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travel to asia 3 months to1 year

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Mar 12th, 2012, 01:29 PM
  #1
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travel to asia 3 months to1 year

My wife and I want to vist Asia (Thailand, viet., cambodia, japan, malaysia, hong kong, china). This will be her first trip to Asia, I been there a few times. She wants to be over there from 3 months to a year. Money and time aside, do you experience travellers have pros and cons, suggestions, commets are all welcome. how long to stay in one place, type of laces to stay, means of transportation, etc.. Thanks
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Mar 12th, 2012, 10:46 PM
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This trip will require a lot of research and planning. The first general piece of advice that I would give is to first check the weather. Try to avoid the rain seasons, cold winters and unbearable heat. There is enough diversity of climate in these places to make it possible.
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Mar 13th, 2012, 06:26 AM
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First you should check how long you can stay in any one country at at time and if there are restrictions for leaving a country and how soon you can return back to it.

Like the above poster said, you have a lot of logistical planning to do for such a long stay of possibly up to a year.
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Mar 13th, 2012, 08:07 AM
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i think a free form trip would be great... check out shots you might need... visas are required in some countries (some you can get on arrival, some not).

set up a logical route and this may depend on weather and time of year... temps can vary from very cold to very hot... there are rainy seasons in some places--which is not necessarily bad. holidays and vacation times for certain countries vary...

the best way to handle your cash needs is by using ATM's..

laundry is very cheap so you need not bring much clothing..

some of the most reliable source info, in prep, is to read trip reports here on fodors and read general guidebooks on each location, like fodors and frommers and others (go to your library..
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Mar 13th, 2012, 09:35 AM
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Thank you all very much, please feel free to add new suggestions if you think of anything new. I understand some countries require a return air ticket in order for you to enter their countries, what is best way of doing this if I plan to visit so many countries? Is it better to secure a place to stay prior or after we enter the country?
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Mar 13th, 2012, 06:06 PM
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Another consideration is finding out about holidays and festivals you may want to attend, or local holiday breaks you may want to avoid. That might help give some structure to your itinerary.
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Mar 13th, 2012, 06:35 PM
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If you plan to stay at mid-range places or better, you'll want to reserve hotels in advance. It doesn't have to be a long time in advance (depending on things like holidays, festivals, etc) but you'll get better prices via internet booking than by walking up (where they often delight in charging full rack rate - a rate no one should pay!).
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Mar 13th, 2012, 06:41 PM
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i do not think you will be asked for a return ticket unless you look like a hippee, act like one or look like the undesireable type... it might be best to have your arrangements for leaving that country in lieu of..
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Mar 13th, 2012, 08:29 PM
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With a 3 month plan I would start in North Asia (China, S. Korea & Japan) and aim to travel there around October. I would then move on to the countries closer to the equator like Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia etc and aim to travel around these countries in November - January. IMO that would be the best time weather wise for Asia.
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Mar 14th, 2012, 05:13 AM
  #10
 
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China sometimes requires a return plane ticket and hotel bookings to issue a visa (the rules vary depending where you apply). Just book something that you can cancel and cancel after you get your visa. One challenge with visas is that you don't want to apply too early so that the visa expires before you even get there.
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Mar 14th, 2012, 09:50 AM
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Thank you all very much for all the great suggestions. Anyone know of a good online tour book site?
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Mar 17th, 2012, 02:22 AM
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The research you do in advance will be repaid many times over. Websites such as this and other are invaluable in seeking the opinions of other but in the end it is only you that can decide where you want to go and what you want to experience. I found websites like www.travelfish.org and www.talesofasia.com provide invaluable information based on my personal travel style. www.hostelworld.com is a good starting point for budget accommodation. Guidebooks such as Fodors and Lonely Planet South East Asia cover many of the countries you are considering and are great for working out routes around the region (China is best treated separately). Once you have a basic outline and timings of where to go and how long to stay it is easy to work out the rest as you go. Most time we simply turned up in a new place and then found somewhere to stay maybe looking at 2 or 3 before deciding. If we like a place we often stayed stayed around a bit longer. If not we moved on.

It is essential to check out visa and vaccination requirements well as many will require sorting out in well advance.

Weather patterns will vary tremendously depending on when you travel but there are advantages in traveling in “low seasons” e.g. fewer tourists, cheaper accommodation, greener landscapes and, unless you are really unlucky it is unlikely you will experience continuous rain. Do consider festivals and busy times such as Tet in Vietnam when travel can be difficult and accommodation difficult to find.

3 months to a year gives you that most important of travel luxuries – time. When we travelled for a year I worked out an outline of where we wanted to go and booked a RTW ticket which provided the facility to change flight times/dates without penalty and was considerably cheaper than individual flights, www.statravel.com and www.trailfinders.com are very good. For regional and local travel I would recommend using public transport, buses, minibuses, trains and boats as much as possible as you will see far more of the country this way. www.airasia.com and others are good for cheap regional flights.

Sort out in advance how you will access funds when travelling – I would suggest taking more than one ATM card giving access to a number of accounts – just in case! Notify your bank where and when you will be travelling.

Travelling light is essential! Lugging around heavy backpacks or other luggage is no fun. Take good footwear but just about everything else can be purchased en route if necessary. Do think about where you will be travelling from a climate perspective. Some parts of Malaysia and particularly China can be very cold.

A comprehensive travel insurance policy is essential on this type of trip to cover medical, delays, repatriation, luggage loss etc…

Advance research and planning is essential to get the best out of your trip but the time you have available enable a great amount of spontaneity so allow time to explore places you hear about on the road.
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Mar 18th, 2012, 01:55 AM
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Great advice above for sure. I've been traveling Asia now for about 30 years and pretty much hit every country in east and southeast Asia and pretty much all in south Asia, less some of the stans. I think if you had a year, you'd be able to make a significant dent for sure. The must see countries: Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Indonesia, India, Mongolia, Siberian and eastern Russia, and some select parts of China. Any more than that would be too much in the time allowed. We spent two months in eastern and Siberian Russia some time back and we felt it was no where near enough. Been in China now for two years and there is still more to see on our lists that our lives will allow... Indonesia is simply amazing and worth a few months easily. Most large cities in Asia will have consulates for the other Asian countries which allow a great deal of flexibility in getting Visas. If you are coming to China, do NOT mention Tibet when applyingn for a tourist visa. Get it in country.
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Mar 18th, 2012, 01:56 AM
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Here is our Asia travel blog that might wet your whistle a bit:

http://cokesmithphototravel.com/Asia.html
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