I'm taking off in December/January for a year and plan to start in South East Asia and have lots of unanswered questions
So I'm planning on leaving around Dec/Jan from NYC to South East Asia to begin a nice loooooooong trip. There really is no time constraint on it for now. With that in mind, I was wondering if there were anyone had a recommendation of what country to fly into. I know that time of the year is peak season, so any advice would be great.
We flew in to Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) and started there. Id say its a good place to start as its in the south and you can work down to Indonesia and the Philippines and the go north to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, China. A lot of people say there isnt alot to do in Malaysia but we found there was lots to see and the people are really friendly!
Where are you flying from? This will effect it! It might be a good idea to fly into one of the South East Asian hubs, as you often have to change there anyway. So Bangkok,. Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. Bangkok and KL will be cheaper to stay in than HK and Singapore. I'd suggest looking at where the cheapest flights go into.
Also think about what route you want to travel - or at least where you want to go first. A typical SE Asian trip starts/ends with a loop from Thailand up to Laos, across to Vietnam, down through Vietnam, into Cambodia and then back to Thailand. Or the reverse. Then you can go down through Malaysia.
Thank you both for your quick replies. I'll be flying in from New York, and while I haven't really planned my route just yet, I am very excited for my time there!
I really do have to look more into it, but right now i'm trying to weigh my options of buying an around the world ticket or just buy my tickets one leg at a time with no time constraint. I know, or at least people tell me flights and transportation within Asia are relatively cheap. I'd like to buy my ticket in the next week or two to lock it in.
If you're just going to SE Asia and back then a round the world might be an expensive overkill. How many flights within SE Asia will you get? Most round the world tickets restrict you to a certain number of destinations per continent.
Compare the prices of a single/return to SE Asia. Just be aware that for some countries you need either an onward flight ticket or a visa.
Hey Nate, another thing to consider.. Budget airlines in SEA have great prices when you book early. if you're unable to come up with concrete plans and are not going with a RTW ticket, then maybe book one or two flights early so you save some money there but also leave room to grab other tickets whenever you want.
I mean, it can cost less than SGD$100 to fly from Singapore to Thailand for example. The last time I went to Phuket, it cost me SGD$115 return, all inclusive on Jetstar. I reckon i booked about 2 months before? I had a friend who snagged tickets to Phuket for SGD$89, return, all inclusive, also on Jetstar.
The airlines also have lots of promotions so sign up on their mailing lists to keep in the loop.
I actually ended up buying a one-way ticket from NYC -> Bangkok via Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific. Now I actually have another question:
When transfering in Hong Kong, am I going to have to go thru customs or security? Or will I be able to just go to the new gate? My layover is 1.5 hours and I'm hoping that will be enough time to change planes. What do you think? Maybe I should have made a longer connection.
Thanks again in advance!
Go to the Philippines. You'll meet a lot of hospitable people in the country plus the beautiful tourist spots. Try Palawan's coral reef attraction. You'll travel by end of the year, that's the time Baguio City is much visited place becuase fo the very cold weather (with clouds covering everything).Or you can also visit historical yet very interesting places like Ilocos and Cebu. If you feel like going to the shores, you can go to Boracay or Puerto Galera, two of the best beaches in the world. And hey, I almost forgot you can have wake boarding activities in Camarines Sur. There are lots of thing Philippines can offer. And while in Metro Manila you can stay at one of it's budget hotels. It is cheap but very much worth it, try <snip>. One advantage of staying there is it's in the very heart of Quezon City, very close to transportation terminals. Also while in Manila you can try to visit the famouse SM and Ayala malls that flock just around the hotel. Good luck on your trip!
[Edited: 2011 May 14 08:40 - Jabe:6222 - No advertising on forums, please]