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Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia forum

To tour or not to tour?

Posted by Tod87 on 20/10/2006 at 14:54

Hi People!

I am planning to go travelling in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Before there though I am looking at going to India and China.

At the moment I am torn on whether to pre book tours of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand with a company like Intrepid or to just go and do my own thing using their sample itineries. The tours do sound brilliant but the majority of them cover a large distance in not too many days whereas I think I would want longer then what they offer. The tours are also more expensive then if I did it myself but there is less hassle. However I have not really travelled before and are unsure whether I would be able to do this.

I think inThailand I could get around myself o.k. but what about Vietnam and Cambodia? I don't want to be too ambitious and fail but I do want have a good time.

Any ideas on what I should do would be appreciated.

#1 Tod87 has been a member since 20/10/2006. Posts: 1

Posted by marianwarren on 20/10/2006 at 16:20

Hi Tod87

Tours factor in a good profit margin, otherwise there would be no point in their existence. The freedom to make snap decisions regarding length of stay, destinations, sights etc. I feel is very important. Yes, I have missed some of the "must see" sights because I chose to travel independently, but I've also had amazing experiences to counter balance that - mainly random connections with locals. Tours tend to prevent interaction with anyone else outside the tour group.

For example ... my parents have always travelled with tours, and have made lots of friends from their own country but I don't think they have ever made friends in the country they visited.

I have never been on an organised tour (3 day trek and a couple of 1/2 day excursions excepted) and I have experienced wonderful connections that would not have occurred had I been travelling with others.

In India, as a 39 yr female, travelling alone, I found myself being 'adopted' by local people (local women don't travel by themselves), I met up with 2 other oz women for 10 days and lost that connection because we were a self contained unit ... the 10 days were more touristy, no invitations to homes, meals, spontaneous offers to show me the sights etc. Once I separated from my temporary companions, I was once again invited into homes and able to get a glance at their lives.

If you want to have a 'real' experience, buy your travel guides, use this site - it's a great resource. Organising transport and accomodation may take a little longer but the result will be worth it I'm sure.

Travel well


#2 marianwarren has been a member since 12/3/2006. Posts: 270

Posted by Laura_B on 20/10/2006 at 22:31

Half the adventure of travelling to Asia is having to organise things yourself. Somtimes it doesn't work out, but mostly Asia is a pretty easy place to travel on your own, transport is reasonable in Cambodia and Vietnam, in Thailand it's of a pretty high standard (government buses rather then VIP buses). You can book local tours as you go along, there is never a shortage of travel agencies in these countries.

I saw heaps of people travelling on their own in these countries so you won't be alone I can assure you. It might be dauting to start off with, but after a couple of weeks or so, you'll wonder why you ever contemplated an organised tour. Pick up a good guide book, and as you travel around speak to other travellers and ask them for recommendations for guesthouses, restaurants, places to see etc.

Best of luck.

#3 Laura_B has been a member since 30/6/2006. Posts: 54

Posted by marklatham on 21/10/2006 at 15:45

Do it on your own bruvva.The freedom to do one's own thing is the best way to travel.
The books and websites available now make it easy I think'
Chok dee nah.

#4 marklatham has been a member since 25/6/2006. Posts: 18

Posted by tsargood on 30/10/2006 at 15:38

solo is the way to go.

#5 tsargood has been a member since 10/4/2006. Posts: 87

Posted by THANHBINH on 31/10/2006 at 15:55

deleted No advertorial posts thanks

#6 THANHBINH has been a member since 12/9/2006. Posts: 3

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