, 2013 1:18 PM
6There are plenty of one-day tours around BKK. Ignore the wearingly-predictable posts saying you shouldn't book a tour. Just google "Bangkok sightseeing tour" and you'll find plenty of options.
Sadly you'll have to keep your plans completely to yourself. If you have the audacity to tell anyone on the ground you joined a tour then you'll be shunned for eternity. That attitude would be funny if it wasn't so incredibly lame. And unfortunately many of the people posting here subscribe to that same ridiculous mentality.
Oct 7, 2013 8:56 PM
Oct 8, 2013 1:49 AM
8So everyone that's saying 12 weeks is too short, how long would you recommend then? I don't have any time constraints and want to see as much as possible. I plan on doing Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, some of Malaysia then Bali and then onto Australia. How long would you recommend in each place for the people that have traveled there?
Oct 8, 2013 2:13 AM
9I would recommend 3-4 weeks for each country, even Cambodia and Laos I found 3.5 weeks was not long enough but depends what you want to do. But many people find that SEA is best travelled slowly and some countries like Laos are slow going, don't expect to cover 300 miles in a day, its more like 20 mph on the buses. Best to be flexible and then just move on when you want to.
If you have time, why not visit Laos and more of Indonesia, I would skip Malaysia.
Edited by: Herbie47
Oct 8, 2013 3:44 AM
10I agree with the above and the only thing I would say is to read is the scams that you may find in Bangkok on arrival especially those related to so called tours/visits and the onward bus travel
I am not saying this to put you off but you should be aware of the type of things you might fall for if not prewarned
Oct 8, 2013 4:49 AM
11sorry forgot you travelling on from SEA to OZ i went there once but met so many Ozzies on the way turned around and went home to UK again. so after Myanmar take flight to KL bus to penang or after thai sislands hat yai to Penang minivan.- Medan (Sumatra) orangutans at Bukit Lawang then onto Lake Toba and fly to Yog Yakakarta borrobador and phramakhan overnight tourist trip to Mt Bromo and Lovinia on Bali all inclusive and then ebud and down to Kuta and fly out to OZ but I think you'd need extra 4 weeks on top of my previous suggestion to take in from Penang to Bali
Oct 9, 2013 7:18 PM
Oct 10, 2013 8:25 AM
Sounds like you're doing a gap year and having the same issues I had when planning mine of trying to go everywhere at once. You'll soon work out that you cannot and settle down to a great plan, just don't have too many lazy days and you'll have a great time.
As for traveling alone, I was 26 when I went to Bangkok and I had never been to asia before so I went on a backpackers tour. It does help you get over the culture shock as it is shocking, the smells, the food, the sights, the animals, the short days and early sunset, even crossing the road can seem like a nightmare at first. Don't worry about the snobbery shown to those who take tours, we all have to start somewhere! Ever since then I have traveled privately and enjoy the planning as much as the trip.
Some hotels offer "free tours", the cost being that you are dragged around a jewelry store at the end, this is fine as there is no hard sell but they are not very cultural. Maybe try to find a short taster tour 5 days max to get you settled as soon as you land. There are plenty of backpacker tours, just google them, I used Gheko who are mostly Australian based. Thailand is so cheap and easy to travel around that you could even retrace the places that the tour has already covered and not feel bored. If you are nervous then book a transfer from Bangkok airport, else a taxi or sky train are simple to do but if you're a bit scared then take the easy option for now and you'll soon be booking your own stuff.
In asia I have been to Vietnam (3 weeks), Thailand (5 weeks), Cambodia(5 days) and Myanmar(7 days) over the years and think you will be fine traveling alone as long as you take sensible precautions. Laos is next month for me but I imagine it is as easy same....and you see, you can still go back to Asia when you grow up....get older ;-)
I wanted to spend much longer in all of these places but sometimes there isnt the time so take as long as you can afford to but dont feel pressured into spending longer. And you can always go back, see new places, take someone new with you, you're only 22!
I traveled alone and hooking up with other people to travel is easy but don't compromise on things you want to do, you can always go it alone again and hook up with other people when your itineraries start to drift apart. You will also see many of the same faces along the way.
I hope you have a wonderful time and wish I could take time off to do it all again.
Have a wonderful trip!
Oct 10, 2013 8:52 AM
14#13 Great advise in the final paragraphs.
I would add though Do NOT attempt to do too much and the idea of all of SE Asia is too much so plan a logical route drop some countries completely from the plan remain flexible being prepared to drop parts of the revised plan.
I would say that nipping in to Cambodia (unless for Angkor wat or transit from Vietnam to Thailand) for 5 days or spending 7 days in Myanmar are the things that might fall by the wayside ( or Malysia/Singapore/Indonesia)
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