Hi there, been a visitor of this site for some time now. And about to embark on a journey which I always wanted to do. My inpirations come from watching OLN network, shows such as "Departures" and "Word Travels". Never made the opportunity to make it happen till recently. and Never knew there were classfieds like this, so figure see what happens.
My plan is, visit hong kong late january/early february for about 2 weeks or so, then head back home. But 2 or 3 months after my 1st intial visit to hong kong, will be going back to HK again. Plan is the 2nd time around, will take 2 or 3 months off from work. Do a few things in hk and off i go. Plan is to visit macu, china (may visit there the 1st time), and/or off i go to SE Asia. Where I will be going, i really don't kow exactly. maybe start off in thailand as it's the most popular place among visitors. I honestly find it hard to plan everything out and stick with that schedule. My adgenda is, plan as i go, which i don't know is a good thing, since i don't know how others plan ahead. A relative suggested i take a tour package (book it in HK), but i would like to experience back packing instead.
a bit about myself. i'm a 30 canadian born chinese from toronto, born and raised here. I can understand chinese but speaking it isn't the greatest either, since others sometimes can't understand what i'm saying. as they say i'm a "twinky". Not that speaking my language matters in SE asia.
I don't think there's anything wrong with planning as you go! Have a rough list of places you want to go and things you want to do, and let it come together naturally. The best source of travel info. is people you meet while traveling, and they often have great suggestions about where to go next.
Let me know if you'll be passing through Singapore. I like showing fellow Canadians around :)
yeah that was exactly my idea of travelling, meet and socialize with others along the way, since we're all like-minded on here...
that's very generous of you Tanya, will definitly try to see if i could toss in singapore as well.
2 weeks in HK is more than enough. There are plenty of day-hikes in the New Territories, lots of fun places to check out, but after a week it starts to get cramped - you could probably do Macau in the first 2 week trip so that you can travel on directly from HK on the second trip.
If you get bored with the the city-scape, here is a good site with trail maps for some hikes in HK: http://www.discoverhongkong.com/promotions/greatoutdoors/eng/html/front/front.html
If you want to go from HK airport there are cheap flights to any of the major hubs in SE Asia - Singapore sounds like a good place to start and you could just work your way north from there. Otherwise very cheap flights to Bangkok, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City depending on a rough plan for what you want to see, like to do.
Chinese won't help you that much in SE Asia, maybe a little in Bangkok and Northern Laos - and most there speak (very) rough Putonghua and not Cantonese if your family is from the south.
thanks for your input as well caseyprich, wouldn't mind doing some trail hiking as well, being that i just bought a pair of hiking boots for this trip too.
by chance, if maybe you'll know of some accomodations as well. when i arrive to HK, i'll be staying in river-side hotel in Shatin the 1st 4 days, after that i plan to stay some-where else budget wise. I've been told of a YMCA place that back-packers can stay at.
Do you know of any places that you could recommend as well.
actually just kind of answered my own question there... just did some research, found this.
there's actually alot of hostels in HK from the looks of it. Now just wondering, what is the currency that the prices are listed in, seems really cheap what-ever currency it is. It's not in canadian is it, no way it can be that cheap. Correct me if i'm wrong.
also anyone have feed back of which one to select, looking for good location, good atmosphere, place to meet/socialize with other people... etc...
Those prices show up as USD for me - and they do look a little on the cheap side for HK.
Most travelers prefer to stay in Kowloon and not Hong Kong Island as there is more to do and it is less business-class.
I usually search for hostels here:
>search hong kong and look at specialty lodging.
Lately i've been having 2nd thoughts about staying 3 months or yet even going to SE Asia alone.
Do you think 3 months is a bit excessive, more than enough or just the right amount of time for a 1st timer.
in the end i still plan on making this trip happen.
My advice would be - if you could afford to stay here for three months, do it. I've been here three and a half years, and it hasn't gotten old yet. My only piece of advice would be, try not to bounce around too much and get to know some indigenous people. It seems people come here and never get to know anyone except for backpackers. In my opinion, that's a big mistake.
wow, 3 1/2 years since you've been there, did your trip start out as a get-away and ended up you living there as of now??
yeah part of this excursion would to be meet indigenous people, but how does one meet/stay with those that live in those villages, not as easy as it sounds? i'd like to meet all walks of life...
"wow, 3 1/2 years since you've been there, did your trip start out as a get-away and ended up you living there as of now??"
No, I retired and my wife came from Thailand, so it was either Thailand or the US or Germany. The last two have a high cost of living... so this became an easy decision.
"yeah part of this excursion would to be meet indigenous people, but how does one meet/stay with those that live in those villages, not as easy as it sounds? i'd like to meet all walks of life..."
This is actually very easy, but the reason that most "Travellers" and backpackers don't do it, is because it's not a priority for them. Seeing lots of exotic sights and getting lots of happy snaps at them is important to them (which is OK, but I find their occassional haughtiness as some sort of super tourist of great moral worth hard to take), and they don't have time or inclination to actually meet indigenous peoples. If you want to do this, it's very simple. Go to a boring province with no noteworthy sites. There's no tourists there. Meeting people at markets or nightspots is super easy - because they want to meet you. You are a curiosity item for them, and being friendly to visitors is ingrained. At least in Isaan where I live. The trick is working through the languag, as most people here don't speak English. But they will try and you can try and meet them halfway there. It's fun. But if you want to develop friendships, this means staying in one place for a while, and most tourists don't want to do this.
thanks for the tip madmac, i can see what you mean by when travellers/back packers to visit villages or mainland people isn't a priority to them, being that some don't have all the time to do such things. But with my planned 3 months, maybe try to squeeze something like that into the trip, something different and nice to experience to say the least...
i see there's also volunteer teaching jobs that are offered as well, guess something such as this would be another good way to set yourself up with another experience, though this will take a commitment from you or whom-ever...