4 weeks in Asia


Mar 2nd, 2016, 06:44 AM
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4 weeks in Asia

My husband and I want to spend at least 4 weeks in Asia, to visit China, Japan and Southeast Asia. I've looked at the Viking River Cruise and the Seabourne Cruises. I would like to find a travel agent who can coordinate a trip for us. Any recommendations?
GMarg is offline  
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Mar 2nd, 2016, 11:44 AM
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I don't think you really need a travel agent for this trip unless you really don't want to do any research or booking for yourself. This is a community of mostly independent travelers and once you know what you want to see, it's easy to build a trip that suits you perfectly. But it does take some time.

Travel agents, I suspect, are more inclined to offer places paying the best commissions. I understand if you want to leave it up to someone else, but you are your best friend for purposes of getting just what you want, if you know what you want.
MmePerdu is online now  
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Mar 2nd, 2016, 12:06 PM
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I am not as negative as Mme Perdue and, while there are exceptions, most travel agents are honest and hard working, looking after the best interests of their clients. Ultimately it has mostly to do with your travel style, knowledge about trip planning and time available to be devoted to it. Based on your question, I suspect that a travel agent is probably not a bad solution for you.
One general comment on your plan. while one month may sounds like a lot of time, you are trying to cover a huge amount of space in this time frame. You will only get to get a quick overview of all these places.
As said above, the people on this forum are more the DIY type so we have very little knowledge of travel agents.
CanadaChinaTraveller is offline  
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Mar 2nd, 2016, 01:11 PM
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Having an alternative preference, CCT, does not equal "negative". I imagine most of us here have used travel agents, including me, when it made sense. And I imagine most of us, including me, learned during our early travels that travel agents were not necessarily the answer, after having experiences with which to compare. If this trip is early in GMarg's travel career and because it appears it may be fairly complex, an agent may be an asset. It isn't clear yet. My point was, there are tradeoffs. Read carefully.

Making false assumptions about our fellow travelers does nothing to move the conversation forward.
MmePerdu is online now  
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Mar 2nd, 2016, 02:15 PM
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In order to advise you which travel agent to use, it would be helpful if you let people know in which country you live. No point in recommending a London based agent if you live in New York or Sydney.
crellston is online now  
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Mar 2nd, 2016, 07:41 PM
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No need to work with a travel agent for any of these destinations unless that is your preference.

More to the point, 4 weeks for all of these locations may be stretching it, whether you work with a travel agent or no. Are you fully committed to trying to see so many countries (and so many fewer actual locations) on this one trip?
kja is offline  
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Mar 2nd, 2016, 09:53 PM
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Besides the issue of whether a TA will justify their fee, there is the issue that you appear to be planning to book a cruise. Is that just for the Mekong or the Yangtze, or is it more extensive? A cruise is a very bad way to visit Asia, aside from some specific rivers. If you are traveling for four weeks in Asia you should definitely be looking to travel independently.
thursdaysd is online now  
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Mar 2nd, 2016, 10:29 PM
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Your plan involves too much jumping around for a four week trip. Most people pair Japan with China, or they visit Southeast Asia. It's time for you to go back to the drawing board and figure out what area is calling you.

I'm not big on cruises, so I can't help you with that.

As for the eternal Asia forum debate about travel agents, it's best for you to get your itinerary a little more focused first. Only then can you see if you can piece at least some of your itinerary together yourself. There is indeed a time and stress factor involved in doing it yourself, but most of us here get our kicks out of doing our own planning, and using travel agents as needed.
CaliforniaLady is offline  
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Mar 3rd, 2016, 12:30 AM
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Only a few days in China might not justify the ridiculous visa/agent fees. It stopped me in my tracks v.recntly.

As for trying to cover too much ground in such a short time, you'll probbly have several v.early starts, spend too much time in airport Departures, get tired quickly, tick boxes instead of enjoying the destinations, and if you get sick or are delayed along the way then it can all become a little tedious.
LancasterLad is offline  
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Mar 3rd, 2016, 07:49 AM
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As it appears that you will only spend a little time in each place, you can possibly visit key places as a transit. you get 3 days visa-free in Beijing and 6 days visa-free to visit Shanghai as well as nearby cities in Jiangsu and Zhejiang. It saves you from the trouble and cost of getting a visa but it only makes sense if you can make it fit in your itinerary without incurring additional costs.
With all these places to visit, you probably won't spend more than a week in China in any case.
CanadaChinaTraveller is offline  
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Mar 3rd, 2016, 11:43 AM
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Pause and consider what draws you to Asia.The destinations you have listed are literally all over the map.

Two weeks for two weeks would be a good first trip to Japan, you could spend another two weeks in SE Asia (or spend the whole month in SE Asia). A week long cruise on the Mekong might be a part of that. But if you opt for a river cruise, so spend extra time in Siem Reap, and opt for a local company like Pandaw rather than genetic company like Viking.

In general, cruises are not a great way to visit Asia.
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