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2 months in Asia - advice? - Page 7

post #91 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroStyles View Post
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, 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.

I do most of my travelling alone too - it's the only way to do it if you want complete control over what you do and where you go - nothing quite like it

I don't know what Panama is like but I do know that India is a real big challenge. You'd be throwing yourself in at the deep end that's for sure - but then most of my best travel memories come from doing completely crazy things.

Either way I'm sure you'll have a fantastic time
post #92 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroStyles View Post
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.

I'd just wear glasses.
post #93 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroStyles View Post
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.

I just wasnted to give you a heads up, you might veyr well be fine. I used to have people come out to india for tech presentations and so on on regualar basis. maybe 5% (2 over 3 years) just totally shut down - one guy, I took him to a market in hyderabad, and when we got out of the taxi he just totally freaked out, we had to get back into the taxi and he didn't want to leave the hotel for the rest of the week.

india is just hardcore asia - very noisy, very smelly (in good and bad ways) huge poverty (much worse than anyplace else in Asia), very crowded, invasive. that isn't nessasarily bad.

and I think your plan is good - missing the monsoon is worth it, I just wanted you to be aware.
post #94 of 169
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.

good point
post #95 of 169
Northern Thailand. Nice and cheap, lots of different things to do and see, plus makes you appreciate the life you have.
post #96 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
I just wasnted to give you a heads up, you might veyr well be fine. I used to have people come out to india for tech presentations and so on on regualar basis. maybe 5% (2 over 3 years) just totally shut down - one guy, I took him to a market in hyderabad, and when we got out of the taxi he just totally freaked out, we had to get back into the taxi and he didn't want to leave the hotel for the rest of the week.

india is just hardcore asia - very noisy, very smelly (in good and bad ways) huge poverty (much worse than anyplace else in Asia), very crowded, invasive. that isn't nessasarily bad.

and I think your plan is good - missing the monsoon is worth it, I just wanted you to be aware.

Very well explained
"Shut Down" is a great way to explain someone who was literally mind-raped by India!!
post #97 of 169
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by texas_jack View Post
I'd just wear glasses.

Argh, I hate glasses. Especially in 100 degree heat when my face will be all sweaty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
I just wasnted to give you a heads up, you might veyr well be fine. I used to have people come out to india for tech presentations and so on on regualar basis. maybe 5% (2 over 3 years) just totally shut down - one guy, I took him to a market in hyderabad, and when we got out of the taxi he just totally freaked out, we had to get back into the taxi and he didn't want to leave the hotel for the rest of the week.

india is just hardcore asia - very noisy, very smelly (in good and bad ways) huge poverty (much worse than anyplace else in Asia), very crowded, invasive. that isn't nessasarily bad.

and I think your plan is good - missing the monsoon is worth it, I just wanted you to be aware.

Yeah I know I am not that squeamish or unable to cope. It is overwhelming at first but like most things in life you just have to surrender to it and you'll be alright.

Damn, I am nervous as hell but also exhilarated about this trip...so much to do in the next two weeks though. Bookings, visas, meds, travel insurance, extra camera memory...
post #98 of 169
With regards to the mozzies - make sure you get repellent with a high % of "Deet". Also - don't apply straight after a shave...
post #99 of 169
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenStyle View Post
With regards to the mozzies - make sure you get repellent with a high % of "Deet". Also - don't apply straight after a shave...

How bad is the mosquito situation prior to rainy season? During? I wish they didn't love me so much.
post #100 of 169
Guilin -> waterway is one of the things its famous for, that's why (and river/lake).

I think you will be fine if you like to eat all the random stuff al the time. Can you handle really realy spicy food, if not, then you will die in India..., or you can enjoy the buring sensation whenever you go to bathroom (when you don't have diarrhea).



Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroStyles View Post
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"?



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 #101 of 169
Contact lense is probably a bad idea, how bad is your sight, can you do without, or just bring glass. Eye infection is the last thing you want, especially in the middle of no where.
post #102 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroStyles View Post
How bad is the mosquito situation prior to rainy season? During? I wish they didn't love me so much.

It's pretty bad but as long as you whack on the deet you'll be fine.
I'd be more concerned with bed bugs if you're going to be staying in huts etc. Look out for the tell tale signs before agreeing to accommodation.
post #103 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenStyle View Post
It's pretty bad but as long as you whack on the deet you'll be fine.
I'd be more concerned with bed bugs if you're going to be staying in huts etc. Look out for the tell tale signs before agreeing to accommodation.

yeah, don't fuck around with bed bugs. deet should be fine.
post #104 of 169
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by clee1982 View Post
Guilin -> waterway is one of the things its famous for, that's why (and river/lake).

I think you will be fine if you like to eat all the random stuff al the time. Can you handle really realy spicy food, if not, then you will die in India..., or you can enjoy the buring sensation whenever you go to bathroom (when you don't have diarrhea).

Well I can handle pretty spicy food - more spicy than most Westerners...then again I've had eaten an entire chili pepper at once accidentally at my Thai gf's place and that was...not fun. Burning diarrhea sounds sublime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clee1982 View Post
Contact lense is probably a bad idea, how bad is your sight, can you do without, or just bring glass. Eye infection is the last thing you want, especially in the middle of no where.

Yeah, I'll bring both. If I do stay in a decent hostel at some point or with a friend I will wear contacts. Too bad though, I really dislike glasses. I did manage (somehow) with contacts in Panama with no electricity and everything being dirty. Just gotta be careful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenStyle View Post
It's pretty bad but as long as you whack on the deet you'll be fine.
I'd be more concerned with bed bugs if you're going to be staying in huts etc. Look out for the tell tale signs before agreeing to accommodation.

Bed bugs are terrible. I heard there is some kind of sheet cover you can buy, but I'll have to look into it. Seems like a bad way to carry the bedbugs into your backpack and screw yourself for the rest of the trip.
post #105 of 169
Yeah - some poor kid I met in Goa was ruined by bugs. He was a ginger kid - about 17 years old. Was on some kind of catholic charity working trip or something. I remember him walking out of one of the huts on his first morning and I've never seen anything like it (it looked a lot worse than it was as he was very fair skinned). Just make sure you check the seams of the mattress for little bits of crap and blood. I've never caught them in say 4 years of travelling so don't get too worried about it - just be wary.
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