2 months in Asia - advice?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by MetroStyles, May 10, 2009.

  1. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    Why do you say that? Won't I just get explosive diarrhea for a month?

    I kid, I kid. Seriously though, why India in particular? I wasn't planning on it.


    It assaults the senses. All 503 of them.
     


  2. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    ^ That. All at the same time.

    If it doesn't kill you in the first 36 hours, you'll be in for the adventure of your life.

    All these countries are worth visiting, so pick the ones that have fascinated you since you were a kid. You'll be tempted to hit a beach and hang out with the tourists, so get that out of your system asap. But I would take the opportunity to get off the beaten track. India or China - tough but rewarding.

    lefty
     


  3. MetroStyles

    MetroStyles Senior member

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    ^ That. All at the same time.

    If it doesn't kill you in the first 36 hours, you'll be in for the adventure of your life.

    All these countries are worth visiting, so pick the ones that have fascinated you since you were a kid. You'll be tempted to hit a beach and hang out with the tourists, so get that out of your system asap. But I would take the opportunity to get off the beaten track. India or China - tough but rewarding.

    lefty


    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.
     


  4. Eason

    Eason Bicurious Racist

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    ^^ If you pass by Beijing let me know, I'll do what I can to give you the un-tourist tour.
     


  5. MetroStyles

    MetroStyles Senior member

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    All these things are pulling out of memories, haven't been back to Asia for 2 to 3 years (from Taiwan here).

    China..., well, the options are
    1. you get ripped by the tour guy, so he make sure you don't get ripped by the locals, or at least not as much
    2. you get ripped by the tour guy, AND ripped by the local
    3. you don't get ripped, sorry, that only happens in lala land,

    all right I am exaggerating, don't get discouraged, as Jiuzhaigou Valley is one of those place I would go myself when I get the time. I would say some kind of surcharge somewhere is almost inevitable for tourist, just to what degree.

    To answer your real question, there are tour guys that you pay for take you around for 1 day (which might not quite work, too short), or the ones you hire from the start (at least for the particular area). I would go for the 2nd route, you definitely need more than 1 day, you would also need their car/van anyway (so really tour guy+driver, sometimes all in one sometimes not). The last time I checked, it's freaking hard for foreigner to drive in China legally without going through a lot of hassale.

    Maybe some of the guys from Mainland China can clarify for me, but that has always been my impression and experience (even the in state guys rip the out state guys in China). On another note, even if you do get ripped it is still decently cheap compare to other places, just negotitate it down when they say something that you think is ridiculous. When I was in China the first time (as a kid), my father's usually tactic is, 90% off everything the guy ask (street vendor, sight scen, but not ticket though, those things are posted). It has been getting better by a lot these years (last time there was in 2006/7, but was mostly in the cities), haggling on price still exists to a very large degree.

    Now on the other note, if you want to do some backpacking trip, then Taiwan might not be a bad idea, I would not stay for 2 month though, 2 weeks should be enough, I can give you ideas on those ones pretty quick. I am certainly more familiar with my own home town.

    I have no idea what's American's experience in the more rural part of China, City is city everywhere (though all have its own charm), but rural area is different, not that it is dangerous, it's just different. It's much harder to get by with English (not that it's easy to get by with English in the first place). You should find the trip quite interesting if you go to somewhere remote.

    By the way, I am pretty sure you find a package to Hokkaido from the States (and might just try your American Express card service for that matter). As to Jiuzhaigou Valley, hum, lots of travel agency in Taiwan/Hong Kong does that, but from the States, absolutely no idea.

    P.S. are you going alone with girlfriend or a few close friends?


    Thanks clee.

    I am going by myself - solo trip. Not too interested in packaged tours but the local guide option sounds enticing. I am trying to avoid the American tourist tax wherever possible. Chinese cities sound nice and I'll surely roll through, but it is more the remote places that I'm interested in - as long as it is reasonably safe and I won't be paying an arm and a leg. I am prepared to have a language barrier and to be pretty lonely when in the more remote areas. I'm not looking for a vacation, rather an experience.
     


  6. Alter

    Alter Senior member

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    I'm not looking for a vacation, rather an experience.

    Based on the quote above, I add to the chorus of "Go to India". As Johnaprll said, it will blast your senses...in one moment something more beautiful than you could ever imagine just a moment away from the most horrid and vile thing of your nightmares. Sounds good, eh?

    I would go to India for around 3 weeks (which part of India will depend on the timing as you want to avoid the worst of the monsoon season), Thailand for around 2 weeks, and...hmmmm...somewhere else for the rest.

    You can definitely get a boat from Busan Korea to Japan...around 8 hours to Kyushu or around 15 hours will get you to Osaka. If you make it to Osaka, dinner is on me.
     


  7. feynmix

    feynmix Senior member

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    Based on the quote above, I add to the chorus of "Go to India". As Johnaprll said, it will blast your senses...in one moment something more beautiful than you could ever imagine just a moment away from the most horrid and vile thing of your nightmares. Sounds good, eh? I would go to India for around 3 weeks (which part of India will depend on the timing as you want to avoid the worst of the monsoon season), Thailand for around 2 weeks, and...hmmmm...somewhere else for the rest.
    I like the way you put that Alter. MS - If you are looking for interesting experiences...there is no place better than India. Just riding the trains in India is an experience of a lifetime.
     


  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Senior member

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    I spent about a week travelling alone in the Philippines in January. There was a business purpose to my trip, and I ended up following leads in Manila, Olongapo, Clark, Baguio City and several other places. Travel is easy and cheap on buses. I used Victory Liner. People are friendly and most speak English. FWIW, they tend to have positive opinions of Americans. I always keep my eyes open, and I never felt threatened.

    It was a relaxing experience, just moving with the flow, talking to people and observing a different culture. I want to do it again.
     


  9. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    Definitely ride a train in India. And an autorickshaw or two.

    The nice thing about India is that you can get by very well with English. I'm a poor choice to ask about tourist places as I never went to one while I lived there, but you could try Kerala for the waterways and the food, and work your way up to Goa to bang some hippie chicks. I would then hit Delhi for a bit and Kashmir in the north. If you're feeling adventurous (this may not be the kind of trip you're after), go trekking in Nepal. End your trip in a nice boutique hotel in some city.
    s
    This could be your first month. Second month pick two of the SE Asian hot spots - Thailand, Bali, Vietnam, Cambodia and in each case drive in the opposite direction as the tourists. Finish with two days in either Singapore, Hong Kong or Bangkok.

    Above all, be flexible in your plans and accepting of whatever the culture throws your way. I used to watch westerners try to fight India or Indonesia and it damned near killed them.

    lefty
     


  10. robertorex

    robertorex Senior member

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    I spent about a week travelling alone in the Philippines in January. There was a business purpose to my trip, and I ended up following leads in Manila, Olongapo, Clark, Baguio City and several other places. Travel is easy and cheap on buses. I used Victory Liner. People are friendly and most speak English. FWIW, they tend to have positive opinions of Americans. I always keep my eyes open, and I never felt threatened.

    It was a relaxing experience, just moving with the flow, talking to people and observing a different culture. I want to do it again.


    All the little towns in the Philippines have their own local culture, food, legends, fiestas and such, and since many people speak English it's easy to absorb it all. If you're going in the next few months you may be able to catch fiesta season in most cities. Otherwise, the diving is awesome as has already been said, and the No Reservations episode in the PI should give you a good picture of the food (although I would say it's heavily biased towards a particular region that in fairness does have awesome food)

    If you're swinging by the Philippines shoot me a PM.
     


  11. MetroStyles

    MetroStyles Senior member

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    Hey guys,

    Regarding the Philippines, I already spent a bit of time there. Might come through but at this point I'd rather check out countries I haven't seen yet.
     


  12. robertorex

    robertorex Senior member

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    awright bro. don't miss that fried stingray in malaysia.
     


  13. constant struggle

    constant struggle Senior member

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    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.


    Is this actually possible?
     


  14. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Senior member

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    India is a journey. Thailand is a vacation.

    After India, Thailand will feel like Florida -- calm, developed, condo-ridden, first-worldy, etc.

    If I did two months, I would either go east from Bangkok to Sri Lanka-India-Burma, west from Bangkok to Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam, or south to Malaysia-Indonesia, and try to really spend a few weeks in each country. Whatever you do, it'll be great.
     


  15. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    Why do you say that? Won't I just get explosive diarrhea for a month?

    I kid, I kid. Seriously though, why India in particular? I wasn't planning on it.


    let me tell you - I spent 3 years in india. I have traveled in almost every other country in asia, soem extensivly.

    in total seriousness - pretty much every day in india I saw something that made me saw "what the fuck was that?" every day, for 3 years, a surprise. india is wild. but, it isn't the country to jump into - some people get sensory overload from india.
     


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