Going overland from Belgium to South East Asia
As many of you I have big travel plans in my head. I just lived one year of full adventure in East Africa and I pretty much became a travel and adrenaline junkie. Anyway I'm playing with the idea of going fully hardcore unplanned into the east.
Meaning: I saved enough money, about 15000 euro, and I would pack my bags, either start hitchhiking or book a cheap low cost flight to Eastern europe. From there go on backpacking without a strong focus, couchsurfing,staying with friends and taking advantage of situations which could perhaps alter my direction (travelling with others, recommendations, etc) . I would keep cost quite low by as mentioned CS and hostels, travel with local transport or hugely discounted fligths and in this way I would hope to go through the middle east, India, China, Nepal, etc. and eventually end up in South east Asia, probably Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, ... I have university degrees in various subjects like economics and sociology and am physically quite fit so if necessary I can work at places if the need is there. I intent to spend money on unique adventures whenever necessary (climbing mountains, rare sights, adventure sports, nightlife).
Now what I want to know is from the more experienced ones here is. What could make this trip difficult or in a way unrealistic?? (cost of visa perhaps?, vacinations??). Do you know anyone who has done it this way (blogs would help) ?. Recommendations of must see things? Timespan? (I'm thinking max. one year but then again theres no reason for fixed timespan). Any input is greatly appreciated.
An itinerary could for instance be like: -Belgium-fligh to Sarajevo-Montenegro-Albania-Greece-Turkey- fly to Israel-Lebanon-Jordan-back Turkey-Iran-Pakistan-India-Nepal-China-Laos-Cambodja-Thailand-Belgium
Something along those lines...
My guess, looking at your trip planner, is that visas may be the biggest issue. You need to look into the visa requirements of each and every country you plan to visit. Some countries require that visas may only be applied for from the travelers' home country. It can be a very sticky problem getting visas on the road.
All the visa info will appear. Take note of the number of passport pictures required as it saves time getting them at home rather than at the border.
Personally I would stick to overland travel rather than air.
If it is possible to travel through Tibet from Nepal to China, when you travel, I highly recommend doing so. That trip will have to be done as part of a group & the tour company will get the Chinese visa for you as part of the package. I used these guys http://www.trekking-in-nepal.com they were great, also arranged a trip to Chitawin National Park in Nepal.
2) Visas: You biggest issue will be Pakistan. This visa you cannot get anywhere except your home country. And they are time specific. You will not have time to get in in your home country, travel for a few months, then enter the country. This means you will have to fly over Pakistan.
Problem 2 is Tibet. It is frequently closed to foreigners with no notice what-so-ever. Be prepared to fly if need be.
Also your travel plan as laid out won't work. It is not possible to go from Israel to Lebanon. The borders are completely closed and there are no transport links (flights, boats, trains, buses, camels... nothing). Furthermore, if you have a stamp from Israel in your passport, you be 100% be denied entry to Lebanon, Iran or Pakistan.
In any event things with travel like this you know there will be big difficulties, just hope to find out most of them beforehand .
You now know what Pakistan requires so plan your trip to take that into account.
For Israel just visit the countries not allowing entry with their stamp first, although personally the way Israel is acting lately, I would just forget about going there!
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