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Advice for a newbie!

Old Feb 18th, 2016, 06:10 AM
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Advice for a newbie!

Hi everyone! I'm 21 and about to graduate this May as an engineer. It hasn't been a memorable four years. I hated my degree but I'm almost done now. I'm sick of life right now. Before I move on, I really, really need a break.

I'd like to travel within SE Asia. Which country should I start with? Let's say I'm traveling for a month. I'm not into big, sprawling cities (Like Singapore). Been to Dubai, didn't like it much. I'm more of a Nature lover. Which countries would you suggest? Please help! I need this break.

How safe is Nepal? Does the government issue trekking permits to newbies? Thailand/Indonesia/Vietnam/Nepal/Bhutan/India. Anything.

Thank you!
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Old Feb 18th, 2016, 01:43 PM
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Nepal isn't in SE Asia, so I'm not sure where you're targeting?

Have you traveled before? Have you traveled alone before?

Are you looking to go trekking? Culture? Museums? Food?

What's your budget? Bhutan will be far more expensive than anywhere else you've listed.

You could do Thailand in a month, same with Vietnam. I'd suggest if you did Thailand or Vietnam to do 3 weeks and then a week in Siem Reap for Angkor.
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Old Feb 19th, 2016, 06:27 AM
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Sorry, I made a mistake there. Let me rephrase my question. I'd like to travel within South/SE Asia.

Yes I have traveled alone. Haven't done any backpacking though. That's what I want to do. I'm really surprised that Bhutan is expensive. Really? Budget of around 2000 USD. Thanks!
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Old Feb 19th, 2016, 08:37 AM
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My advice is to go to the library and get a stack of guidebooks, at least one for each country you are considering. If you were unaware that Bhutan is expensive, I expect there are all kinds of basic things about these countries that you don't know. Do your research first, then come back with specific questions.
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Old Feb 19th, 2016, 07:02 PM
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In addition to the above recommendations from both Needmore and Kathie, to be clear with yourself on exactly what kind of traveling/budget/sites/time you want, and then to do further research via guidebooks and/or internet.

IF you decide on India as a destination, I strongly recommend you search Indiamike.com, where in addition to loads and loads of information from fellow travelers, you will find far more than here on Fodors that is geared to both backpacking, as this is what you want to do, and to your age group.

Very best wishes to you. You sound really burned-out, and wisely recognize that you need a break. Traveling can be life changing in the most wonderful way!!!!
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Old Feb 21st, 2016, 08:35 PM
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Bhutan is very expensive. Because the government does not want the country overrun with backpackers, they have set a minimum amount that you have to spend each day . Not sure of the minimum now, but it was $200 a while back. Even if you camped.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2016, 11:28 PM
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When we went to Nepal, we traveled from Kathmandu to Pokhara and had a great experience. It was very cheap and the people were amazing. It was a very safe trip and would recommend it to anyone. You can check out our experiences from our blog or website if your looking for inspiration!

Mike
To the Nations Worldwide
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Old Feb 23rd, 2016, 09:31 AM
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Is the $2000 inclusive of flights?

If it's not- that leaves you with $65-70 per day on the ground. That's feasible in most countries (again, not Bhutan) especially if you're open to dorm/hostel living.

As others have mentioned, not knowing Bhutan is far more expensive than other countries shows that your knowledge may be lacking about some other important facts in regards to travel in Asia. Get thee to a library or half-priced books to pick up some guide books.

You'll probably want to stick to one country or area vs trying to do say Thailand and Indonesia as a RT flight could easily eat up 2+ 'days' of your budget (ie. $140+), whereas a bus from Siem Reap to Bangkok would be quite reasonable.
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 05:32 AM
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Thank you everyone for your wonderful replies!! I'm gonna start reading asap. Now I've realized that I need to do a lot more research.

Thanks folks!
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Old Feb 25th, 2016, 11:08 PM
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If you are a newbie to trekking, so choose Vietnam or Myanmar are good options for you. Because it will relate to some kind of work that could help you enjoy nature here, like Sapa or Ninh Binh. An amazing place for you today.
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Old Feb 27th, 2016, 07:50 PM
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You also need to take into account exactly when you want to visit these countries as some of them may be unbearably hot at the time you want to travel.

Use a website similar to this one to make decisions.

http://www.timeyourtrip.com/

This could be a great time for the Himalayas.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2016, 07:51 PM
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Indeed, after working so hard on your professional degree, it is time to chill out before you take up the onerous task of being a productive member of your society!
It could be both India and Nepal. Bhutan is serene but woefully expensive.
India has a lot to offer in the way of culture. You will find it aplenty in smaller towns, rural areas, remote (non-modernist) but easily accessible destinations. You will not find the solace you are seeking in larger cities where cut-throat competition and a certain meanness of outlook may prevail.
Your perfect holiday, imo, may involve a smattering of culture,architecture, a soft trekking option, stay amidst simple folks and nature!
Happy Travels!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 06:10 PM
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Hi,
For those who love discovering nature or trekking, I think Vietnam is a great choice. I had had a trekking trip in Sapa, Vietnam, well, there has no words to describe but so fantastic. I'd gone to trekking in Laos and Cambodia however it was not as perfect as in Vietnam.Anyway, I don't know what exactly you expect, so it's just a suggestion for you. If you are curious in my trekking experience, please feel free to contact with me
Best,
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Old Mar 4th, 2016, 02:38 AM
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If you love nature, have limited budget and need a break and change scenery, I think Indonesia would be the place to be, we are an island country so you can see and do almost anything here, from exotic temple to white sand beaches (unspeakable exciting water sports/activities) to mountain/forest trekking to village live-in to skyscraper and metropolitan city lights. Even locals found there's a always something to visit or do in our country for holiday/getaway.
Budget wise, you can be so skimp or you can go all out dripping in luxury, both ways got it's own charm.

Where are you from by the way?
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Old Mar 4th, 2016, 10:01 PM
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If you are looking for a really nice and long break than India is your destination. This can be your best bet because India is a kind of place everything found in abundant and is the best place for every kind of travellers. It can be either heritage and cultural paradise or it can be pristine and serene natural destination that can give you and soul a great satisfaction of mind. As here in India you can find diversity in almost every sphere of life ranging from climate, season, festivals, landscapes,culture and lifestyle. But it is as soothing as it can be. All the places of natural diversity like Ooty, Munnar, Jammu and Kashmir,Auli, Dharmshala, Shillong etc., have their own flavour and aroma and have the capacity to steal your attention in a first sight. And if your are looking for some adventure than also India is great place to visit as we have Auli, Rishikesh, Leh and Ladakh,Uttrakhand, Kasol, Pahelgam, Gulmarg and many more you can enjoy activity like river rafting, Trekking, Mountain climbing, Bungee jumping and feel the strength and refreshment within your self. This kind of trip not only give a chance to explore ourself but also get to know our inner strength. So be it and welcome to India.Safe trip.
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 12:35 AM
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If you love nature, mountains, diverse culture and need a break, Nepal is just the perfect choice for you.
I went to Nepal during my holidays last year. It was wonderful. If you are into trekking, Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Poonhill Trek and other trekking areas will excite you. There are cultural heritages and religious sites that are listed in UNESCO World Heritage List if you want to travel within the valley.
And if you are wondering whether it is safe to travel Nepal after earthquake, let me assure it is quite safe. Media report that Nepal was devastated after the earthquake. They were not concerned about their long-term impact. Most of the touristic places and trekking routes have been opened and life is back to normal now. A few cultural sites within Kathmandu valley are under reconstruction but overall it is quite fine to travel to Nepal.
Do a bit of research yourself and yes do travel to Nepal.
Have fun travelling….
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 01:29 AM
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Hello there travelASAP, I went through this post. But could not find anyone giving you answer on whether government(s) approves visa for a newbie. As long as you have the necessary documents, you are permitted a visa in most countries. Nepal for sure (since you explicitly asked about it). Nepal is also a country with lots of varieties. So, if your're unsure where to go, Nepal could be an excellent economic travel destination. Tried to give you a link to a relevant site but it seems NEWBIES are not allowed to post a link.Travel happy and travel safe.
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 07:38 AM
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Search for Indonesia, in Gili Islands or Java, both to be discovered by a curious foot. PM if you need more tips and hints regarding a comfortable and yet, adventurous travel.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 06:18 AM
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This is a great time to go to Nepal. They are recovering from the earthquake, many buildings are restored ,and the country needs and deserves your money. It is exotic, beautiful, and does not have to be expensive. It would, however, be very important to travel with a guide.

We loved Bhutan. The cost was $250 per person per day--lots--but this included all food, lodging, museum and temple fees (cultural trek). We took a 5 day trek where again all expenses were included--highly trained guide, cooks, ponies to carry goods etc. We used the Noble Traveller and hope to go back for another trek in two years (see my trip report).

If you graduated in engineering, you have a good future income. Bhutan is likely to change in next few years (widening roads will allow full sized buses); could you treat yourself to this special place now and perhaps go for a shorter time?

If you google the Noble Traveller, look at their description of Druk Trek.
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