Gap Year Travel: First Timer

Hi, I wanted to go travelling in SE Asia. For a few months but I dont know where to start or even how to start. The budget is roughly £2000 or under. It starts in London but I dont know what I should plan first. My preferred months are between March and August.
I want to see bright cities and scenic country sides. Thanks

shobi 18/04/14    Gap yearAsia Link Report

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Hi Shobi,

I’d start off by thinking about which countries you’d like to visit and how long you can afford to travel. Then I’d book flights (perhaps open-jaw, flying into one city and out of another) and map out a rough route on the ground.

You should be able to get by on a very basic budget of £15 a day Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, but you could double this quickly (or more) with nicer accommodation, better transport and more activities. Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and Myanmar are more expensive.

As for what to see, it’s a fascinating region and there’s a lot to tempt you! If this is your first big trip, you might want to start on a more well-travelled route (exploring Thailand, perhaps), before heading further off the beaten track. Each of our country sections online has a “things not to miss section” like this http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/thailand/things-miss/#/0. These would be a good place to get a feel for the kinds of places and activities you’re interested in. I’d make a long list of highlights (the temples of Angkor? Singapore? Bagan, Myanmar? Travelling down the Mekong in Laos? Visiting the rice terraces in the Philippines? Meeting orangutans in Malaysia?), map them out and try to figure out the key things you want to see from there. It’s always good to leave a bit of flexibility, though – you never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll discover on the way.

When you get down to the detail of planning, the Rough Guide to Southeast Asia on a Budget will guide you through each country with highlights, costs, itineraries transport, accommodation, restaurants and more.

If you have any more detailed questions, just let us know!

Ellie

Eleanor Aldridge 23/04/14    Link Report

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  • Agree with the poster above me on the whole. Does that budget include flights? Pre trip stuff? Pick a country or two that you really want to visit, the destination guides here http://bemusedbackpacker.com/destination-guide/asia/south-east-asia/ will help you out. Then have a look here http://bemusedbackpacker.com/travel-tips/travel-basics/what-you-need-to-know-before-you-start-planning/. Once you have narrowed it down a bit come back and I’ll be happy to help with more specific advice.

    Michael Huxley 24/04/14    Link Report

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