or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › General › General Chat › 2 months in Asia - advice?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

2 months in Asia - advice? - Page 6

post #76 of 169
MS: Weren't you in Asia sometime in the past?
post #77 of 169
Thread Starter 
^^ I was in Asia for a little more than a week in early 2008. I did not see much of it. So here's my idea for an itinerary. Tell me what you guys think. 1. 3 weeks in India. Start South and travel North to avoid monsoons. Train travel. Total time: 20 days 2. 3-4 weeks in SE Asia. Start with a flight from Delhi to Bangkok. Check out Thailand for a bit, hit up Cambodia, Vietnam (dinner with Matt!!), Laos if time. Total time: 25 days This way I can get the monsoon season countries out of the way early before the heaviest rains. 3. China - haven't figured this part out yet but definitely want to stop by HK, Jiangmen (to visit a friend), Guilin, and Jiuzhaigou Valley. Finish in Beijing. Total time: 20 days or less 4. From Beijing, Trans-Mongolian railway to Ulaanbataar in Mongolia. Hire a driver to take me around, maybe get a horse and ride the steppes. Check out the desert. Total time: 7 days or less 5. From Mongolia, I need to find a way to get southwest. I want to finish with Tibet and Nepal. A short visit but a worthwhile one to this part of the world. Total time: 7 days 6. From Nepal - ground transport to Delhi and back to US. This is a tentative plan and I realize it is ambitious. It can be done in 75-77 days. I wanted to see SE Asia, but I've always dreamt of visiting Tibet, Nepal, and Mongolia. And Bhutan, but too expensive for this trip. I hope I can make it happen...now time for vaccines and Visas. $$$ If I have to cut something out it might be Mongolia b/c of the high travel times required and the inconvenience of going there and back.
post #78 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroStyles View Post
because supposedly a lot of the countries will ask when you are leaving - which means you can't just go in with no plan.

I don't think those things are too meaningful. After you get the visa the itinerary you wrote on the application won't bind you to anything. As long as you don't overstay you're fine.


This thread is giving me serious wanderlust
post #79 of 169
looks good. one thing, you are putting the most intenst part in the begining. seriously, you may find that you can't deal with india, and don't want to travel there. if possible, better to east into india after a few other asian countries.

just a thought.



Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroStyles View Post
^^ I was in Asia for a little more than a week in early 2008. I did not see much of it.

So here's my idea for an itinerary. Tell me what you guys think.

1. 3 weeks in India. Start South and travel North to avoid monsoons. Train travel.
Total time: 20 days

2. 3-4 weeks in SE Asia. Start with a flight from Delhi to Bangkok. Check out Thailand for a bit, hit up Cambodia, Vietnam (dinner with Matt!!), Laos if time.
Total time: 25 days

This way I can get the monsoon season countries out of the way early before the heaviest rains.

3. China - haven't figured this part out yet but definitely want to stop by HK, Jiangmen (to visit a friend), Guilin, and Jiuzhaigou Valley. Finish in Beijing.
Total time: 20 days or less

4. From Beijing, Trans-Mongolian railway to Ulaanbataar in Mongolia. Hire a driver to take me around, maybe get a horse and ride the steppes. Check out the desert.
Total time: 7 days or less

5. From Mongolia, I need to find a way to get southwest. I want to finish with Tibet and Nepal. A short visit but a worthwhile one to this part of the world.
Total time: 7 days

6. From Nepal - ground transport to Delhi and back to US.

This is a tentative plan and I realize it is ambitious. It can be done in 75-77 days. I wanted to see SE Asia, but I've always dreamt of visiting Tibet, Nepal, and Mongolia. And Bhutan, but too expensive for this trip. I hope I can make it happen...now time for vaccines and Visas. $$$

If I have to cut something out it might be Mongolia b/c of the high travel times required and the inconvenience of going there and back.
post #80 of 169
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
looks good. one thing, you are putting the most intenst part in the begining. seriously, you may find that you can't deal with india, and don't want to travel there. if possible, better to east into india after a few other asian countries.

just a thought.

I understand your point, and thanks for the heads up. Thing is I can't ease into it if I want to avoid monsoon season, just timing-wise. I can't speak for how rough monsoon season is in India, but it seems like a better idea to avoid it by a couple of weeks. Of course I could be wrong and maybe it's not such a big deal.

Also, I've never heard of any of my friends not being able to deal with India? I expect lots of poverty...but obviously I do not plan on spending time in the slums. I believe I can handle a lot but who knows, you're getting me worried. I'm certainly not some well-to-do bourgeoise that has never left my estate. I've seen some poverty in the Philippines. Still though - please do give me details of what might be overwhelming. You can PM me if it's more appropriate.
post #81 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroStyles View Post
lefty,

I actually am trying to avoid tourists completely with two stipulations to that statement:

a) I don't want to go anywhere where a white man is more likely than not to be mugged. Don't feel like dealing with that stuff and canceling cards and stuff on this trip.
b) I don't want to miss anything spectacular because I am too rigid about "avoiding tourists."

It is my natural inclination to find cute girls in hostels and go drinking with them, but the whole point of this trip for me is to avoid that kind of behavior and step outside of what I am used to doing. If you can give me some ideas about your favorite parts of China and India, I'd be greatly appreciative.


Northeastern states of India:

post #82 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroStyles View Post
Also, I've never heard of any of my friends not being able to deal with India? I expect lots of poverty...but obviously I do not plan on spending time in the slums. I believe I can handle a lot but who knows, you're getting me worried. I'm certainly not some well-to-do bourgeoise that has never left my estate. I've seen some poverty in the Philippines. Still though - please do give me details of what might be overwhelming. You can PM me if it's more appropriate.

First, the poverty will be everywhere. India doesn't divide neatly into slums and non-slums. Upon exiting the airport, you'll have begging mothers showing you their malnourished babies. I had instances where a totally normal person (i.e., middle-class looking, neat) people would come up to me and tell me they were starving to death and asking for food when I was done. And as slums go, there will be people living in the streets, on sidewalks, between buildings, so it's not like it's avoidable, even if you were on a four-star bus trip.

Second, it's simply an intense place. Everything, from the smells, sounds, food, sanitary conditions will be among the most intense you've experienced. It may have changed, but the "baggage claim" area of the Mumbai airport alone almost got me to turn around and get back on my jet -- dozens of people yelling at me for any number of services I didn't want. The touts are the most aggressive I've ever seen by far, barely avoiding physical violence. At stops, trains will be invaded by a swirling army of children cleaning the floors with their clothing, beggars with horrifying disfigurements, and dozens of peddlars all screaming for you to buy tea or food. Yet, in 2 minutes, they'll be off the train and you'll be on your way again.

It also teaches you that this is what the world is truly like, or was like everywhere else. It's truly revealing to see how one reacts. This isn't slum dog millionaire with a tidy ending; it's real life. As long as you want to have a transformative experience, it's worth it.

As for Globetrotter's advice, I went to India before embarking on the rest of my Asian vacation. It made the rest of Asia down-right lame. As said before, Thailand will feel like Florida and Hong Kong like Chicago.
post #83 of 169
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. magoo View Post
First, the poverty will be everywhere. India doesn't divide neatly into slums and non-slums. Upon exiting the airport, you'll have begging mothers showing you their malnourished babies. I had instances where a totally normal person (i.e., middle-class looking, neat) people would come up to me and tell me they were starving to death and asking for food when I was done. And as slums go, there will be people living in the streets, on sidewalks, between buildings, so it's not like it's avoidable, even if you were on a four-star bus trip.
Yeah, I expected this from what I heard of other people's travels. Supposedly the urban Indian poor can be very aggressive when it comes to targeting Westerners. I remember my friend telling me how one guy came up to him and actually stuck some kind of stick in his ear as if cleaning his ears. And then asked to be paid! Anyway, I don't want to feel like an asshole every second I am in India but I don't want to be handing out donations either. I assume if you firmly say no several times that peddlers and beggars will leave you alone? I also heard that if you give out one donation or are ostensibly okay with getting ripped off about a purchase, you will be swarmed by others. Any advice on this front would be great.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. magoo View Post
As for Globetrotter's advice, I went to India before embarking on the rest of my Asian vacation. It made the rest of Asia down-right lame. As said before, Thailand will feel like Florida and Hong Kong like Chicago.
This is kind of a downer for me. Are you saying that after India nothing else will be interesting in contrast? I'd really love to visit India last, believe me, but I just don't know if "saving it for last" is worth the downside of being there during high monsoon season. Any advice there? Thanks!
post #84 of 169
Very ambitious schedule, you sure you can stick to the time line? By the way, is Tibet open to all western tourist again? Guilin is a good choice as well, you will be on the boat? My memory on them are pretty vague though, it has been over 10 years since I was there.

So, for those who have been to Nepal and Tibet, do you need Oxygen mask on the way up, or you get used to it relatively fast (you're not climbing everest, but still pretty high up...)?

by the way how does your stomach handle "exotic" food, that might be your biggest trouble travelling such a diverse part of Asia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroStyles View Post
^^ I was in Asia for a little more than a week in early 2008. I did not see much of it.

So here's my idea for an itinerary. Tell me what you guys think.

1. 3 weeks in India. Start South and travel North to avoid monsoons. Train travel.
Total time: 20 days

2. 3-4 weeks in SE Asia. Start with a flight from Delhi to Bangkok. Check out Thailand for a bit, hit up Cambodia, Vietnam (dinner with Matt!!), Laos if time.
Total time: 25 days

This way I can get the monsoon season countries out of the way early before the heaviest rains.

3. China - haven't figured this part out yet but definitely want to stop by HK, Jiangmen (to visit a friend), Guilin, and Jiuzhaigou Valley. Finish in Beijing.
Total time: 20 days or less

4. From Beijing, Trans-Mongolian railway to Ulaanbataar in Mongolia. Hire a driver to take me around, maybe get a horse and ride the steppes. Check out the desert.
Total time: 7 days or less

5. From Mongolia, I need to find a way to get southwest. I want to finish with Tibet and Nepal. A short visit but a worthwhile one to this part of the world.
Total time: 7 days

6. From Nepal - ground transport to Delhi and back to US.

This is a tentative plan and I realize it is ambitious. It can be done in 75-77 days. I wanted to see SE Asia, but I've always dreamt of visiting Tibet, Nepal, and Mongolia. And Bhutan, but too expensive for this trip. I hope I can make it happen...now time for vaccines and Visas. $$$

If I have to cut something out it might be Mongolia b/c of the high travel times required and the inconvenience of going there and back.
post #85 of 169
I'm going to make you eat fish eyes.
post #86 of 169
India is a massive amount to take on the head! If it's your first time in Asia or travelling in general (no time to read through the entire thread - sorry) then you may want to rethink or at least jiggle it around a little! I've been to Asia a lot of times but nothing could really prepare me for India. Your idea of starting south and going North is pretty good. I suppose starting in Goa might ease you in slightly. I landed in Delhi and met a girl on the plane on the way over. It was her first time travelling and within 2 days she was in tears and booking a flight to Bangkok. With regards to Bhutan - I've heard it's supposed to be a fantastic place to visit. It's *very* expensive to organise though. I actually decided to go to North Korea instead as it worked out cheaper (and that's an understatement). Good luck.
post #87 of 169
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by clee1982 View Post
Very ambitious schedule, you sure you can stick to the time line? By the way, is Tibet open to all western tourist again? Guilin is a good choice as well, you will be on the boat? My memory on them are pretty vague though, it has been over 10 years since I was there.

Not positive I can stick to the timeline, but I'd like to try. I would not mind losing Nepal/Tibet/Mongolia because I feel that is an excellent trip in itself and may deserve more time on another occasion. Tibet - I don't know if it will be open to tourists but if not I can go straight to Nepal.

What do you mean will I be in Guilin "on the boat"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by clee1982 View Post
by the way how does your stomach handle "exotic" food, that might be your biggest trouble travelling such a diverse part of Asia.

Well, I expect to get sick to my stomach a lot. Will bring plenty of pills against it but you can't fight it. I wonder if there's a way to prepare one's stomach for the experience. I am kind of a super-healthy and boring eater here, but I am always open to trying new things when traveling. I'll probably lose 20 lbs on this trip (not that I can afford to do so)!

Besides, I think the reason people get sick is bacteria, not weird food itself. But I could be wrong about that.
post #88 of 169
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eason View Post
I'm going to make you eat fish eyes.

I did that when I was 6 when my grandpa used to cook fish he just caught in the Adriatic. I love fish eyes. TRY AGAIN!
post #89 of 169
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenStyle View Post
India is a massive amount to take on the head! If it's your first time in Asia or travelling in general (no time to read through the entire thread - sorry) then you may want to rethink or at least jiggle it around a little! I've been to Asia a lot of times but nothing could really prepare me for India. Your idea of starting south and going North is pretty good. I suppose starting in Goa might ease you in slightly. I landed in Delhi and met a girl on the plane on the way over. It was her first time travelling and within 2 days she was in tears and booking a flight to Bangkok. With regards to Bhutan - I've heard it's supposed to be a fantastic place to visit. It's *very* expensive to organise though. I actually decided to go to North Korea instead as it worked out cheaper (and that's an understatement). Good luck.
Thanks SS. I've spent a lot of time "roughing it" in Panama and loved most of it. i.e. no electricity, sleeping in huts infested with ants and sand gnats, three hour back-of-a-pickup-truck rides through the wilderness in extreme discomfort, had monkeys shitting on me, etc. Spent some time in Philippines. Tons of time in Europe but that doesn't count at all for this kind of trip. The reason I am doing this solo, other than logistics, is that I think most people would want a nice hotel and stuff. I want to be uncomfortable (albeit safe). The point of this journey is to challenge myself and get out of my rut of work, bars, and internet. NYC is so deadening to the soul. Biggest concerns for me are: 1) contact lenses. I hope I can find clean water / mirror to put them in and take them out. I don't want an eye infection. 2) bugs. Mosquitos and sand gnats LOVE me. I am target number 1. Hopefully this is less of an issue once I get to China and Mongolia, but I assume I'll be awfully annoyed by it in India and SE Asia. Seriously, I have the sweetest blood for these mofos.
post #90 of 169
Donkey? Sea Cucumber? Rotten Tofu? Blood soup? Lamb oaffal? I dunno Beijing is weaksauce. If you're really coming and need a place to stay, let me know a bit beforehand, my apartment might have a free room.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Chat
Styleforum › Forums › General › General Chat › 2 months in Asia - advice?