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Help Us Decide: Three Options for First Trip to Asia

Help Us Decide: Three Options for First Trip to Asia

Jan 26th, 2009, 06:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Help Us Decide: Three Options for First Trip to Asia

Hey guys! I'm cross-posting this in the forums of each country my husband and I are trying to choose between for our first visit to Asia (only ever done Europe and North America).

To start, here's a little about us: Young (ages 26 and 35) married couple, he has a degree in anthropology and I minored in it. For our vacations we are most interested in culture, history, and beautiful/unique landscapes.

The following are three trips we are trying to choose between for our first venture to Asia. Beside them, I have listed our concerns as to why we are unsure about choosing one over the other.

Option 1. Turkey and Jordan combo tour: We worry that Turkey might be too similar to what we've seen in Mediterranean Europe (namely Italy) already.

Option 2. Bhutan and Nepal combo tour: Concerned about safety of flights within the countries and doubt about our physical ability (fit my American standards only -- not athletes) when it comes to seeing things like the Tiger's Nest Monastery in Bhutan.

Option 3. India. Concern that the sensory assault (smells, poverty, stomach issues) will severely impede our enjoyment -- even though this was my area of interest for my anth. minor. We are also concerned about picking up something nasty like leishmanaiasis (sp). The hassle and cost of vaccinations.

So, for those of you who've been to one or more of these places, what do you say for our first trip to Asia? Feel free to add pros and cons or dispel unrealistic concerns. Thanks so much!
Rachellia is offline  
Jan 26th, 2009, 06:54 PM
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Rachellia, you don't need to cross-post this to all of the different countries. Al of your posts show on the Asia board.

Turkey and Jordan and both wonderful destinations and very different from Italy. Culturally, they are really more mid-east than Asia.

Bhutan and Nepal would be interesting, You might be interested in my recent Nepal trip report http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...7&tid=35166349

Also, there was a recent report from Jules on Bhutan and an earlier one from dogster, for instance. Do searches for both countries and read the reports.

I've not yet been to India, but there are many reports here.

I always think of SE Asian countries as being good introductions to Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, VN)
Kathie is offline  
Jan 26th, 2009, 06:55 PM
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By the way, you might find our photos of Nepal to be of interest: www.marlandc.com
Kathie is offline  
Jan 26th, 2009, 07:06 PM
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Eek! I saw that after I posted. Sorry, I'm still not too familiar with the forums. That said, thanks for the info on Nepal! I'm off to see your report and photos.
Rachellia is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 03:26 AM
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Hi there,

I haven't been to Bhutan but all the rest are wonderful places to visit. I would say fitness or the lack of it is the sanest concern (smile).

Very few people pick up something really nasty in India. The worst is likely to be a case of the trots and that can be avoided by taking a few simple precautions with food and drink. Yes, culture shock can be a problem. But it's more then made up for by the vibrancy of the place. When people say it's an assault on the senses they really mean it! Have you thought of combining Northern India (say Rajasthan and Varanasi, perhaps) with Nepal? You can enjoy Nepal without trekking and that gives you some mountain scenery and some other. Or (depending on the time of year) India and Ladakh to combine Hindu and Buddhist?

I love Turkey but it is NOTHING like Italy. A completely different history and culture (and food). And, of course, there you could sample the beaches as well as the history and fabulous, fabulous Istanbul.

Any of your choices will provide happy memories - what a fun decision it's going to be!

Happy planning.

afterall is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 04:08 AM
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I haven't been to Bhutan or Nepal, but from a cultural point of view (especially given your studies), I think India would be the most interesting to you, and as one of the other posters said, Nepal is frequently visited in connection with a trip to India. The vaccinations are not a hassle and you can get them at a low cost at your local state or county health department which will have a travel vaccinations center. As far as picking up a bug, if you are careful & take the usual precautions about what you eat and drink, you should be fine. There are lots of trip reports on India on this forum, including mine, and if you do a search I think you will get a feel for all of the things there are to see and do. For a first visit to India most people visit Rajasthan, large parts of which are a desert landscape, but there are lakes, and Udaipur, which is a small city right on a lake in southern Rajasthan. Many visitors also go to Varanasi, the holy city that used to be called Benares, on the Ganges, and you might also look into Amritsar and the golden temple there if you are interested in the Sikh religion. Alternatively, you can look into Southern India. Cicerone, who posts on this board, has provided a wealth of wonderful information about various locations in India, if you can find her posts. You can also post a question directly to her by using her name in the title -- e.g. Questions about India for Cicerone -- and I'm sure she will answer and provide you with tons of helpful advice and information.
CFW is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 02:56 PM
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I vote for Turkey and Jordan. Turkey is quite different from Italy in both landscape and culture. I also enjoyed the desert landscape in Jordan, and Petra. I've also been to Nepal and India. My interests are similar to yours, and Turkey is my favorite vacation destination of all time.

I don't like crowds, and in Turkey especially it was easy to escape the crowds. We frequently had historical/archaeological sites to ourselves. India and Nepal are much denser in population.
Femi is offline  
Apr 28th, 2009, 09:30 PM
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Sorry, but your impression that Turkey is similar to Italy is completely wrong.

The length of your vacation and the month when you want to travel should be some factors to be considered when you decide where to go.

I would go to India - Udaipur - Jaipur - Agra - New Delhi- Varanasi - Kajurahoo (I did not put them here in the logical order). We had no problems at all there, with the normal precautions about food.
valtor is offline  
Jun 18th, 2009, 09:51 PM
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I'd think long and hard about this delicious little combo:

BKK - Paro [Bhutan] - Kathmandu - Varanasi. After Varanasi go wherever you want in India or you can fly direct Varanasi to Bangkok.

Think about that culturally: Thai Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism crossing into Hindu in KTM, then a jump into the ghats of Varanasi. Wow.

Concerns about planes falling from the sky are probably no more necessary in Asia than anywhere else. Your fitness will be fine in Bhutan. If concerned, don't go on mountain treks. Sit on a donkey going up to see the Tiger's Nest [replica].

There's tons in here about injections, blah. No, you probably won't get leishmanaiasis, rabies, typhoid, death in a hot dog, a worm won't wriggle up your husband's willy - nothing will happen. lol. Say after me: 'Nothing bad will happen...'

Sensory assault? Only you can answer that. I always find that sensory assault ENHANCES my travels, not diminishes them - but I understand that nervousness. It's normal where India is concerned. If you go in via Bhutan and KTM that will blood you somewhat. Do Varanasi with a nifty pick-up, a cool hotel on the Ghats and a guide - that'll shield you from stuff till you find your feet and realize that it's actually O.K.

You sound like a cool couple. Don't let any of those fears hold you back... but perhaps it's best if you don't read any of my trip reports, just the same. lol.
dogster is offline  
Jun 19th, 2009, 12:47 AM
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A surprise to see this post resurrected after so much time and no responses from the OP. They actually posted two identical posts on the same day (see http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...m#last-comment), and a similar post two days later; and although they did respond to one of the other posts a bit, they don't seem to have come back since February. Not sure that the OPs are reading this board any more.
Cicerone is offline  
Jun 19th, 2009, 12:58 AM
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Arghhh lordy, thanks Cicerone. I didn't look at the original date.
dogster is offline  
Jun 19th, 2009, 07:43 AM
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The post was resurrected by the Bhutan spammer.
Kathie is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 10:21 PM
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How about planning one for India...!
I was just tresspassing Bhutan!!
vp_singh is offline  
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