Where to go in Asia?

Nov 17th, 2013, 01:21 AM
  #1  
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Where to go in Asia?

I know this is very, very general, but we have the opportunity to visit Asia early next year and want to decide where to go. We are a couple (30 and 28), living in the UK. My only experience of Asia has been visiting South Korea, my partner has been to South Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. We are keen to go somewhere different and have up to about 2 weeks to do it.

We were originally thinking of Beijing + the Great Wall - I posted about that earlier this year, but we were living in Spain at the time and the visa process was too messy. Now we're back in London, the visa process is much easier and flights pretty cheap and plentiful too. The issue now is that I'm reading about the pollution levels in Beijing and it's worrying me - my partner suffers from asthma and I have lots of allergies. Perhaps it isn't a good idea?

Japan has always been a dream for both of us and we are seriously considering finally going there. It seems quite a bit more expensive than China, though (we're on a pretty tight budget), but then we'd save around £200 on visas. Nepal is also somewhere we'd love to visit, but the dangerous (?) flight to Kathmandu is putting us off a little (I seem to hear about plane crashes there a lot).

Any ideas? Open to all suggestions!
mariposa85 is offline  
Nov 17th, 2013, 01:28 AM
  #2  
 
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How about Malaysia?
http://www.molon.de/galleries/Malaysia/

No visa required and cheaper than Japan. Otehrwise, if you can afford it, go to Japan.
amln is offline  
Nov 17th, 2013, 01:33 AM
  #3  
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We did consider Malaysia - flights are about the same as Japan. How cheap is it when you're there (hotels, food, taxis, etc.) compared to Japan?
mariposa85 is offline  
Nov 17th, 2013, 01:50 AM
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Things in Japan is half the price if London. And tourist things are not necessarily cheap in China.
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 17th, 2013, 02:05 AM
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I am currently in Japan. No question, it is an expensive destination. You might wait for Japan until your budget is bigger.

Of the places you mention, I'd recommend Nepal. I'm not sure what you mean about plane crashes. The only one I can recall in the past few years was a flight-seeing plane to view Everest. I can't recall any crashes of airlines flying internationally into Kathmandu. I have a trip report from several years ago: http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...mandu-2008.cfm It gives information on all of the world heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley.

Malaysia has some interesting destinations. I'd say that food and hotel prices are less than half the Japan prices.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 17th, 2013, 02:33 AM
  #6  
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I am antsy about visiting Japan because I've really wanted to go for so long (was even supposed to live there for a year, but the plans fell through) but we don't want to bankrupt ourselves to go there.

Nepal is seeming more and more attractive - it's a place I'd never really considered visiting, but I watched a documentary about it last week and it looks absolutely stunning! Have had a quick look at your trip report, Kathie, and we're seriously considering it now. It would be nice to do a non-city destination - we live in London now, lived in Madrid until July and visited Istanbul earlier this year, so perhaps it would be nice to do something a bit different.

What are prices like when in Nepal? Flights are a bit more expensive than flights to Japan, but I assume the hotels/food/drink are cheaper?
mariposa85 is offline  
Nov 17th, 2013, 02:39 AM
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Seems there *are* quite a lot of plane crashes, though...

"Since 1949 - the year the first aircraft landed in Nepal - there have been more than 70 different crashes involving planes and helicopters, in which more than 650 people have been killed."

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ane-crash.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23862697

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/plane...-crashes-nepal

http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/100678
mariposa85 is offline  
Nov 17th, 2013, 02:41 AM
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Hotels, food and drink in Nepal are much cheaper than Japan, cheaper than Malaysia.

I always think it helps to see some photos: www.marlandc.com/nepal-2008.html
Kathie is offline  
Nov 17th, 2013, 04:24 PM
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I think it's possible to travel in Japan on a budget, the same way you can travel on a budget in New York and London. It may not be the trip you have in mind, however.

Nepal, Laos, and some other less touristed countries are on the opposite end of the daily expense scale; however, there are hidden costs in traveling in under developed countries. You may have less options in transportation and accommodation.

Another suggestion would be Bali -- costs are kind of in the middle of Thailand/Malaysia and Nepal. There's a lot to do in Bali within a few hours drive and a wide range of accommodation prices. Food and transportation are cheap (though wine/alcohol is high). Bali combined with Central Java -- Borobudur monument and Yogyakarta -- would be a good way to fill up two weeks.
marmot is offline  
Nov 17th, 2013, 04:42 PM
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If you stay in business hotels, or rent an apt for a few days lodging can be cheaper in Japan. Local places are way cheaper than those in tourist places. Having a kitchen in an apt you can do breakfast and pack a lunch. But having said that, picking up a bento box to go will not break the bank.
kmkrnn is offline  
Nov 18th, 2013, 04:52 AM
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Hi! If you are keen on visiting beaches and chilling in general, think about visiting Boracay, Philippines. The sand is amazing and the water clear. I live in the Philippines and never tire of heading there.
Pchat is offline  
Nov 18th, 2013, 07:32 AM
  #12  
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Thanks for the replies.

We're not really interested in beaches at all for this trip - we've just come back from a long time in Spain, so not desperate for the sun/sea/beach thing yet!

I know it's difficult because everyone's idea of 'budget' is different and these are going to seem like basic questions (we've done no research yet), but what sort of figures would we be looking at for a couple of weeks in Japan? If we went with Japan, we'd probably do a week in Tokyo and then a few nights elsewhere.

Flights are around the £600 mark (return), which is fine, and I've looked at hotels on booking.com which seem to range from £300 for 2/3 start hotels up to over £1000 for a week in Tokyo. We don't need somewhere super luxurious and don't generally spend much time sitting around in the hotel, but hygiene and basic comfort is very important, so we don't want to go too cheap/basic. Does £300-400 sound a little on the low side for a week's stay somewhere reasonably nice in Tokyo?

Presumably we'd need some sort of metro pass and then rail tickets for travelling to a few other places in Japan - any idea how much these might be? We both love Japanese food so don't want to scrimp too much on that - is it easy to find cheap, tasty places (like you would for bibimbap or samgyupsal in Korea?)

Any help appreciated!
mariposa85 is offline  
Nov 18th, 2013, 07:40 AM
  #13  
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Just wanted to add many of the £300/£350 a week hotels have very positive ratings on booking.com - too good to be true or does this sound normal?
mariposa85 is offline  
Nov 18th, 2013, 10:44 PM
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maybe you can stay in beijing2 or 3 days, thats enough. China also has many sights with beautiful environment like yangshuo, dalian, xian, kunming, etc
AngelinaDiaz is offline  
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