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Old 03-30-2006, 05:53 PM   #1
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Hey,

Hmmm...well...were should I start...I am going to be travelling alone to Asia (Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc). Funny thing's that this is my first time ever travelling alone and I'm almost 31

Yep!!! I don't know why, and I don't know how come it took me this long. But I've been having this strange urge inside of me for the past 2 years that I've not been able to control I just couldn't take it anymore. I felt that I was going to go postal soon at my office. So, I decided to take some time off work to travel.

I've already bought the backpack, tent and I know that I'll be leaving in the next two weeks (Bangkok - Thailand) - just waiting for one more cheque from work to see what this is going to cost me.

I have a question: I'm kinda lost here. I'm a Canadian Citizen but I don't know how it's all goin to work out with the VISAs and stuff. I mean, most of the coutries only give me a 30 day "tourist" visa, what if I'm intending on travelling for like say 6 months...Can anyone 'elp?
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Old 03-30-2006, 09:38 PM   #2
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Hey welcome to the club of the oldies ! And to travelpunk !

I did my first trip abroad at your age, and since then I visited a few continents. There is no age to start.

If you could tell us the exact names of the countries you're heading to, you'd have more precise infos. Each country is different. Laos gives two week visa upon arrival; Vietnam you'd need to get before leaving Canada and provide the embassy the exact dates ahead of time; Thailand no visa required for up to 3 months I think, but I'd have to confirm this info; I might be wrong but I believe Canadians don't require a visa for Malaysia; Indonisia I don't know.

Do you want to stay six months in one country, or all together ? The latest being not much of a problem visa wise.

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Old 03-31-2006, 08:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by atchoum@Mar 31 2006, 12:38 AM
Hey welcome to the club of the oldies !* * And to travelpunk !*

If you could tell us the exact names of the countries you're heading to, you'd have more precise infos. Each country is different.

Do you want to stay six months in one country, or all together ? The latest being not much of a problem visa wise.
[snapback]109709[/snapback]
Thanx for the reply

OK, I "want" to stay for a couple of months. I'm thinking two, at least. I might stay longer if I'm able to find a job somewhere, or I just want to stay. I'm not planning on staying in one country I am planning on visiting a whole bunch (Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Phillipines, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore). Btw, I already checked out most of the Visa requirements for the countries that I want to visit. Excellent website to do that if anyone's interested is "http://www.delta.com/planning_reserv...tion/index.jsp".

So here's an example of what I'm trying to get at...I am going to buy a flexible ticket that I can change the return date on, initially i'm going to make it for say six months. Now, I intend on landing in Bangkok (Thailand) and their VISA requirements state that I can stay for up to 30 days w/o a VISA. My return ticket will also be from Bangkok.

Is it going to be OK when they see that my return ticket has a date that's six months from my arrival date? Should I just buy a one-way ticket (more expensive in the end)?

Most of the countries (with the exception of India, China and Vietnam) allow us (Canadians ) to enter without a VISA, but they limit our stay to a specific period. So say, I want to stay in Bali (Indonesia) for a couple of months, but they only allow me to stay for 30 days. What to do?

These are the kinda things that I'm wondering about...if you can please help

Thanks again
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Old 03-31-2006, 08:59 AM   #4
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A mate of mine (British) spent about 6 months in Thailand by crossing the border into Laos every 30 days then going straight back to Thailand. You should check with your embassy as to whether whether this "loophole" still applies and can be used by Canadians (although I don't see why not).
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Old 03-31-2006, 08:59 AM   #5
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Thanks for the link, that will be useful to tpunks !

In Thailand, you won't have a problem with a six-month open ticket, I had a one-year and they didn't put me in jail ! Seriously, they will let you in, and just make sure to have your passport stamped when you leave the country for the first time, so they let you in the second time to return home !

In Laos, unless it has changed, you'll need a visa that costs $30 US (you have to have the exact amount with you+1 picture) that is provided to you upon arrival, either at the airport or at the border.

If the visa is time restricted, you'll have no choice but to obey, unless there is a way to extend your visa. These are normally explained with the normal procedures. Some countries offer visa extension, some don't. When it is not offered, the usual way to stay longer, is to exit to the neighbouring country, purchase a new visa there (so you have to stay a few days or weeks), and return with your new visa. But what is ure is that in theses countries, you DON'T want to ignore their laws !
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Old 03-31-2006, 09:20 AM   #6
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I just thought of more things I wanted to say. Your itinerary... well... you remind me of myself when I first sat down to plan and had all those countries I wanted to see (but in 6 months). BUT Asia, especially S.E.A., isn't North America. You'll understand very soon, when you get there what I mean, but to help you out planning here:

Transport is slow. You'll mainly use busses and tuktuks. They don't drive slow (be prepared for a heart stroke !), but the roads are bad, and they stop everywhere. And when they stop, you don't knwo for how long, sometimes 15 minutes, sometimes 3 hours ! The driver can decide to wait for new passengers and wait, wait, wait...

Infrastructes aren't as organized as in the western world... You want to do an acitivity ? Oops, it's closed for the day, or you came in too late, or too early, or the owner is busy, and nobody can give a proper answer on the time it will be open... Just try some other time...

Unless you're only seeing the capital and flying from one to the other, the minimum I'd advise to stay in each country is 10 days. In each of the country you listed, there are several cities worth spending at least 3 days (you'll probably want to stay longer is some of them) PLUS the countryside, you can't miss !

Based on your list, I'd avise you choose to either loop up (Thailand-Laos-Cambodia) or down (Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore-Indonesia) for an enjoyable two-month adventure.



The pace of life is slow there, it will get to you one day or another...

Budget wise, it of course depends on your lifestyles, and the type of activities you want to do. I was on a tight budget and lived with less than $15 per day in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. I managed to find lodging between $1 and $7 per day, food is cheap, so is transport. Among the countries you listed, I believe, Malaysia will be a bit more expensive, and Singapore a lot more.
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Old 03-31-2006, 09:25 AM   #7
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You guys are awesome

Thanx for the tips...it looks like i'll be "bouncing" from one place to the next which i wanted to do anyway...

OK, i have more questions about planning and other stuff...

Should I have very detailed plan of the places that I intend on visiting. Should it be like a time line with dates and places and how long i intend on staying in each place? or should it be more relaxed, say i want to go check-out this place?
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Old 03-31-2006, 11:36 AM   #8
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I can tell you that Thailand has never once asked to see my return ticket and I have traveled there quite a few times. They are very relaxed there if you are from a western country, so I wouldn't worry about your ticket. If for some reason they do ask, just tell them the truth, that you will be traveling all over SE Asia, and BKK is your hub for returning home to Canada at the end.

Also, you can apply ahead of time for a 60 day tourist visa for Thailand, but I think you have to pay a fee for this. I also think that you can extend the intial 30 days you get in Thailand by an additional 30 days while in-country for a fee. Lastly, I also believe that in the airport, on your right as you head towards immigration is a visa office that you can also receive the 60 day tourist visa, versus the normal 30 day stamp that you get from immigration. This is just for Thailand, however, I am not sure about the other countries.

What a lot of long-time expats do that live in SEA are regular visa runs. There are services that will take you on a bus to the border (say Laos or Myanmar for Thailand visa runs), you go across, get the exit stamp, and then come right back across and get another 30 days, or whatever the normal amount of time granted is. Usually its not a problem. If you did this a bunch of times for the same country, it is possible they might give you more grief, depending on the country, but generally, doing a quick visa run across the border and back is the norm and not at all uncommon in order to stay in a country for awhile. Enjoy your trip SEA is a very special place and I think you will have a fantastic experience!!
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Old 03-31-2006, 02:00 PM   #9
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Thanks. What you guys said makes sense.

I just feel like sharing something with you guys. If you don't mind, too late now...

I've pretty much lived a "sheltered" life. I did the whole Play, school, university, work and home thingy... I've been working full time for the past 6 and half years

Something got into me recently (I'd say almost 2 years ago)...I've had this strange itch...I never could figure it out. I had a very hard time working. I am a Software Engineer. Stuck in a cube the whole day. Don't take me wrong here, the pay is good, all that money and all the toys helped, but something was still missing. I'd buy a toy, then I'd be happy for a little bit, then the itch returns...I think you all know what I'm talking about.

It took me two years to figure it out. You see, I'm the shy type That's cuz I lived at home all my life (with the exception of university). I also have this strange thing that makes me not think of myself and what i need, I'm always second. I always think about people before myself. So that's a little history of me

This past Sunday, I decided that this is going to be the day that I have to choose what to do about my job and my life. Btw, Sunday (in Toronto, Canada) was a beautiful, may be should say gorgeous, day. Not a single cloud in the sky (what's the term - pathetic phallicy). Anyway, I decided that I'm going to be taking time off work to travel. After making that decision, I took my dog to the beach and I was feeling this strange sorta happy and euphoric, feeling. I layed down on my back at the beach and I was staring up at the sky; all I could see, guess what, were planes. Everytime I saw a plane, I could barely contain myself and the smile on my face just kept on getting wider and wider . It was a sign i think donno if it was, but sure as hell I felt like it was. Anyway, to make a short story long, ooops, i meant a long story short I got home and stood out in the back yard thinking, while smiling, and this nice little bird flew and stayed at this tree that's in our back yard. I don't know for how long, but this bird was singing for what seemed to be at least a half hour And here's me smiling even more :-))))))

So I finally decided that I'll be going in to work on Monday to talk to ma boss to tell hime that I need to take time off...I didn't care...Sick, Lay-off, quit and even fired. Luckily they accepted my doctors note and I started my sick leave.

I'm now in the "planning" stage. I'm reading the Lonely Planets "Southeast Asia on a shoestring", it's very, very helpful. Plus, I'm reading up on stuff on this KICK ASS site. Also, "http://www.lonelyplanet.com/" is a good one.

Thanks all you guys/gals/girls/boys for helping out a lonely brother living in a lonely planet. I have a feeling that the loneliness part of everything is coming to an end.

PS. I was in NYC last year and I thought of something that I'd like to share with all the good people out there..."Life is comprised of two journeys. One is to discover ones self, and the other is to discover ones self in this universe."

We are all pilgrims. Some people pilgrim all their lives, while others only for a short while. Life's not a race, and should not be such. We will all get there, one day or another. Love, peace and happiness are the cure of the pure. Peace out (for now)
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Old 04-14-2006, 10:00 AM   #10
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Hey nice story fadi ! Thanks for sharing it with us. Many of us have been (or will be !) through a similar story. This is a huge decision to make, exiting "regular life" to achieve a personal dream. Congrats ! And your boss agreed, that is the best part !

So where are you at now in the prep ?
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Old 07-21-2007, 08:35 AM   #11
 
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that was nice to read good luck, I'll be traveling very shorty to SEA as well and ever since I went to Europe last year, I can't contain the thought of traveling again and again and again and again
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