Discuss long-term and Round the World Travel. Share experiences, tips and encourage others to take the plunge. Help others plan their itineraries and budgets for upcoming epic adventures.

I need serious advice on a "RTW" trip

DenkiGroove

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Posts: 15
Joined: April 2nd, 2011

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Tags: rtw, asia, uzbekistan, turkey, Europe, advice, japan, china, mongolia
  • Added on: April 9th, 2011
@vagabondette: I appreciate your effort!
RE Tokyo; I think I'll adjust that to about 3 weeks because I'll be able to travel further down south from there.

I'll soon expand my travelroute above with the information you guys have provided and I'll add sights that I definitely want/need to see.

Andromeda

Street Food Connoisseur
 
Posts: 509
Joined: March 23rd, 2008

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  • Added on: April 9th, 2011
I admit your comment about bandits or policemen issues made me smile- this isn't the Wild West, and China might be one of the safest places I've ever visited. Authoritarian countries tend to be pretty secure, y'know? ;) I did find it interesting how in Tienanmen Square they screen all the Chinese people in the name of security, but they just wave the Westerners through no problem (and people leave white people alone as it's capital punishment to kill one even accidentally- seriously, feel free to go play in traffic).

I did lose a camera in Guilin but I think that was more due to my inattention than being pickpocketed, although the latter is a pretty common crime around here (and tourist areas in general). Though after nearly 50 countries and the majority of them solo, the only time I was getting more than worried about my person was during a riot in Kenya a few months ago (which was actually my second riot in Kenya in as many weeks...). I assure you the world is actually a very safe place for the most part.

Mama-to-many

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Posts: 525
Joined: March 26th, 2007
Location: New Zealand

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  • Added on: April 10th, 2011
You ask about Mongolia. My first recommendation is to join couchsurfers and visit Berszeren and his family. MUST DO.
Second, stop at Anak Ranch. (google it)

As for Laos....a resounding yes. Our favourite place in SE Asia. Check out Big Brother Mouse in Luang Prabang. Take the two day boat trip down the Mekong from Chiang Khong (Thailand). Plain of Jars isn't a bad diversion, but don't take the cheapest guesthouse in town (we had rats the size of cats in the roof and bamboo walls all night long - it was the only place we made a hurried exit from after one night in 15 months!)

China. I second what has been said. And would add Yangmei. Plus the wall of course.

I know it's a bit ego-centric, but we posted about all these places on our blog, and more. You might like to take a squizz.
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DenkiGroove

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Posts: 15
Joined: April 2nd, 2011

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  • Added on: April 10th, 2011
@Andromeda; smiling just makes a lot easier! :lol:
and if it doesn't, you can always ride that VROOMVROOM down the Chinese Wall.. :D
Thank you for your advice. I was actually being serious but after I had read it once more, I could see why I was being silly..

@Mama-to-many; added! Thank you. As for your blogs, I'm reading, have read or will be reading most of your blogs you guys, but I'm a bit sceptical as to not wanting to read too much about a place before I go there. No doubt it will still be a surprise, but it could take that exciting edge off of it and I would rather preserve that. You could prove me wrong ofcourse :)

Edit: also, I'm trying to figure out how I should limit my entries to China and the number of flights/trains taken to and from places.. I was thinking on entering China (from Kyrgyzstan) only once, traveling zigzag from west to east and then up towards Mongolia.. any suggestions anyone?

Mama-to-many

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Posts: 525
Joined: March 26th, 2007
Location: New Zealand

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  • Added on: April 11th, 2011
If you're travelling on your own, you'll automatically have a different trip to us! There's a sweet point that differs for each person as to how much they want to read about others' adventures versus just going. I found blogs useful to grab inspiration, and did read fairly extensively before we travelled (I don't follow any now that I'm back and fully enaged in a completely different life), and I must say I never felt that I didn't get to have my own adventure because someone else's views clouded what I saw - mostly it was useful to have some background information.
As for China, if you're entering from Kyrgyzstan and want to exit to Mongolia, I'd head straight to Xi'an, then down the west side to the south interior (probably taking in Yangmei and Yangshuo), then back up to (Shanghai if you really want to) and Beijing (a city we preferred). From there it's an easy hop up to UB.
Remember that even though China now rules Hong Kong, if you go there, you would need a double/multiple entry visa for China, because HK is not counted as China when it comes to money issues. Besides the two countries are "worlds apart".
I would say HK is well worth a visit....BUT....if you're wanting to pinch pennies, China is far far far cheaper, and HK is the kind of place you are likely to be able to easily stop in for a week or two on some other trip in the future.
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Andromeda

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Joined: March 23rd, 2008

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  • Added on: April 12th, 2011
mama-to-many knows what's up- while I really enjoyed Hong Kong and ended up spending a week there it's not a budget destination. All in all I thought the prices were pretty similar to what they are in Europe or a place like that.

If you come in from the west and want to do a loop do consider a stop in Chengdu if you have the slightest interest in heading to Tibet (it's also famous as a backpacker chill spot because the hostels are so great in town). It may well change by the time you get here but right now you need a guide and a permit and this is a great place to arrange one- we did it for US$600 per person for 8 days including the train ride, which OMG will include Everest Base Camp! :D The panda reserve here was beyond cute as well. ;)

Bideshi

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Joined: November 9th, 2005
Location: In transit

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  • Added on: May 5th, 2011
Okay, I'm going to jump in and be THAT guy... sorry to ruin the mood... but what about the boring, rigid, practical stuff, like visas? Have you looked into it? If not you might want to. I noticed someone mentioned it in one response, but it never was dealt with and nobody else brought it up. Most everything is possible, of course, but it may require a great deal of planning and a little bit of strategy, not to mention it will cost a lot for many of those visas. So make sure you look into it. I love the idea stage of planning a RTW, but I've met plenty of people on the road who didn't do enough of the boring logistics work and their experience suffered because of it. Okay, on that note, go have fun and enjoy your trip! :D

DenkiGroove

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Posts: 15
Joined: April 2nd, 2011

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  • Added on: June 6th, 2011
Wew! I've been away for quite a while now.
Thanks for all the comments guys!
I'm currently incorporating all of your useful travel-tips into my "book of travel-knowledge" :lol:

About the visas.. I know it's going to be difficult to arrange all (or at least most) of them..
I'm going to ask for some information from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs about visa requirements in all of the countries I'm willing/planning on visiting.

I totally agree with the sweet spot issue when reading other traveler's stories.

Bideshi; thank you for sharing your knowledge/opinion on the subject.
This post is (mostly) intended to get some insider-info on cool destinations to supplement my trip(s) and tips/tricks to getting the most out of my travel. I am gathering a lot of cool stuff from other posts and blogs, but it's also refreshing to experience the help I receive from other boardmembers.

rielman

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Joined: June 3rd, 2011

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  • Added on: June 6th, 2011
I have only been to Italy and Austria from the cities on your list.

For Italy it depends what time of year you plan to be there. Milan has great shopping at the end of season right before the shopkeepers close up and leave for their long vacation. I have bought plenty of clothes there during that time...but I think you'd have to ship it back.

In Austria, I love the little town of Gratz if there is sunshine. I just like wandering around the square. But, I agree that if you live in Amsterdam...just skip by it on the way to Asia.

You didn't mention Croatia. That is my favorite place to go swimming in the world. The beaches are not sandy, they have big round rocks. The culture was not progressive when I was there a few years ago, but I loved the clear, cool water. I believe I was in Krk.

The further you go down the Croatian coast, the less touristy it becomes.

If you go by Romania, let me know! We have BootsnAll employees in Romania who would be happy to show you around when you are there.

I have no experience in Asia. But I do know that when I have traveled, I have always loved it more when I am with a local. Maybe you could focus more on finding local people instead of local places...?


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