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Old 10-20-2007, 01:31 PM   #1
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Default South East Asia or Europe?

I'm 19 and from February - August (preferably around spring) I can travel somewhere before I go off to college.

I'd be traveling on a budget, so SEA seems right for me. The plane ticket would cost twice as much but then I could stay there for a longer period of time without spending too much money. The upside of going to Europe is that two of my friends would go with me, and I'd have to go to SEA alone.

What should I do? Keep in mind I enjoy hiking and seeing lots of different scenery.
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Old 10-20-2007, 05:45 PM   #2
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I went to SE Asia alone, and it was a blast. I was never really alone, because you meet people as you go, and I never really had to skip out on anything because of budgetary restrictions because it was so cheap. There's so much jungle, and beautiful islands and beaches and terrific food. You can live like a queen there, so that would be my recommendation.

There are many other punks on the board who have done SEA much more extensively than I have, also.
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Old 10-20-2007, 05:58 PM   #3
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I'm partial to South East Asia, but that's partly because I've never backpacked Europe. And I'm also partial to traveling solo.

Go to Borneo, check out some jungles, mountains, white water rafting and get your diving license while you're at it, if you haven't already.
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Old 10-20-2007, 09:32 PM   #4
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as much as I absolutely LOVED travelling europe last year, I grew up living and travelling around southeast asia and I think going back now that I'm older would be awesome. you can afford to live like royalty, it'll be something completely new, and the food is so good! I vote south east asia just cause I feel like going there now.
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Old 10-20-2007, 10:48 PM   #5
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Don't be deterred by the prospect of traveling alone. I just first solo trip to Europe for 3 1/2 months. I didn't have any travel experience at all but had an absolute blast. You will meet heaps of people along the way.
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Old 10-20-2007, 10:49 PM   #6
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They both have their plusses and minuses but at the end of the day, I think South East Asia will have a much greater impact on you as a person. The cultures are so different and varied and there is so much to see and do, both outdoorsy things as well as cities and culture that you cant go wrong. SEA all the way.

Definately get your SCUBA cert!
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Old 10-20-2007, 11:13 PM   #7
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Having never been to SEA I would think European traveling would be easier but pick whichever area interests you more. Europe has the plus side to it being somewhat familiar via pop culture osmosis. SEA is cheaper, and would be more suprising.

Jamie is probably right that SEA would make more of an impact but it is likely for a different reason. Traveling solo, imo, will make a bigger impact than traveling with friends, regardless of locale. Let us know what you pick

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Old 10-20-2007, 11:37 PM   #8
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Again . . . Southeast Asia sounds like its more up your alley. The culture is so much more interesting, shocking . . . more outdoor things to do than Europe, so much cheaper. Much more diversity as you cross borders. Better food. Much more adventurous, may not be a "vacation" unless you stay in Thailand.

I love SE Asia.
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Old 10-21-2007, 09:06 PM   #9
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One plus for Europe is that i'm a really picky eater, and I probably wouldn't enjoy any Thai food.

Which is the cheapest destination to fly into the area? I was looking up random destinations and noticed that Japan (of all places) actually had some pretty inexpensive tickets compared to places like Bangkok.
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Old 10-21-2007, 09:46 PM   #10
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Japan's much more expensive than most of SE Asia, I think going to Bangkok would end up saving you money. Bangkok, BKK, is the main hub for SE Asia.

You're right about the food, Asia would be tough for a picky eater.
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Old 10-21-2007, 09:54 PM   #11
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Have you had Thai food? If you haven't get yourself some Pad Thai and some Chicken Panang pronto before you say you don't like it. I didn't think I would either and it is probably my favorite of all the asian genres.

Backpacking in Japan is easy to do but a little pricey compared to its neighbors.

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Old 10-21-2007, 10:01 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Legitikick View Post
Japan's much more expensive than most of SE Asia
If I were to fly into Japan it would mostly be for a day or two just to say i've been there, not really to save money.

The Thai food could be a problem though. I remember I went to a Thai restaurant once with my family, didn't see anything I liked; so I went to a pizza place down the street and ate there.
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Old 10-21-2007, 10:04 PM   #13
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^Japan is worth WAY more than a day or two, imho.

It isn't as expensive as most people think (I found it on par with Western Europe).

--Joey
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Old 10-21-2007, 10:04 PM   #14
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Well, your decision, but traveling to me is all about putting yourself out on an edge, including the food. You'll find some stuff you like and then you can stick to that. I just wouldn't base the destination decision on food.

And just for the record, Thai food is the bomb diggitty fer shizzy.
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Old 10-21-2007, 10:13 PM   #15
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^Japan is worth WAY more than a day or two, imho.

It isn't as expensive as most people think (I found it on par with Western Europe).

--Joey
Yeah Japan is the #1 travel destination I want to go to. I would want to spend WAY more than a day or two there if it wasn't so expensive. Although if you say it is on par with Western Europe, maybe I should look into it. They do have hostels there, and since I am picky as hell I wouldn't mind living off 500 yen ramen noodles.
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:09 AM   #16
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i think not liking the food is a horrible reason not to go to a place. my god, think of what you could miss out on! they actually do sell food OTHER than thai food there. If you have other reasons for not going there (like wanting to go to japan instead) then I totally understand, but not liking the food? it'd be hard getting people to go to the US if that was the case!
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:34 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rathma View Post
Yeah Japan is the #1 travel destination I want to go to. I would want to spend WAY more than a day or two there if it wasn't so expensive. Although if you say it is on par with Western Europe, maybe I should look into it. They do have hostels there, and since I am picky as hell I wouldn't mind living off 500 yen ramen noodles.
Well if that's the case, I would absolutely recommend Japan. I went there for 12 days last year and was spending roughly 20-25 USD per night in hostels (~15-17 Euros) which were among the best I have ever been too. Tokyo is more expensive than most cities (especially transportation). I have a link to my blog in the signature you can click on May and see what I did

Not sure how you feel about traveling in China, but if Japan becomes to expensive you can take a ferry from Osaka to Shanghai. I would think that months in Japan would be overkill unless you were doing a language study program or something like that. I checked ACJS at it looks like you can do a 4 week study program with accommodation for 57 dollars a day.


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but not liking the food? it'd be hard getting people to go to the US if that was the case!
Wow buuuuurnnnnn!

What's wrong with meatloaf and mashed potatoes? (<-I think that is the only American food we really have everything else is just borrowed from elsewhere and tweaked...well maybe southern cuisine...)

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Old 10-22-2007, 06:40 AM   #18
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Wow buuuuurnnnnn!
haha i knew someone would say that. the reason I said that is because OUTSIDE of the US (and I can say this cause I live outside the us!) the only 'American' restaurants we have are McDonald's, Pizza Hut, KFC etc. So to not go to america because you think that is all that's gonna be over there would be a terrible shame because we all know that there's much more food than that in the US! same goes for thailand, sure there's gonna be a lot of thai food but there'll be a bigger variety than what's served in thai restaurants elsewhere, and there'll be food from other cuisines too!

ahh well you all know how much I like to bag out american eating habits...
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:00 AM   #19
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SEA would have much more of an impact on you because it's so different but Europe has also has allot of cultures and can be very cheap. Spain and Portugal are fairly cheap while Eastern Europe is extremely cheap. You'd also have the option of visiting the more expensive countries for a while. Europe would be much more comfortable even Eastern Europe is fairly well developed at this stage.

I think from the sounds of things you really want to go to SEA though. When it comes to food you'll be amassed at how your opinion changes when your really hungry. :D

It's highly likely that spending time there would change your eating habits. You should at least try everything, if you don't like it you don't like it.
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:09 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I would think that months in Japan would be overkill unless you were doing a language study program or something like that.
I have seen those study abroad programs but they are very expensive. I am interested in learning Japanese though, I study a bit from home using a language program. Some people tell me that just by staying in a country for a few weeks you can pick up a lot of the basics.
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