Lonely Planet Writer

Traveller Talk: January 2017

Singapore: a worthy starting point for an epic ride © Matt Munro / Lonely Planet Singapore: a worthy starting point for an epic ride © Matt Munro / Lonely Planet

January has seen some awesome trips planned by our Thorn Tree community: from dog sledding to long-distance bicycling; first-time trips to Nepal and Japan; island exploration; and the Trans-Siberian.

Along the way there have been some huge questions posed, such as ‘should I sell my house?’ and the community has more than met the challenge.

I'll take the high road...

CephasMagnus has ambitious plans for 2017. The Scot, now living in New Zealand, wants to bike from Singapore to his birth country. But is it a ‘foolishly ambitious goal for someone as green as me?’ he asks. Mostly ‘no’ according to TT-ers, who rally round with words of wisdom and links to bike tour forums.

On his arrival in Singapore, CephasMagnus might also want to take up TT-ers' advice over on the South East Asia islands and Peninsula forum. Here they come to Jokeson’s aid with ideas of things to do during a 16-hour layover in Singapore. PFSHero provides an entire itinerary and the community chips in with their favourite places to catch a bite. Lucapal, for example, suggests Maxwell Road Hawker Centre for Chinese food and the Tekka Centre, Hawker Market, for Indian cuisine.

Adventures on bike and foot

Back on the biking theme, paulhat is planning a week’s cycling in Iceland and is ‘up for packing in as much as [he] can’. Iviehoff suggests the Southern Highlands via Landmannalaugar and taking in parts of the Golden Circle. Thisisbarcode warns to factor in heavier baggage, terrain, and weather.

Heading across the North Atlantic, floger65 and family are planning a Danish adventure hiking in the Faroe Islands and ask TT-ers for their top routes and places to visit. The hike from the village of Mykines to the Holmur lighthouse with its windswept charm and ocean views gets top vote.

Keenette is keen to see the Northern Lights © Justin Foulkes / Lonely Planet Keenette is keen to see the Northern Lights © Justin Foulkes / Lonely Planet

Weighing up tour options

Further across the ocean in Tromso, Norway, keenette wants to book a dog sledding tour to experience the Northern Lights and ‘see local animals’. TT-ers put forward various tour companies and smoozar advises to book ahead due to it being peak season, as well as suggesting that keenette opts to book as a ‘passenger’ rather than a driver if taking in the scenery is an objective.

Skabaf and partner are planning to travel on the Trans-Mongolian-Siberian railway this July and are wondering if booking through a Russian company is a cheaper option. TT-ers help by suggesting agencies and AlexeyGusev goes the extra mile by visiting a train station on the route to verify how to book that particular section of the journey. The three then even plan to meet up!

I'll be there for you...

Talking of making travel buddies, a lone and impromptu first trip to Nepal posted by mvidega becomes a bigger affair when travellers mrjocku and MsFootloose realise that the three of them are travelling around the same time and meet-up plans are suggested.

Another solo trip, this time to Japan, is being planned by RicketyWrecked and TT-ers help him fine-tune his itinerary suggesting that the expensive JR pass might be dumped in favour of local train and bus tickets.

Meanwhile, hazes and husband are struggling with the huge dilemma of whether to sell their house before their long-term travel adventure.