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Need help with itinerary- asia and europe

dharmabum

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Tags: asia, Europe, itinerary, help
  • Added on: July 18th, 2008
Hi! This is my first post. I've been waiting until I had a good enough idea of my trip before asking for some serious advice. So this is what I've got so far: My boyfriend and I are planning on leaving in January of 2010. It should give us enough time to save up about $20,000 US for the two of us. We plan on traveling for 6 months to a year, we have a very flexible time frame--probably until the money runs out.

Our destinations include :
northeast asia
southeast asia
india
europe

More specifically:
thailand, tibet, indonesia, japan, nepal, china, india, france, greece, italy, netherlands, ireland

Luckily we have friends in ireland, italy, and france so that should cut down on the cost since we can stay there for free. We haven't gotten to picking out specific cities yet and wanted to know if anyone had recommendations-- also any countries within arms reach of the other places we mentioned that we just can't miss? We figured we would hit up northeast asia first and work our way from there, making it to europe in the late spring (good idea? bad idea?). Any route/itinerary advice would be extremely helpful!!!

C-and-C

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  • Added on: July 18th, 2008
Welcome to BootsnAll!

My boyfriend and I are hoping to do the same (minus Europe), but we'd like to leave in November 2009 if we have enough money by then (we're budgeting the same as you for a year, but we're thinking it might be more with flights, vaccinations and visas.)

As for your itinerary, I'd search the boards by country or continent to gather some info and get ideas on what other people have done. Then if needed, post more specific questions later on when you're ready to fine tune everything.

Late spring should be a great time to visit Europe. The weather will be nice and it'll be good to get there before the summer crowds. Feel free to check out our blog from our Europe travels for itinerary ideas:

http://www.brianandrachel.blogspot.com
Europe travels
South America to SE Asia travels

dharmabum

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  • Added on: July 20th, 2008
Thanks for your advice! Great photos on your blog!

C-and-C

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  • Added on: July 21st, 2008
Glad to help! Someone on the boards mentioned this Lonely Planet link as a helpful resource for itinerary planning, which I've been using as well:

http://shop.lonelyplanet.com/Primary/Product/Pick_and_M...?bmUID=1215440613818

It offers free downloads for different countries and major cities. There's usually a section on "Getting Started & Itineraries" that shows various routes you can take depending on how much time you have. A good way to at least get started on where to go...
Europe travels
South America to SE Asia travels

Bunglegirl

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  • Added on: July 21st, 2008
NE Asia should be really cold in January (China, Japan), I would re-think that.

Linking together China, SE Asia & Nepal/Tibet can be tough. It seems like they all link together, but you could go either way. I would work it out based on weather. If you go from China to SE Asia, fly to Tibet then you could go by land to Nepal and India. Or You could go from China thorough Tibet/Nepal to India and then fly back to SE Asia, although that may seem a bit like backtracking if you're heading toward Europe (or on a RTW ticket).

If you're going to be in Thailand at least take a short trip to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat. What about Turkey? It's close to Greece and will add a little more Middle Eastern flavor to your trip. If you're flying on single tickets there's cheap airlines that are based in the middle east so it might be worth making a stop in somewhere like Jordan on your way to Europe.

I can't really comment on China because it's so huge and I assume you're planning on hitting only a tiny bit. I have always stayed away from the coasts, personally. Mongolia's beautiful but you have to go in the summer. I can also overwhelmingly recommend Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan, Tajikistan) but I'm guessing that's a little rougher than you'd like to deal with on this trip.

India's also tough. I spend 2.5 months there and traveled really fast. With a month you really have to stick to one region. With 2 weeks you can only really see the Taj, Delhi and maybe a fort. Of course, you could do 2 weeks in the South as well, but the NW triangle is the most popular in India.

If you have more specific questions feel free to drop me a line.

dharmabum

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  • Added on: July 22nd, 2008
Hi Bunglegirl!
Thanks so much for your response. At this point my boyfriend and I are thinking of flying into Bangkok and going down towards Malaysia and Indonesia, but first to the Thailand Islands, late Dec. Then flying over to Maldives making our way up to India. Going through Nepal, China, and then winding up in Japan sometime in May. How does that sound to you weather wise? We'd also like to fit Laos somewhere in there. This is a VERY rough itinerary so let me know what you think. We plan on heading to Europe in late May early June, with no idea yet of where we will fly out of/into. We plan on being in each place for a month give or take. Central Asia really interests me but this is my boyfriends first time out of the country (besides Puerto Rice and the Bahamas) so I'm trying to take it easy on him Wink

Lust2wander- thanks for the lonelyplanet link, that has been really helpful in mapping out our itinerary, so helpful!! what destinations do you have on your list?

C-and-C

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Holds PhD in Packing
 
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  • Added on: July 23rd, 2008
Well, I've revised my itinerary a million times but here's where we stand so far:

SOUTH AMERICA – May/June/July
JAPAN – Aug
CHINA – Sept
SE ASIA – Oct/Nov
TIBET/NEPAL – Dec/Jan
INDIA – Feb/March
MIDDLE EAST – April
AFRICA – May/June

The month we actually leave is still TBD... trying to plan it according to the weather. As for specific places, we'll probably do what we did in Europe which was to hit the capital for a couple of days, then must-see sub-cities, and if time, a few towns off the beaten path... this method seems to round out the trip nicely.

My main concern is getting around. It was very easy to take the train or bus in Europe... I think the longest trip we made was 10 hours. I'm researching transport in India and Asia and some of the overland routes are 24 hours (eek!)
Europe travels
South America to SE Asia travels

Bunglegirl

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  • Added on: July 23rd, 2008
I think the route sounds great if you're buying along the way. Obviously, with a RTW ticket you have to deal with backtracking rules etc.

As far as weather goes I would have to do a lot of work to answer you so I'm going to leave that up to you. I made a spreadsheet and put down how many weeks I planned on staying in a country and that helped me flush out where I would likely be mid-trip so I could plan for weather. I actually did pretty well and was no more than a month or two off.

India's tough because when it's not too hot in the South it's cold in the North. I wore my winter jacket in Delhi in December. It would have been very cold to head North from there, so you'll have to examine where you most want to go in India for weather. There's two seasons that are best for hiking in Nepal, I went in November. I spent October in Tibet and it was cold, but not too cold to walk around.

When I was in Laos in 2004 it was interesting and really cheap (I was there a full month) but I hear it's gotten ore expensive and crowded since then. I would vote for Siam Reap over Laos, but the local airlines have deals where you can fly Bangkok> Siam Reap> Luang Prabang which might be worth it if you're traveling more quickly.

dharmabum

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  • Added on: July 23rd, 2008
Ok so the itinerary has changed! Mostly based on the fact that I think it would make a lot more sense to fly from India to Europe rather than from Japan to Europe (right?) I've reversed the route a little bit. Now I think it will be more like this:

Fly from NY to Bangkok (day trip to Laos?)
Bangkok down to Thai Islands, Malaysia, Indonesia
Bali to Japan
Tokyo to Hong Kong
Hong Kong to Nepal
Nepal to India
Fly from India to Ireland (Eurail Pass)
Ireland to Amsterdam
Amsterdam to France
France to Italy
Italy to Greece

The only thing I'm worried about is the weather in India that time of year and being in Europe during tourist season. I have lived in Europe during that time though and I think if I'm smart about it and we stay off of the beaten path some we should be okay. We are thinking about coastal towns more than mainstream tourist ones (we have a friend in Paris and I've already done the Rome, Florence, Venice thing). I was also thinking it might make more sense for a RTW ticket for the big flights like NY to Bangkok, Bali to Tokyo, and Tokyo to Ireland- and then having some money aside for local airlines for shorter flights. What do you think of that idea? So much planning to do!!



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