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Old 05-22-2006, 09:09 PM   #1
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Heu Guys,

So because I no longer have a job lined up for this summer, I've been thinking about taking my savings and just touring around SEA for two months with my boyfriend. This idea is quite recent and not very thought through yet, it's just an idea still, and I was just wondering if any of you knowledgeable tpunkers could help me out with a few of my querries......

* any ways to find cheap flights to that part of the world, leaving from the toronto area
* how much should i budget for. We're pretty low key and used to traveling on a tight budget but i really have no idea how much to take
* things to do, places to go - we're open for anything and everythhing!

and anything else you'd like to share would be great!

Thanks in advance!

-s0x-
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:22 PM   #2
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I hear around that part of the world you can live decently with 15-20 dollars a day.
So that'll bring you to about $900 for food, accomodations and around the city transport. Then again, I'm only planing too and have never been there.
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:32 PM   #3
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Not too much help on the flights from Toronto for me - my one way that I just bought from Bangkok - Boston for next Jan was around 670 US on orbitz.

Budget-wise, SEA is pretty cheap, depending on where you hit and what you want to do. The priciest countries would be Brunei and Singapore, probably followed by Malaysia, although everything is still cheaper than N.America or Europe. For my trip to Sabah in Borneo this July, I'm paying between 3 - 7 USD per night for a dorm bed in hostels. Food is cheap and everywhere AND tasty!

For flights within SEA, check out airasia.com for cheap flights.

If you intend to hit up Malaysia, I'd love to try to answer any questions you have about my dear home country, and if you do end up going to SEA over July - August, I'll be there and would love to show you around KL! And if you give me an idea of what kind of stuff you like to do, all the better.
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Old 05-23-2006, 02:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by s0x@May 23 2006, 04:09 AM
* any ways to find cheap flights to that part of the world, leaving from the toronto area
[snapback]122187[/snapback]
This being relatively last minute, you'll have to do some creative thinking to find affordable flights. Check airlines that may fly to your final destination that you wouldn't normally think of as direct, then work backwords to your home city. For example, summer is "Winter" in Australia and New Zealand. So, check flights on Qantas and Air New Zealand. If flights from YYZ are expensive, look at Los Angeles, and if you find a good one, look for a cheap route to LA.

Sign yourself up for the "E-mail Savers" for all the airlines that can get you there. I get about two dozen e-mails a week from various airlines. Some will let you put in your destination, others will just send out a generic list of sale destinations. Scan those on a regular basis for your destination.

Other than that, I recommend picking up a few guidebooks -- Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, Let's Go. Those budget traveler books will give you an idea of prices, though you have to add a bit for prices going up since they were printed. Anyway, SE Asia *IS* cheap, so you guys should be able to do okay once you find your flight over there (that'll be the most expensive part, for sure).

Good luck!
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:54 AM   #5
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I believe Air Canada has direct flights to Hong Kong from Toronto. From there you can easily get to Bangkok. Cathay Pacific, China Air and Emirates have some inexpensive tickets between HK and BKK if Air Canada cannot get you all the way.

Freespiritz - that's a great rate on BKK/Boston - thats roundtrip?? What airline was that??
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Old 05-23-2006, 11:10 AM   #6
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Have you called STA travel ? They have very good deals with Malaysian Airlines (to Kuala Lumpur) and with Thai Airlines (to Bangkok). Either city would make a fantastic starting point for your time in SEA.

What do you like to do ? Sports, arts & culture, party, venture into villages for the "real experience" ? Have a quick look at a bunch of cities in several countries, or discover thoroughly one or two countries ? It would help us to know your goals.

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Old 05-23-2006, 12:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by LiveFreeorDie@May 23 2006, 01:54 PM
Freespiritz - that's a great rate on BKK/Boston - thats roundtrip?? What airline was that??
[snapback]122290[/snapback]
Heh, I wish it was. It's only a one way, but it was still about a hundred bucks cheaper than other tix I was being offered even on STA and Studentuniverse...and it's multiple airlines - Cathay, Asiana and United.

Got my tix in the mail today and I'm slightly nervous about the whole thing right now.
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Old 05-23-2006, 04:59 PM   #8
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Wow, thanks for all the great tips and advice guys! It was super helpful.

I know the flight is going to be the most expensive part of the trip, but couldn't resist asking if anyone knew any good deals. I've never hesard of the STA site before so I'll definitley need to check it out, thanks wwm!

As for what we want to do, to be honest we're not really sure. We just came up with the idea quite recently so there hasn't been too much researching yet. But for the most part, we would like to do all the top touristy stuff for a bit, see the sites everyone talks about but then just kind of be lax about the whole situation and see where the wind takes us. I would love to experience rural parts of this area and see the different countries' landscapes. As for how much we want to see, we'd love to spend as much time in each place as possible to really get a feel for the culture but also want to experience as much as ossible and see lots of different things in order to make that expensive flight worth it, and also we are unsure of when we will have time to get back there.

Hey, since you guys were so quick to reply, i was wondering if i could ask another question. So we have beteen 4 to 6 weeks, and definitley want to go to Thailand, not really keen on China but that's all we have so far. One country to see, and one to avoid. Any tips on how we could best spend our time>? What would you do if it were you>?

Thanks again guys, you're awesome!
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Old 05-23-2006, 05:00 PM   #9
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Oh, and Freespiritz, I would love to hear what you have to say about Malaysia! I don't really know too much of that country and would love to get some insight from a native! Thanks!
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Old 05-23-2006, 06:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by s0x@May 23 2006, 08:00 PM
Oh, and Freespiritz, I would love to hear what you have to say about Malaysia! I don't really know too much of that country and would love to get some insight from a native! Thanks!
[snapback]122359[/snapback]
Haha, I just realized how hard it is to just "tell people about your country"
My ex used to describe it as a good jumping off point especially for a novice traveller, since most people (in urban areas at least) speak English to some degree, which isn't quite the case (as I understand it to be) in other SEA countries. but there's still a lot to see and experience.

For outdoorsy stuff, I've been recommending Borneo to everyone :P My return flight from Kuala Lumpur was around 80 USD. White water rafting, the tallest hikable peak in SEA, top notch diving, gorgeous caves and the world's oldest rainforests, what more could you ask for? I'm heading there this July so if you want to join me that would be cool.

For booze if you're in to the drinking, Thailand would definitely be cheaper than Malaysia though.

For touristy stuff...there's KL and the Petronas Twin Towers, pirated DVDs and cheap shopping. Then there are things like the Cameron Highlands if you want cooler weather and to meander around tea plantations...you can visit fishing villages, take a tour to hang out with elephants in the river, all that kind of jazz. Local food is amazing (or I'm just deprived from being away from home for 10 months now :P) and cheap.

For beaches on the Peninsula I'd recommend the Perhentian Islands on the east coast off the state of Terengannu. I had an amazing time there last year, and we got to snorkel with sharks and turtles.

I have some pics of KL and the Islands up on my photoblog (link below) if you wanna check them out.

Well I'll stop here before I start rambling on pointlessly but if you have any more specific questions I'd be glad to help.
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Old 05-24-2006, 09:28 AM   #11
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Well, sOx, if you like history, SE Asia has some amazing temples...

Ayuthaya, Thailand

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Bagan, Myanmar

And many, many others...

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Old 06-08-2006, 02:39 PM   #12
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One country to definitely go to- Thailand. I can't really think of one to avoid, all the places I visited were good in different regards. The place I felt was the most educational culturally was Cambodia. If i were you, I'd spend a good chunk of my time in Thailand- start up north before the rainy season and work your way down. The people are friendly, it's inexpensive and it offers so many different kinds of things to do. I was there for five months, mostly just in Thailand so if you have any questions I can help ya out-
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