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-   -   Recommendations for student travel? (https://www.fodors.com/community/asia/recommendations-for-student-travel-486159/)

Pamina Nov 15th, 2004 06:34 AM

Recommendations for student travel?
 
My daughter is planning an Asian trip post college graduation, hopes to spend 3 - 4 weeks. Any recommendations for destinations - considering things like safety, cost, accessibility & interest for a tourist. Thanks for any suggestions.

Gpanda Nov 15th, 2004 06:53 AM

Bangkok is a center for young budget Asian travellers. Khao San road is a haven for them. The energy is incredible. If she goes there, she can book any tour she wants. If she wants to travel more upscale like us middle-agers, Bangkok is a great place to start. Angkor Wat, Ko Samui and Chiang Mai are other super destinations. All reachable from Bangkok.

Guenmai Nov 16th, 2004 09:49 AM

I posted to you yesterday, but I see it didn't take. So, I'll try again. First I'd like to say that I'm in my 40s and am female and have been traveling alone since I was 17 doing about 3 overseas vacations a year to all continents.So, I understand your concerns of having a young female travling alone. I don't know where you live or how much travel experience your daughter has, but I'm in L.A. area and this is what I would do...I would fly to Singapore first...very safe and Disneyland clean and totally easy to get around in...cheap subways and inexpensive taxis. I stay at the YMCA International House at 1, Orchard Road...next to the Dhouby Gaut MRT(subway station). I've stayed there for years. The rooms are very clean and you get your own room...two twin beds and a bathroom for about $45. a night per room. Plus there is a pool and breakfast is included and there's a very good internet cafe inside the hotel. A lot of solo travelers, families, and church groups stay there since the church groups are usually there for church conventions st since the hotel is next door to one church and in front of a huge Methodist church that hosts lots of conventions. Plus it's in the heart of town. I would stay there for one week to just get over the jetlag and also to learn the travel ropes and adjust to the heat etc.When one is traveling alone, one must be alert and it's difficult to be alert if one is jetlagged and exhausted. Then I'd fly from Singapore to Chiangmai, Northern Thailand first...a smaller city than Bangkok... and stay there about 4-5 days and then from there down to Bangkok. By then, she should have the swing of the travel thing.I'd give 6 full days to Bangkok.It's an amazing place, but busy and crazy however it shouldn't be missed. I haven't been to the beach areas of Thailand,since I'm not into the beach. I can do the beach any day of the week here at home. So, as for beach destinations, if she chooses that too, maybe you should ask over on lonelyplanet.com where there are lots of young people...however they are very rock-bottom budget over there and it depends on your daughter's personality and what type of accomodations she will feel most comfortable in. I feel that if she does Singapore and Thailand only...this first trip that it will be an excellent traveler's 101 type of trip and then she can venture out more in trips in the future. If you have any questions feel free to post them to me. Happy Travels!

rhkkmk Nov 16th, 2004 10:00 AM

i would use bangkok as a hub for her travel...it is cheap and offers all of the western things she would need...its a fun city as said above...she can live on any level she chooses from ultra cheap to lux at a brgain price (when you go to visit her)...from there she could visit angkor wat (siem reap cambodia), myanmar (burma), viet nam, bali, singapore, malaysia, phillipines, etc and hong kong on the way home...

there are thousands of travel agents in bkk and she can arrange her trips through them...many offer real bargains...there are also several new low cost airlines in asia which will help her like air asia...
she needs to do some reading to study up on what she is interested in...the islands in thailand are a haven for kids from all over the world..

Cicerone Nov 16th, 2004 10:27 AM

Virtually any destination in Asia would fit those parameters. The sky is pretty much the limit. Your daughter should consider whether she is interested primarily in large cities or small villages, hills or beaches, museums or outdoor activities, etc. She can then tailor a program for herself, and ask for more concrete advice on this site. While this site is a wealth of information, you daughter needs basic information about each country and what it can offer. Weather info would also be helpful. You can get guidebooks out of the library; old books are fine, as being out of date does not change the basic info in books on sights, culture and weather. The net is a great source of info as well. As a start, read the destination guides on this site and on Frommers.com

While your daughter would be safe travelling on her own virtually anywhere in Asia, I would encourage her to bring at least one travelling companion. First of all, it is always nice to share adventures, trials, triumphs and tribulations with another. Second, it is nice to have someone to fall back on to handle logistical matters if you are exhausted, unwell, etc.

Finally, as a personal observation, as you daughter is young, I would encourage her to go to more challenging/remote places now, and save easier places like Singapore and Hong Kong for later on in life. The Silk Road in China and trekking in Bhutan would be two examples of trips a younger person could easily do, as the hardships are not so hard on the body and mind! Scuba diving trips are also great in Asia and she might consider getting qualified and tackling challenging places like Sipadan.

kuranosuke Nov 16th, 2004 10:28 AM

guenmai; did i understand you correctly that there is a disneyland in sing? where is it?

Guenmai Nov 16th, 2004 04:45 PM

Kuranosuke- I didn't say that there was a Disneyland in Singapore. I said that it's Disneyland clean. What a crack up. Happy Travels!

Guenmai Nov 16th, 2004 04:56 PM

Pamina- As for the comment of your daughter doing more "challenging/remote" things while she's young...I have no problem with that, but I don't think it's a good idea to do such" challenging/remote" things on her"FIRST" trip....especially if she's traveling alone. She's only college aged and has a lot of young years and years to get some travel experience under her belt before doing those types of things... in my opinion.Only you know your daughter and what's best for her and what type of travel plans would give YOU the most peace of mind. As for the comment of her basing her travel in Bangkok...that's a good idea as far as airfare. What I do is fly into Bangkok and overnight there and then the next day fly down to Singapore and start my vacation there where it's very calm and relaxing and then when my jetlag has lifted a bit I go back up to Bangkok and then stay in Thailand the rest of the time and later fly home from Bangkok. Happy Travels!

kuranosuke Nov 17th, 2004 12:26 PM

guenmai; ah so, misread your statement. too bad, i love disneyland.

pamina; i agree with guenmai. singapore is an excellent location to spread your wings. safe, clean, orderly, and nearly everyone speaks english. very easy to get around, and great food.

CRAIGdotWHITE Nov 17th, 2004 04:42 PM

If in SIN you can use the Air Asia hub out of Jahor Baru, just 30-45 minutes from the SIN airport. This would give some low-cost-flight access to a lot of great locations:
Bangkok
Bali (Denpassar)
Kota Kinabalu (Sabah, Malaysia)

Best way for her to get a feel for what she shoulf be planning is to buy either a general interest travel book for SE asia and China/Japan/Korea/India... Or get some specific regions/countries and give them a read with a highlighter in hand. After having done that it will narrow down her interests and provide a base for the rest of the research. She could scuba off a Malaysian deserted beach or party all night with students in Bangkok or climb mount Kinabalu or hike through the rainforest canopy. Plenty to chose from.

-Craig

Guenmai Nov 17th, 2004 04:54 PM

Pamina...Planes land in Southeast Asia VERY late at night. It's very safe to take a taxi from the airport to a hotel in Singpaore. When I arrive late at night in Bangkok, I won't get into a regular taxi late at night. I have the hotel send a car for me which costs anywhere from $25.-$40 depending on what star-class the hotel is in. I would not have a first time traveler land in Malaysia...nothing against Malaysia....but she's young and female and doesn't know the ropes yet. If I had any kids, which I don't, I wouldn't have a problem with her landing in Singapore and taking a taxi or taxis late at night. Happy Travels!

orgy7 Nov 17th, 2004 05:50 PM

I agree with Gpanda... off course I tend too always recomend the young people go too bkk's backpacker hot spots and then travel with new frainds all over asia.


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