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Old 06-24-2006, 08:13 PM   #1
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Hello all - I am new to this site and am about to go on my first solo backpacking trip for 3 1/2 months to China and SEA. I am starting in Beijing where I will be studying for 2 weeks then traveling throughout China, Tibet, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Just want some advice on what not to miss in all these countries and the best places to hike, see temples and party or coarse. I really want to make it down for the Full Moon Party in Thailand - has anyone been?? Also, do I need to be worried about booking hosels ahead of time or about border crossings??
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Old 06-25-2006, 10:23 AM   #2
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My personal favorite thing is SE Asia is the amazing temples ruins. I've been to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Ayyuthaya in Thailand and Bagan in Myanmar. All of them were awesome.

Ayyuthaya you can do as a day trip via train from Bangkok, and you can buy a package tour from a Bangkok travel agent for 2-5 days in Angkor. There are flights direct from BKK tp Siem Reap, the closest town to Angkor. Myanmar is a bit more of a hassle to get to. In essence, for two travel days in sightseeing in Bagan, I had to spend a total of five days (one day to fly from Bangkok to Yangon; One day flight Bangkok to the Bagan area; 2 days sightseeing; Two days repeating the process back out of there. Of course, I only had about a week or so to travel there, so sounds like you'll have more time.

Feel free to post specific questions, but I highly recommend SE Asia...

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Old 06-26-2006, 08:40 AM   #3
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Thanks!!!! I do have specific questions regarding vaccinations / travel insurance - which ones do you recommend if any at all?? I've been reading that I should have one for Typhoid, Yellow Fever and Cholera - but they are all so expensive!! But I guess its better than getting a strange illness while I'm away. And is travel insurance necessary?? I don't want to cut corners, but I also don't want to spend a lot of unnecessary money before I leave.....Thanks so much!
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Old 06-27-2006, 01:56 AM   #4
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got mine for free in the uk, dont know where your from. malaria tablets you can get in chemists in china/ bangkok.

i recommend yangshou and lijiang in china, maybe xian & the terracotta warriors really close by. i heard about some deals on 'elong' website for china internal flights, cos all the hard seat/hard sleeper knackers you out a lot! maybe learn the basic travel/ thanks/ how much sort of stuff in chinese.
anyone know if the three gorges in china is still worth going to? cos i think their building a dam across some time?
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Old 06-27-2006, 09:10 AM   #5
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There's a pretty long discussion about the pros and cons of travel insurance in another thread - I believe in the Health forum.

Personally, I would never travel without it, particularly in places where health care services may not be as widely available, and especially if I didn't have vaccinations. If you get sick overseas, you're going to be bumming, even more so if you have to incur enormous expenses for treatment or to get back home.

And in the third world the resources are so strained, it's really irresponsible for travelers to use the local health care services for an illness they could have avoided by getting a shot before leaving home.

I believe the CDC has a list of recommended immunizations for different parts of the world, or check out the specific countries you want to visit on the State Dept. website, which will also list suggested immunizations. Most medical clinics will also have a list, so you could probably call your doctor and find out, too.

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Old 06-27-2006, 09:56 AM   #6
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For vaccinations you should seriously consider Hep A and maybe Hep B. Hep A for sure as it is trasmittable via food. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is definately a great resource for vaccinations. Unless you are really going out in the boonies, you shouldn't have to worry about Malaria or Yellow fever too much I don't think - but do some checking. Typhoid and Hep A are the most common things you could get because you can get them from food.

Insurance is a tough question. Health care for minor things is generally very cheap in SEA. I went to the emergency room one time in Bangkok for food poisoning and for the doctor visit plus 4 prescriptions (they tend to over prescribe there) cost me $25 USD total. Very cheap by U.S. standards.

I would recommend trying to find an insurance that will cover you for major medical emergencies, but not minor ones. That way if something really bad happens (which it shouldn't) you will have some resources, but these policies are usually fairly inexpensive. For minor things like food poisoning or bumps, bruises, etc. you should be able to pay as you go without much hassle (IMHO). Medicines are cheap and pharmacies are plentiful in the cities. Maybe ask your doctor for an antibiotic like Cipro to carry with you which you can take if you get food poisoning. Your home doctor will usually give you a dose or 2 to travel with. Good luck!
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:10 AM   #7
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Hey ive just got back recentally from thailand and cambodia...

The full moon party is worth a visit, wasnt as crazy as i thought it would be though...i did have very high expectations though. i loved it enough to be planning to head back there for nye though... Dont spend much time there, theres not alot to do apart from the party.. stay in haadrin if your byself, u may get bored in the outta areas... you dont need to book, but i did from bangkok and got ripped off and ended up staying in a different place anyway.

Dont book anywhere in thailand & cambodia...every place i saw had rooms espically in this time of the year.

pheng peng is a great place, sadly i thought i didnt have much time so i only spent 2 nights there... the russian market sells the best dvds in asia i reckon, cheap to i paid 20USD for 12 movies.

YOU MUST go to Veiyo Tonle Restaurant – They support an orphanage, so the proceeds go to a great place. They do great work, and u will apprieate it once you experence the culture first....Foods good too. On the river near the ‘Riverside’ bar used to be.

I stayed 'lakeside' in Phnom Penh, thats the backpacker area...really cheap i paid 3USD a nite for a decent sized room with a big bed, private bathroom and fan.

Check out hearts of darkness niteclub, thats prolly most suitable one for western girls...
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Old 07-11-2006, 01:15 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the help everyone!!! Just know that all you have done it makes me feel a little more at ease about traveling alone there!!! My trip is getting close and I'm getting really exited! Anymore random tips would be great!! Thanks so much!
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Old 07-11-2006, 01:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by backpackgirl@Jun 24 2006, 08:13 PM
I am starting in Beijing where I will be studying for 2 weeks
[snapback]127890[/snapback]
Which uni or program will you be attending there? BLCU, BNU?

I'm thinking on going in October myself for a month, if I can ever get my act together by then...
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Old 07-15-2006, 09:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by backpackgirl@Jun 25 2006, 02:13 AM
Hello all - I am new to this site and am about to go on my first solo backpacking trip for 3 1/2 months to China and SEA.* I am starting in Beijing where I will be studying for 2 weeks then traveling throughout China, Tibet, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.* Just want some advice on what not to miss in all these countries and the best places to hike, see temples and party or coarse.* I really want to make it down for the Full Moon Party in Thailand - has anyone been??* Also, do I need to be worried about booking hosels ahead of time or about border crossings??*
[snapback]127890[/snapback]
To travel in SEA, I would suggest to include Sinapore in your list, Singapore, Singapore is right in the center of SEA, it offer a good blend of east and the west culture, Singapore is also often known as the gate way to SEA countries, starting and venturing out from Singapore to the neighbouring conutries will help you mentally prepare when you travel to less develop countries in the region.

Countries or places not to miss in SEA: Singapore, Bali, Bangkok, Puket, Yangon, Kuala Lumpur.
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Old 09-03-2006, 11:56 AM   #11
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Im all new to this too, and am leaving for Bangkok tomorrow night on my own, any tips would be great!!! Starting to get just a little bit nervous!!
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