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Planning 1st trip to Asia – Ideal itinerary (solo)

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I’ve enjoyed reading all the wonderful reports and comments from the wonderful Fodor’s Asian experts like rhkkmk, Cicerone, Kathie, Hanuman, thursdaysd and others, but was especially inspired to make my first trip to Asia after reading NeoPatricks Asia trip report and Iowa_Redhead “A Redhead in China” report.

I’m only in the initial planning stages and have decided on November 2012 which seems to be the ideal time weather-wise (but know that anything can happen) and thought I would spend 3 weeks (not including travel days to/from US). These are the places I’m hoping to visit in no particular order as that will depend on the best available fares getting to those routes and also which would be the easiest logistically getting to/from each other:

Thailand/Vietnam/Cambodia
China/Thailand/Vietnam
Thailand/Vietnam/Singapore

I’m one of those leisure-travelers who just like to experience the people/culture of the places I visit and don’t like to rush from place to place and don’t believe in seeing everything on my first trip because I feel if I enjoyed the place I could always come back, which is always my hope. I also don’t travel for food, because I don’t consider myself a big foodie. I don’t eat red meat, pork, shell-fish of any kind and only some fishes. I do love Thai and Vietnamese food. If I decide on an itinerary that includes China, The Great Wall is a must-see for me. Other than that I could simply explore things in each country as I go.

As this will my first (and hopefully not my last) trip to Asia and I might be going solo (female), which I’m rather use to traveling solo, I’m wondering how daunting going to Asia for the first time alone would be, especially with regards to the language barrier. I do know a few Chinese and Vietnamese greetings and will have plenty of time to learn more. I plan on doing plenty of reading through guide books.

I would appreciate any and all comments regarding the best itinerary for me leaving out of the Washington-DC area for November 2012, but I’m flexible if there’s a better time to visit Asia.

Thanks to all in advance.

jdc

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