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Old 06-06-2006, 11:21 PM   #1
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First up i have to say that this is an awesome web site and it has been more help then I ever thought I could get off one site.

Well anyway, Im a 23 year old aussie female bout to embark on a much awaited solo (mostly) trip through Asia. Basic outline: I fly into Singapore where I catch a train up through Malaysia with a few stop offs and then on to Thailand. From Bangkok I fly to India and Nepal for bout 6 weeks. Then back to Thailand where I hope to meet up with some other backpackers to travel through Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. I plan on being away for about 6 months or when ever my money runs out, so I don't actually have a return flight. I have my ticket to India and back, also my train ticket to Malaysia. My question to all the experienced travellers out there is if this is going to be a problem when entering some of these countries? Also if I am being totally overly optimistic going with only $8000 (AU) not including airfares?
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Old 06-07-2006, 03:35 AM   #2
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Well, you picked the right area of the world to travel cheaply, ashby. Plus, there are plenty of other solo females traveling around Thailand, so you won't be out of place or anything. As for the budget, well, I guess it'll depend on how much you pay for the flights. What I'd do is check out which airlines fly on the routes you need. Then go to their websites and sign up for the "e-mail savers" list. Different airlines call it different things, but basically they e-mail you once a week, every couple days, whatever, with all their sale fares. Keep checking that while on the road (for your return fare). It'll also give you a good idea of what the airfares are running.

After awhile, you'll get a feel for your "comfort level" on places to stay. You'll find hostels for really cheap, hotels for a bit more, and more Western style hotels for even more. Once you find about what you feel is your style, then you can do the math and figure out how much accomodations will run you.

Honestly, though, save up as much as you can, and take off with it. The most important thing is LEAVING. So many folks find excuses why not to go ("I haven't saved up enough, yet" or "I'm waiting for my friends, who can't go yet"). Don't wait. If you end up not having saved enough for the full six months, and end up being able to stay for 5 months...really, what's the difference? It'll be an amazing 5 months. In the long run, that's what's important...

Good luck, and feel free to post more or specific questions...!

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Old 06-07-2006, 05:18 AM   #3
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Hey mike

Thanks for replying so quickly. I think i was a bit confusing in my details. I have actually already paid for my flights (just not the return one!) and I leave in bout 4 weeks!

Was also wondering if anybody out there has caught the train up through Malaysia from Singapore before?
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Old 06-07-2006, 06:57 AM   #4
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Hi Ashby and welcome to tpunk!

Sounds like you have some fun times planned!

I'm from Malaysia but I've never taken the train from Singapore. Actually I lied, I just remembered that I have. Lol. I'm more a bus person, I don't remember much but it's very straightforward, and I'm assuming you're heading straight to KL so you'll probably end up at KL Sentral which is the transport hub for the city...last time I took the train it wasn't built yet.

If you have any specific Malaysia questions, I'd love to try and help you out there.
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Old 06-07-2006, 10:18 AM   #5
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Don't be afraid to check out some of the budget airlines in the region. Sometimes flights are nearly as cheap as bus/train options. Air Asia for one, can get you from Malaysia to Thailand and also around Thailand. Make sure you check out visa requirements as well. Some countries, such as Vietnam, require visas. Just keep it in mind, especially if your the type to wake up one day and decide to head off to a new country. Enjoy your trip. SEA is a great place to travel around!
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Old 06-08-2006, 05:17 AM   #6
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Hey Jamie thanks for your reply. Still wondering if anyone knows if I will have trouble getting into some countries with no return air fare to Aus? I already have my train ticket to Malyasia and also my ticket to India.
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Old 06-08-2006, 07:20 AM   #7
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i don't know if it's cheaper to get just outside singapore, then buythe bus/train tickets in Malaysia? cos singa seems to have higher western prices.
not sure about the return air fare.....anyone heard of getting a random return ticket as proof, then changing it/exchanging it when the time comes??
visas can all be sorted out in Bangkok and a select few borders. vietnam=us$50, cambodia=$30. vietnam visa can be issued cheaper in cambodia (Sinoukville?) i think.
i'm gonna try to stick to about $15 a day for bus/travel/dorms/food/drink which virtually pays for the air fare!

i agree with ww.Mike on the just going idea, i managed to break my arm, get river-rafting sickness and a new job while i was planning going travelling!! 5 months of excuses.haha. but now i'm off!
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Old 06-10-2006, 06:39 AM   #8
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Puzzell is right - You should catch a bus from Singapore to Johor Bahru (just inside Malaysia) and then buy your longer haul bus/train tickets for Malaysia to save money.

I remember in Penang there were tourist offices selling tourist VISA's for Thailand everywhere.

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Old 06-10-2006, 07:25 AM   #9
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From reading the immigration info for Singapore, I understood that in order to gain entry I had to show some kind of proof of exit (such as bus, plane or train ticket). So thats why I have to have my train ticket organised before I go. The trip is done in three legs so I was just going to get the first leg then sort out the rest when I get there. I think Im just going to risk not getting the return air fare to Aus before I go and hope for the best! If worse comes to worse hopefully I can just purchase a ticket if I require one.

While Im here got another question. Anyone been to Nepal? Thinking of heading there while Im in India. Always thought it looked like an awesome place to go. Problem is that all the other countries im going to are HOT. How cold does it get there? Reckon I need to lug cold wheather clothing all that way?

P.S the count down begins! Only 32days till take off!!!!
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Old 06-10-2006, 07:26 AM   #10
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Opps! Thanks guys for your help so far. You rock!
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Old 06-10-2006, 12:43 PM   #11
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I have been to Singapore several times and have never been asked to show a return flight. I would recommend you dress at least a little bit smart when going through immigration and you should be fine. If they ask the question, just explain to them what you are doing (i.e. traveling around to different countries and you don't have a set itinerary, etc). Given that your Australian, I don't think they would look twice. Unfortunately, Singapore has bit of a bias towards visitors from other SEA countries and can really put them through the ringer before letting them in, but being Australian I think you will breeze through with no issues - I think that will be the case most places you go.

The only time I have ever had a hassle on showing a return ticket was when I was flying from Bangkok to Hong Kong (it was a work trip). The check-in agent for China Airlines in Bangkok made me show my itinerary to prove I had a flight out of Hong Kong - and this check was performed in Bangkok (my China Air ticket was a one-way which I suspect prompted the check). I was rather surprised and that was the only time anything like that has happened. Good luck!!
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Old 06-10-2006, 11:18 PM   #12
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I caught the bus from Malaysia into Singapore (not sure whether I used my British or Australian passport at the time) and was asked no questions, didn't have to show funds nor was I searched. My passport was stamped and I was in with no problems.

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Old 06-11-2006, 11:55 PM   #13
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If you don't get a reply within a day or so from Atchoum, send her a PM - she spent quite a while in Nepal and has lots of great advice.

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Old 06-20-2006, 09:11 AM   #14
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I have to echo everyone here. I've never had to show a return ticket on any of my trips. But I imagine a lot of it depends on how you look. If you look reasonably normal, relatively clean and are polite and deferential, you are most likely not hassled. If you look like the janitor might sweep you into his dustbin by mistake, well, you might arouse suspicions...

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Old 06-21-2006, 10:15 PM   #15
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Ashby, did you receive my PM ?
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Old 06-29-2006, 11:33 PM   #16
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I lived in Singapore for 4 years, and grew pretty accustomed to South East Asian Travel. If you find the time you need to go to Sarawak/Borneo and go through the jungles there, I'll give more information and an old Trip Itnerary if you'd like.
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:28 AM   #17
 
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Default No Worries on your Budget

No Worries on your budget, I've taken two 3 month trips and spent about U$3000 and the Aussie $ is UP now so you'll even be able to splurge occasionally.
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