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Old 01-28-2016, 09:41 PM
 
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Hi everyone!
I am a 20 year old student looking for advice on a Asian trip itinerary and some other things. I will be studying abroad in Seoul until late June and I want to travel for about 2-4 weeks afterwords. here are some questions I have:
1. I am a bit undecided which path to take. The start of my trip will obviously be in Seoul, and I intend to end in Tokyo, although I am open to change. My early drafts of my trip include flying to Beijing and then going to Shanghai, then possibly to Hong Kong, and, then going to Hanoi before flying to Japan. In Japan I would like to see Osaka and Tokyo at least. Other places I've considered visiting are Kyoto, Hiroshima, Bangkok and Taipei. Are there any other places you guys recommend? What would be the best route to take among these locations? My goal is to make this trip as relatively cheap as possible, so keep that in mind. Which leads me to the next question:

2. What would the ideal budget look like for 2 weeks (obviously fewer locations)? 4 weeks? I plan on traveling cheaply, staying in hostels or using Airbnb (I have a friend to stay with in Hanoi), and taking buses between several of the locations if possible.

3. How much time should I spent in the locations I provided? (Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Hanoi, Osaka, Tokyo)

A bit about me:
-I have never been outside of North America
-I speak a minute bit of Korean, but nothing else
-I am open minded to any experience, I enjoy visiting cities but would interested to learn about places outside the cites worth exploring.

This is a lot inquiry but I would appreciate any sort of advice or answers to my questions!
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:39 PM
 
14,266 posts, read 24,021,014 times
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Just some observations:

1) You have 2-4 weeks. Why not spend the time in Korea? There is a whole lot to see outside of Seoul.

2) If you do decide to go elsewhere, focus on one other destination and spend a couple of weeks there. Itineraries that include several different countries in two to four week means that you spend most of your time in airports and transit.

3) There are a number of Asian countries with a significant English speaking presence - Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong among others.

4) So realize that there is a significant difference in costs. Travel to the Philippines and Thailand is significantly cheaper than Japan or Hong Kong.

5) There are tens of thousands of videos on YouTube covering travel to Asia. Some are filmed by American/British/ Australian expats living in those countries. Others are produced by nationals.
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:59 AM
 
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You may find it different but I personally don't like visiting Korea.

Cost in Korea and Japan is high.

Thailand, and other more Southern Asian countries are much cheaper.
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Old 02-01-2016, 05:55 AM
 
Location: On the road
5,968 posts, read 2,907,657 times
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If you haven't traveled much and want something easy go for Thailand. It has a very strong tourist infrastructure, lots of neat stuff to see, some of the best food in the world, beaches/hills/cities, lots of people speak English, and of course cheap cheap cheap. Plus who knows maybe one drunken night you'll find a cute ladyboy to take home!

Taiwan can be a bit of a challenge if you don't speak/read Chinese. It's doable (especially Taipei) but you'll outside of the city lots of places with menu board on the wall all in Chinese, or bus stops etc. so can be frustrating. To take it further while I like Taiwan and it has some pretty landscape in the interior there is nothing there that makes it a great tourist destination IMO. The night markets are probably the best thing going.

Don't forget Malaysia, you can have lots of fun doing the peninsula/Borneo combo if you're into wildlife type stuff and nature hiking. Malaysia also has lots of English speakers and it's own unique (well aside from Singapore) diversity. Food is kinda bleh though.

Good luck, and keep the forum updated on how things went, I hope you have a wonderful time.
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Taipei
6,776 posts, read 5,134,541 times
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Kyoto.
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Old 02-01-2016, 12:07 PM
 
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2-4 weeks isn't a long time at all. Be sure to research China, Beijing, etc. before you decide. Air quality can be very bad, for example--not a place I'd want to spend much time. Also, your budget will determine your options to some extent, I assume. Can you afford to travel around expensive countries like Korea and Japan? If so, why not spend your time getting to know Japan, instead of running yourself ragged rushing around between numerous countries (it would simplify your visa process), huge cities, languages? There's beautiful scenery in the smaller cities and towns. There's also an aboriginal population on Hokkaido that would be a rare treat to see, and to learn about the culture. And there are the Ryukyu Islands, another minority culture and scenic opportunity.
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Old 02-02-2016, 05:15 PM
 
3,431 posts, read 3,056,179 times
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2 to 4 weeks will go by very quickly. You could maximize your tourist fun time by figuring out how to spend the least amount of time sitting on airplanes or in airports, or getting back and forth to airports! I would honestly just stick to Korea and Japan. There's so much to do in Tokyo alone... and don't miss Kyoto, whatever you do... that's where the ancient treasures of the country are mostly located. I can't speak to what's in Korea, but with the amount of time that you have, it'd be far more relaxing and enjoyable to focus on those countries.

Someday you can plan another trip to a different region of east Asia. The regions are huge and diverse, and should each get more than a couple of days to truly appreciate them.

I've visited Tokyo, but I've always wanted to visit the Singapore and Malaysia area, because I knew some friends from there during university. I developed a fascination with that area that's never faded. Another wonderful region to visit would be the Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam region. It would be relatively simple to plan a trip that would involve wandering around that region seeing the sights, and the cultures and cities have such variety.

Enjoy your trip... wherever you go, you will be in for some exciting adventures.
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Old 02-08-2016, 08:27 AM
 
1,789 posts, read 1,452,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
If you haven't traveled much and want something easy go for Thailand. It has a very strong tourist infrastructure, lots of neat stuff to see, some of the best food in the world, beaches/hills/cities, lots of people speak English, and of course cheap cheap cheap. Plus who knows maybe one drunken night you'll find a cute ladyboy to take home!

Taiwan can be a bit of a challenge if you don't speak/read Chinese. It's doable (especially Taipei) but you'll outside of the city lots of places with menu board on the wall all in Chinese, or bus stops etc. so can be frustrating. To take it further while I like Taiwan and it has some pretty landscape in the interior there is nothing there that makes it a great tourist destination IMO. The night markets are probably the best thing going.

Don't forget Malaysia, you can have lots of fun doing the peninsula/Borneo combo if you're into wildlife type stuff and nature hiking. Malaysia also has lots of English speakers and it's own unique (well aside from Singapore) diversity. Food is kinda bleh though.

Good luck, and keep the forum updated on how things went, I hope you have a wonderful time.
Interesting that you claim Thailand has the best food in the world and Malaysia's is bleh.

Thailand doesn't even have its own food. Southern food is straight out of Malaysia/Indonesia (a poor imitation at that). Northern food is straight out of China. Pad Thai isn't even Thai food.....its Chinese.

Malay food is a blend of influences also but you can see that they have taken food from other cultures and added it to their own. Whereas Thai food is largely straight ripped off surrounding cultures with some sweet basil added.
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Old 02-08-2016, 05:02 PM
 
Location: On the road
5,968 posts, read 2,907,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justanokie View Post
Thailand doesn't even have its own food. Southern food is straight out of Malaysia/Indonesia (a poor imitation at that). Northern food is straight out of China. Pad Thai isn't even Thai food.....its Chinese.
Thailand does indeed have it's own food, regional foods in Thailand being influenced by neighbors certainly doesn't mean foods that are today considered Thai are any less so. If someone is traveling in Thailand and sees tom kha on menus your ridiculous notions about food influences don't make it any less delicious or a Thai dish despite some history with coconut galanga soup from Laos. Many countries have curries but when you taste green chicken curry you think of the curry from central Thailand.


Quote:
Originally Posted by justanokie View Post
Malay food is a blend of influences also but you can see that they have taken food from other cultures and added it to their own. Whereas Thai food is largely straight ripped off surrounding cultures with some sweet basil added.
That is pretty funny, you rant and rail against food from Thailand being influenced by surrounding countries, then turn that around as a positive thing for Malaysia. Malaysia has a far more diverse population culturally and has a history of colonization that one could argue brings more foreign influence to local cuisine than many other countries.

Everyone's tastes are different but to me the best food in Malaysia is at the nearest Indian restaurant, I found Malay cuisine to be quite boring. In Thailand every time I look at a menu I'm excited about a dozen different possibilities.
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
10,432 posts, read 12,439,655 times
Reputation: 4861
Bangkok (5 days)
Southwestern Thailand (Phuket/Phang Nga/Krabi) (8 days)

Osaka-Kyoto (3 days-2 days)
Tokyo (6 days)

If enough time and money you could add in Hong Kong for a weekend.
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