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A cash-strapped museum nut in Asia: Where to go?

A cash-strapped museum nut in Asia: Where to go?

Old May 7th, 2014, 04:05 AM
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A cash-strapped museum nut in Asia: Where to go?

Hello, everyone. For my graduation trip next year, I plan to visit some family in the Philippines and would like to see a bit of Asia as well. I've never traveled in Asia so I have no idea what each country has to offer in terms of museums, architecture, and historical sites -- things I greatly enjoyed while traveling around Europe last year.

I'm partial to places where English is more or less understood. This would be my first time in a country where I don't at least partially understand the language and it's one of my biggest concerns. I love walking and try to get around on foot whenever I can. Lastly, I understand safety is a concern everywhere, but as I'm a young female travelling alone, somewhere I can wander around safely would be great.

Friends have suggested Vietnam, South Korea and Japan. I'd appreciate any other suggestions and specifications on which cities/towns to visit. Thanks, everyone!
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Old May 7th, 2014, 04:17 AM
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How long do you have for your adventure?
What's your total budget for everything?
Do you want to do all the trip overland? You'll see a lot more if you do.
As you want to see a fair bit, keep your itinerary flexible by not booking accommodation in advance (apart from your initial accommodation).
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Old May 7th, 2014, 04:41 AM
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I'd like to stay roughly a week, but as I'll have much of the summer to myself, I would stay longer if it's worth it (and accommodation isn't too pricey). Including accommodation, would a budget of $150/day be reasonable?
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Old May 7th, 2014, 07:06 AM
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You can live very well on $150 a day in SE Asian countries. That includes VN, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand. You will find English generally understood everywhere along the tourist path. But choose just one as you have a short time and will want to spend all of your time enjoying rather than getting from pale to place.

What kind of museums are you interested in? For example, Hanoi has a fascinating assortment of museums, including the renowned Ethnographic Museum.

Siem Reap, Cambodia has the temples of Angkor - week's worth of wandering if you are interested in the temples. Take a look at Dawn Rooney's book, Angkor: A Guide to Cambodia's Wondrous Temples.

Thailand, especially Bangkok has amazing historic sites and museums. One of my favorite museums is a private museum outside of Bangkok, The Prasart. It requires advance reservations.

The whole city of Luang Prabang, Laos is an open-air, living museum, IMO.

Note that of your friends' suggestions, Japan and Korea are quite expensive. Also, while I can't weak for Korea, you'll encounter more people in SE Asia who speak English than in Japan.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 07:25 AM
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Definitely southeast Asia if you're on a budget, Kathie has given you excellent suggestions. Also, if you want to start in countries where there is more English spoken, forget South Korea and Japan, especially South Korea outside Seoul.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 07:35 AM
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SE Asia has low costs for lodging. The
National Museum in Phenom Penh, Cambodia is excellent. In Hanoi, there are several good museums. The temples throughout SE Asia are a reason to travel there as well.
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Old May 8th, 2014, 12:01 AM
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Thailand and Vietnam will work best for lower budgets, for English understanding and for your safety.

Bangkok, Hanoi and Saigon (HCM) would be the highlights.

Plan to fly into the Philippines and home from bangkok. You can fly cheaply between the P and SEa a on air asia
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Old May 9th, 2014, 07:34 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions, everyone!
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