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Help required for planning our massive trip!

6 months in Asia, Trans-Siberian Railway, UK - Budget info, where to go, how to get there.... ???
12 years ago, March 22nd 2009 No: 1 Msg: #66722  

We are planning a huge trip & set to depart in December 2009, just in time for NYE. We are determined to cover the following countries over a 6 month period of hardcore backpacking in Asia:

Malaysia- Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi
Thailand - Krabi, Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Pattaya, Bangkok, Chiang Mai,
Laos - Vientiane
Vietnam - Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, Dalat, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang
Cambodia - Siem Reap, Phnom Penh
Hong Kong
China - Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xian, Nine Valley Villages, Mt Everest Base Camp
India - Mumbai, Delhi, Agra, Goa, Rajasthan.

Once we have finished in Asia we are considering the Trans Siberian Railway to Russia for a brief visit and then onto the UK to work for a few months or more, most likely more, so that we can save for a European tour and there will also be many weekends away in between from London to wherever we can get!!!

If you have any tips, suggestions, secrets, connections or advice - please, do tell : )
We would especially appreciate any advice on our itenary as above - it is not exact and is not in order... We don't know anyone who has done this before so we don't know what cities we really want to go to - we don't want all the places we visit to be packed full of tourists, as we are looking for a diverse cultural experience. Also most importantly we are looking for information about travel budgets. We are aiming to take approximately $15,000 all up to last us through Asia for the approximate 6 months (We party hard) and then settling into the UK, as well as any last minute destinations (eg Russia). If you have info regarding daily spending in each of the country's above that would be a huge help!

We would love to hear from you 😊
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12 years ago, March 22nd 2009 No: 2 Msg: #66735  
The big dent on your budget will be setting yourself up in the UK. As I'm sure you know, it's not a cheap country to live in. You will need a lot of cash to support yourself whilst you find a job, and then also until you get paid. Depending on where you work, you may not get paid until the end of the first month. If you want to rent somewhere to live, you will have to put down at least a month's rent as a deposit, along with the first month's rent. This could easily set you back at least 1000 GPB.

I take it you have the correct visas arranged for working in the UK. Since you appear to be Aussie, I would assume it is a working holiday visa or something similar? Have you got contacts for finding work when you arrive? With your budget you will need to find work quickly.

Another point on visas, they can be expensive. particularly those for countries like Vietnam, Russia and China. I know we didn't quite budget for the cost of the visas. Check out how much each one will be, and how to get them so you can take it into account. Some visas you can get at the border, but many you can't. Sometimes you need to stay in a city for a few days to have the visa for the next country processed. This will affect your itinary.

During our 3 month jaunt around SE Asia we spent 3000 GBP. We were in the cheaper countries on your list like Thailand, Laos, Malaysia and Cambodia. Singapore was an expensive place to visit (although I wouldn't have missed it). Like you, we also like to spend money on socialising etc. We found that travelling when you want to 'party' was not as cheap as we perhaps had expected. Alcohol in tourist places can sometimes be the same price as you paid at home. It can hit your budget hard!! If you spent the equivelent amount in 6 months, that would be 6000 if my maths is correct. So think about it carefully.

Ok, this isn't meant to sound negative. You plan sounds great, and you will no doubt have an incredible time. It's just worth thinking hard about the finances and making sure you have enough to do everything you plan. I haven't been to Everest Base Camp or on the Trans Siberian, but I'm sure they are not cheap!!
We started to run out of money in Thailand far too early in our trip. Luckily it worked out for us, and completely changed our lives so that we are still living in Asia. But it was a big stress when it first happened.

Good luck!

Kate Reply to this

12 years ago, March 22nd 2009 No: 3 Msg: #66736  
All, sounds good, I agree about the UK, find share housing if your only staying for few months. Lastly I found Nha Trang to be a waste. Reply to this

12 years ago, March 22nd 2009 No: 4 Msg: #66737  
Thanks for the responses ppl!
Hey Kate, we are actually EU passport holders too so we are not going to limit ourselves to working in the UK only, we are considering some other countrys to live and work in just don't know where exactly, perhaps spain?? We have heard alot about London being super super expensive to set up share housing and finding a job etc... so we may only pass London town a visit not a long stay... all depends I guess. We only speak english, so don't know how much this will limit us in finding a job in Spain or any other EU countries... any suggestions??? Thanks!! Reply to this

12 years ago, March 23rd 2009 No: 5 Msg: #66743  
Cool, well the EU passports will definitely help you out a lot.

Working in a bar in a tourist resort (if you will be arriving for the summer)?, promotion work, teaching English? - there are a lot of teaching jobs in Madrid, or there are a lot of summer camps you could do all over Europe, again if you are planning to work during the summer months...when exactly do you think you will hit Europe?

....There are a lot work abroad websites around that will give you some info on jobs in Europe. Have a look.

Yes, London is super expensive. The rest of the UK is just expensive!!

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12 years ago, March 23rd 2009 No: 6 Msg: #66749  
Hello Brent and Sami 😊

Here is a related thread.

Trans-Siberian Railway

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12 years ago, April 1st 2009 No: 7 Msg: #67898  
Hey guys

It looks like a fantastic plan and I don't want to be negative but I would perhaps recommend trying to trim down your list of countries given the amount of time/money you have - I think 6 months to tackle all the places you have mentioned would probably be a struggle if you are looking mainly to travel by train/coach and have a few days sightseeing and partying/recovering in each before moving on. That said if you are planning on using cheap flights in and out of destinations it is a feasible plan.

To get to Mount Everest Base Camp on the Tibetan side will set you back a fair amount - I'm not sure of current situation on Tibetan visas and rules but when we were there last October (2008) we had to be accompanied by a guide and stay in government approved accomodation which fairly eats into your budget.

The Trans-Siberian was relatively reasonable price-wise when we did it but that was a few years ago now. Check out The Man in Seat 61 for helpful advice on that one (and remember to take plenty of toilet roll and paracetamol with you). From memory, organising Russian visas was a (little) bit of a palaver and one that you probably want to organise ahead of time - you need a letter of invitation in order to get the actual visa but this can be done easily through travel agencies.

Since the exchange rates have been all over the place since we went to most of the countries I would be hesitant to give you detailed budget info but China worked out around £30 per day for two and South East Asia was around £20. But that was back when the pound was worth about US$2. Also we could definitely not count ourselves as party animals so that would be before any significant partying costs beyond a few beers of an evening. On the other hand we were staying in relatively decent accomodation (usually a private double in South East Asia but dorms in China) so it perhaps depends what standard of living you are looking for.

Happy planning!
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