I wouldn’t have started a new thread for this, but I’m looking for advice for a very specific trip.
This time in 2 years my girlfriend and I hope to be somewhere in China, a couple of months into our huge around the world adventure (hopefully starting in January 2010 - Once uni’s finished and we’ve got enough money together). We’re both based in the UK and we’re planning on skipping Europe and Africa (Europe we can easily ´do´ a little more comfortably afterwards and Africa is another big trip for later) but seeing a lot of pretty much all the other continents (bar Antarctica). We would prefer to avoid flights and travel overland where possible (mainly to save on costs - also for real experiences and to see as much as possible). We’re unsure how much we need for this trip, but working towards saving 10,000GBP each (haven’t got a Pound sign for some reason!)
First question is what would the best way to get to China be? We were considering finding our way to Moscow then going on the Trans-Mongolian express to Beijing, via Ulaanbatuur (sp?). That seems quite an adventure in itself. If we did choose this option, what would the best way to reach Moscow be? Do you think just biting the bullet and flying to Moscow would be the best option? Trains across Europe is another option, but as getting to Beijing would only be the very first leg of our trip, I’m worried we’d be completely ´trained-out´ by the time we got there if we did that.
We then plan on spending a couple of weeks in the northern part of China before heading over to Japan for a week or 2 (can’t stay too long - expensive!). After that it’s back to China via Shanghai, where we’ll spend a week(ish) before heading to south China making a trip over to Hong Kong. Then we want to get to India somehow.
So the second question is, does anyone know the best way to get to India from the south east of China (Guangzhou area) would be? One that takes in Tibet and Nepal is preferable, would this be realistic on a fairly modest budget? Trains would be fine, but after the huge scale of the Trans-Mongolian one, I’m sure we’ll be keen to travel via shorter train journeys. Anyone know the timescale of a train journey such as this?
Once in India we hope to stay for a while, maybe 6 weeks, before heading back on ourselves again, until we reach Vietnam. I assume the best way to get there from India would be through China again? Avoiding the often unstable Burma.
We’ll then find our way through Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand before we get to Malaysia. We’ll then say Hello to Singapore and it’s on to Indonesia. We’ll stay there for a couple of weeks, then move on to Australia. I assume we could get a boat of some sort for this leg? Has anyone caught a cargo ship, or any ship not of a commercial nature before? If so, how did you find the experience? It’s something I’d be very interested in doing, just as an experience.
We’ll probably spend around a month in Australia and a few weeks in New Zealand. Again, what would the best way to get to NZ be? Would a plane be too expensive and is it realistic to get on some sort of boat?
After this we’ve reached a bit of a dead end! We plan on getting to South America, but I don’t see anyway of doing so other than via plane. That’s fine, but does anyone know of any reasonable cheap flights from NZ to anywhere in South America (preferable Chile though)? If it does go spectacularly well and we end up in Chile for a couple of weeks, into Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Peru. Are trains a good way of getting around South America? How expensive have you found them to be.
After this point I have to admit, I haven’t got much of an interest in Central America. I know a lot of people do and many think it’s fantastic, but my girlfriend and I just aren’t particularly bothered about seeing it. Apart from Guatemala. Would getting trains through Central America make more sense than getting a plane from Peru to Guatemala if we’re not that excited by seeing the region?
After this, it's up through Mexico and into the USA. We'd love to spend a long time in the US and Canada (maybe 2 months) but with it covering such a vast amount of land, we're unsure of how to make the most of it. Buses seems like a decent option to me, but I don't know much about them to be honest, just a guess based on films!
We'd enter the US at the south obviously, then head west to California. We'll then head northwards, making journey's inwards to see things like the Grand Canyon, until we reach Canada. We'll probably then make trips north and south of the border as we head East towards New York before finally getting a plane home.
Sorry it's such a long post, but it's going to be a long journey! It gets me excited thinking about it.
Has anyone made a similar trip or anyone have any wisdom they wish to share? Do you think the 10 000 GDP each is a reasonable amount, bearing in mind we do wish to spend a fairly large amount of time in a few of the more expensive countries.
Cheers for your time.