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i am new to traveling to SEA for four countries below. would appreciate what the best way to plan this..tickets and hotels mostly.
bangkok and Thailand (mostly beaches and islands)
singapore and malaysia (TBD)
Trip length is 6 to 7 weeks to cover places above.
i will being leaving NYC mid january 2011. would like to spend time at the above places for 6 to 7 weeks....
please let me know
#1 mayahmedny has been a member since 26/11/2010. Posts: 7
The best way to plan is to start reading and looking up info on the internet. It really depends on your interests. A very good case can be made for just "going with the flow" rather than sticking to a rigid timetable.
Here is one tip for you. In some Asian countries like Vietnam and Singapore, the Lunar New Year is a long holiday. In 2011, this will fall on from Feb 3-7. So plan accordingly because many businesses/attractions will be closed.
Everyone else: I don't understand this desire to go all over the map in a short space of time. If I had seven weeks to travel to Europe, I wouldn't go from Gremany to England to France to Spain. Too much time in buses, planes and trains for one. For two, that's four different languages. Communication will remain brutal the entire time because you won't even have time for basic phrases. As for food, but the time you figure out what you like to eat, you'll be gone to another country with different food. And you'll never figure out the customs and courtesies, except what you got from a guide book, cause you won't have time to figure them out. I can't figure it out for the life of me. Why do people want to flit all over the place in such a short space of time?
#3 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
I can understand it Mac, but I don't endorse it. When you have limited time, and you have to travel so far, people want to get the most bang for their buck, especially if they don't plan to come back. You get a taster of what's on offer, run themselves ragged trying to see it all, spend hours/days getting from place to place. But travelling like that you will never get a good appreciation of what really makes a place what it is.
I know each time I plan a trip, I get caught up in that as well. I started planning a 3-week trip back in 2008 with my sister... and I wanted to do so much. Rather than cram it all in, I managed to talk her into extending the trip to 6 weeks. It was fantastic; it meant we got to the places that we wanted to go, and at a much more relaxes and enjoyable pace. And we got to discovery some small-town wonders along the way.
On my longer trip last year (5 months), I tried to slow it down further. There were times where I was moving daily (eg when motorbiking through Vietnam), but mostly I stayed 3-9 days in each place. This gives you time to just get the feel of the place, meet some locals, and generally absorb the atmosphere. But it's never like staying there for a few weeks/months.
The places that I stayed when I was on the move daily are now a blur in my mind. I can remember the activities and sites, but can't recall where I was when I saw/did it without resorting to re-reading my blog or trolling through photos. The most memorable and meaningful places where the ones where I stayed for a longer period of time.
Mac - I know you like to refer to the issues of languages, etc. I know first hand what a difference it makes. (I studied Indonesia for 5-6 years when I was at school, and have made several trips there over the years where I have used it. I am no longer fluent to the point that I can read a newspaper easily, but I can hold my end up in a conversation. The difference this made to my travels is uncomparable to any other travel that I have done.
The reality is for most people, they are sticking to the tourist trail where language isn't an issue. This will also lead us back to the argument of tourists -vs travellers, attitudes, etc. In my opinion, most people on a first trip to SEA will see the highlights, and not take the time to learn much language other than the basics. It's a taster tour.
Those that have a genuine interest in learning more about the culture and people and want to go back for more will take the time to learn the language and to see the off-the-beaten track places. And they will do it at a more leisurely pace.
There is always a trade off - too much to see in too limited a time. My suggestion is to aim for quality rather than quantity. But first-timers, and the regular holiday-makers are generally happy with the tasters. That's just how it is (IMHO).
thanks for your opinions and thoughts.. i appreciate it. i am taking bangkok and viet off the list for different reasons. i do understand more time is requied for truly appreciating the culture, unfortunately that amount of time off is not possible for me.
i had more time to research (now that i am off this week from work) - the updated route i am thinking below -
going to spend a week in Bali,
then Bali to Phuket.... going to spend 3 weeks in thailand .... i plan to take the train south towards singapore ..i will be getting on and off the train depending on more research i am doing.
i dont plan to spend toomuch time in major cities..unless theres something a must see.
any suggestions would be awesome!
#6 mayahmedny has been a member since 26/11/2010. Posts: 7
Well, obviously you are right. I just can't understand it. I've never done that, have no interest in doing that. To me everything would be a blur... Also, I think that going to new places is mostly about meeting people and making new friends. How on earth do you do that when constantly on the move? Just work for me at all on any level.
#7 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Well search with the help of internet, you will get every details over there. Internet is the best way to search the exact query.
#8 dasankita has been a member since 13/5/2011. Posts: 4
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