Please help me with some advice regarding my itineray.
I have been on Travelblog for a while now, and for quite some time I have been planning and researching my own trip. If all goes to plan we (me and my bf) are hoping on starting our trip in Sept 2011. I have come up with the following itinerary and hoped you could tell me your thoughts. We hope to have £30k for the trip
Brasil (Rio de Jeniro) : 1 week
Argentina : 2 weeks
Bolivia : 2 weeks
Peru : 3 weeks
Chile : 2 weeks
New Zealand : 5 weeks
Australia : 8 weeks
Philippines : 4 weeks
Indonesia : 4 weeks
Malaysia : 4 weeks
Thailand : 4 weeks
Laos : 10 days
Cambodia : 3 weeks
Vietnam : 4 weeks
China : 2 weeks
Nepal (EBC) : 2 weeks
China : 2 weeks
Transiberian to Moscow : 2 weeks
Home : = 55 weeks 3 days
Some of the issues I have come across are getting to Nepal from China and back again. It seems it is only possible with a flight, which seem very expensive. Unfortunately, Tibet is too expensive as well. Any ideas?
I recently thought about cutting Australia down to 4 weeks and spending 4 weeks in Japan as well, as I read on a blog that the cost of things there is comparable to Australia. What do you think about that?
If I get a RTW ticket I will miss the last flight in order to get the Transiberian. I haven’t looked into this much but hoped to go from Moscow to Ukraine to do a tour of Chernobyl and then fly home. Does this sound feesible?
Any comments and advice would be greatly appreciated.
Impressive itinerary and the time allowed for each country looks pretty reasonable in my opinion, apart from maybe China, unless it's a six week block with a short jaunt into Nepal for EBC (which will require double entry visa). Are you planning to fly into and around China? China is pretty massive and just getting places takes a lot of time. From speaking to people a couple of years ago (when we planned to do it) it seems fairly straightforward to get to Kathmandu overland from Lhasa taking in EBC. But then things change and I suppose it all depends on your defintion of straightforward.
Is this list the order you hope to do the countries in? It would probably be easier to go Indonesia (Bali) from Oz first, then maybe Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand all with budget airlines, unless going overland from Malaysia to Thailand is part of the plan.
As for Japan and Australia being similarly priced, that wasn't my opinion but then I did Australia pre economic meltdown and Japan post, and with very different travelling styles. Japan was WAAAAY more expensive IMO.
Im on the same opinion as Mike. China is a massive country, getting from one place to another might take you days, and you haven't seen anything yet. So, allow more time for China if you want to explore it. And yes, you can get to tehEBC from Lhasa in two days, its quite easy, but you need to hire a guide in Tibet, so that is why its so expensive.
Thanks for the responses.
That is the rough order I was thinking of doing the trip. I want to do as much overland as possible so thought flying into the Philippines and travelling down and across Idndonesia then up to Malayasia would be best.
I never thought about having to get a double entry visa, and a chinese visa can be difficult enough to get as it is but I really want to trek to EBC. I suppose my plan was to do a bit of China for 2 weeks, then do EBC and back again to China for another couple of weeks. I have read blogs where people have spent 7 months in China and others that spent 2 weeks. I thought a month would be just enough to do what we want to do. As the country is so big, I would probably only do the main attractions. Getting the right permits for Tibet can be difficult, from what I have read, and expensive plus the fact that you require a guide. I also don't want to be driven straight to the base of Everest, I would rather do the trek in Nepal.
I thought Japan would be much more expensive as well but I just read a blog of someones who was there earlier this year. They went from Australia straight to Japan and they said they thought the prices were the same, which surprised me. I plan on buying a camper van in OZ and this isn't something you can do in Japan, so I think that would be the big difference in cost. Well, that is if I manage to sell the van for similar to what I bought it for!
Keep the advice coming!!!
I suspect the reason why someone said that Japan was no more expensive than Australia could be because Australia was more expensive then they thought rather than Japan being cheaper than they thought. I think some travellers underestimate the cost of travelling through both Australia and New Zealand, they can be expensive places,
Also, now that the Australian dollar is almost on parity with the US Dollar, it will be even more so. Australia is one of the strongest economies in the world at present, which is great for people like me who work and earn money here, but a bit different if you are coming from elsewhere.
Australia is possible in 8 weeks, but only if you pick the areas you want to see instead of visiting all of it. If you do want to see a lot more, you will need to fly. 5 weeks in New Zealand is enough time if you are an outdoors type of person, but if you are not, it will be too long. Purchasing a campervan in Australia is a strong idea, as petrol is cheap here, and once you get away from the cities, you get to see the best parts of the country.
Apart from that, you have given yourself a lot of time between places which is important. Your itinerary could possibly change on the road as you may want to linger in one place for longer, or not like somewhere as much as leave earlier than planned.
Thanks for your thoughts. I was only planning on doing the east coast tourist trail in OZ (mainly due to time and money constraints). Do you think 8 weeks is enough for this in a camper van? I would like to include Uluru, do you know if that would be feesible to drive to within the 8 weeks or would a flight there and back be better?
8 weeks on the east coast is definitely feasible, you will have no problems with that journey at all in terms of time. The roads are reliable, with lots of accommodation options along the way.
But to get to Uluru, it is a long way, 2000km across some fairly barren countryside, but at least the roads are good. Remember if you get there, you need to drive back - and from Uluru, you are best to head south to Adelaide. My personal opinion is that if you can spend a couple of weeks in the Northern Territory travelling, it is a fantastic part of Australia. I did the drive through the Territory 20 years ago and some of the sights - Kakadu, Katherine Gorge, Devil's Marbles, Uluru and some of the sights around Alice Springs (such as Ormiston Gorge) are still strong in my memory.
If you wish to do this, it is a very different sort of driving - with unfenced properties and wandering cattle, road trains to overtake (and 50 metres of truck is an effort to overtake) and long distances between petrol stations.
I have been on Holiday with ASC last year and stayed at the Dolphin hotel on the north coast. Its all okay apart from if you need to order extra items that are not provided. Such as wanting a boiled egg for breakfast, there were none on the buffet so i asked the waiter for one. He delivered the boiled egg to my table along with a bill! Being as it was not on the buffet it was an extra! The safaris were good all done in house but....they are expensive and you can get them cheaper if you look at some travel agents outside! The small issue with that is that your miles from anywhere and a taxi will cost you a few quid to get to some other alternatives. The staff are friendly and ok, although the tourists are mainly from Germany etc.
If you take dollars or sterling you can change it at the hotel but you will get a very bad rate! So best advice is to change a small amount then go out to town and change some at a bank.
Personal opinion-- I didn't like Cambodia enough to stay 3 weeks. You might take a week of that time and spend it in China or any where else.
The flights to Uluru are reasonable. The west coast is beautiful-- I recommend you don't miss it.
Can't wait to read about your travels.
Thanks for that. Cambodia is probably one of the places I am most looking forward to if not the most. I hope I like it but if I don't I guess we just move onto the next place sooner. What didn't you like? was it something in particular?
It's all personal opinion, we love Cambodia.
It's best to keep your itinerary flexible, because, as Shane says, you might want to linger longer in one place or move on quicker from places you don't like. You often meet fellow travelers on the road who recommend somewhere you hadn't considered. The first time we went backpacking, we didn't factor in days when you actually don't want to do anything at all. You might be tired, sick or hungover, or you just might be all travelled out and want a rest. If you are travelling by land you can play it by ear.
I lived in Cairns for 3 months, and you can get fairly affordable flight to and from Uluru, which would save you a massive chunk of time. Lots of places offer 3 day return trips including admission to Uluru and guides there and in Kings canyon for about $395 dollars I think it was.
However, 2 of my friends left from Melbourne to go to Uluru and up to Darwin which took them 10 days of driving, stopping at sweet spots along the way. They really enjyed the trip but said it was a lot of travelling.
In terms of East Coast, myself and 3 friends did it by Greyhound bus in 4 weeks which was plenty, but 5 would have been nice. 8 weeks would be perfect to do it nice and slow and stay in great places like Airlie beach, and Town of 1782 (cant remember the number exactly lol but you'll know what I mean).
New Zealand is simply amazing, so well built for exploring in a car or van. Small population, epic surrounds, unbelievable actvities and great backpacker scene. 5 weeks is a little short though as I think you need about 4 weeks in either Island to see them well, but I suppose you cant win em all right!
Best of luck :-)
So much to do in Aus hey.. I'd always prefe to go West (West is best
) Busses can be fairly expensive but what we use are car hire sites that wish to transport cars one way for what ever reason and can get for really cheap, even campervans.
We go through these websites to search.. They are also availavle to do so in NZ which would be awsome..
Your trip look amazing and your going to have a wonderful time. Looking forward to reading the blogs!
I have not looked at this forum in a couple of weeks so sorry it has taken me so long to write and answer your question.
I agree with Kris and Kate that how you feel about each country is a very personal thing. I will tell you that most people love Cambodia and I'll bet you do also. Plus you will want to leave your schedule a bit free because they are right you will hear about things that you want to go see.......and you won't know about it until you get there. Be flexible.
I don't want to leave you with the impression that I did not like Cambodia but I like other countries better.
I loved Siem Reap and all the temples. The people were wonderful all over the country. Phonm Penh was dirty. I know that sounds funny because most of Asia is dirty and you get used to it to the point you don't really notice it. But Phonm Penh smelled. Lots of garbage piled on the streets for pick up. A lot of depressing history. It made me sad. But, we made a couple of good friends while there and had fun watching American football in one of the pubs run by an Australian. Great fun.
We arrived in Cambodia after Laos and I loved Laos. It will always be one of my favorite countries. We were there during the boat races and festival at the end of October. I'd rather spend additional time there.
Oh-- and I had an encounter with a rather large rat in Phonm Penh so that may have tainted my views. I'm not really fond of rats!