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Old 11-30-2011, 11:34 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,212,583 times
Reputation: 36087

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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsa1775 View Post
I once made the mistake of taking the Lao Cai to Hanoi Train in Third class.
10 hours to travel 150 miles on a stinking hot summers day, no airconditioning or fans to speak of, and a carriage full of farmers, complete with their produce and animals.
It was a great experience, but my advice to the OP, spend the extra $5 and the take first class carriage where possible.
That was back in 2006, no idea if its improved since then.
Wouldn't want to rub shoulders with the people in the country we visit, would we now? We're superior to them, and deserve to travel first class, and just pull back the curtains and look out the window at them.

Take the train from Dakar to Bamako some time. Or from Wadi Halfa to Khartoum.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:51 PM
 
Location: Brisbane
3,511 posts, read 5,454,742 times
Reputation: 2824
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88;2192909[B
2]Wouldn't want to rub shoulders with the people in the country we visit, would we now[/b]? We're superior to them, and deserve to travel first class, and just pull back the curtains and look out the window at them.

Take the train from Dakar to Bamako some time. Or from Wadi Halfa to Khartoum.

Good point, as i said it was a great experience, but not a very comfortable one, possibly made worse by the fact id caught the overnight "sleeper" bus from Kunnming the night before, and had very little of it.

Last edited by danielsa1775; 12-01-2011 at 12:35 AM..
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Old 12-03-2011, 03:49 PM
 
Location: "The Gorge"
905 posts, read 3,067,542 times
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Hi Siddharta G! I was glad to see your thread pop up. We are headed to Thailand in early January as well. We are so excited and wish we were there already!

What internet portals did you use to research your trip? I have been using Lonely Planet forums primarily and general Google searches. I also have a Rough Guide to Southeast Asia.

I ran across these two blogs this past week I thought I would share.

This one is all about Thai food(which I love!) Thai Street Food and Pictures | Eating Thai Food

This guy also writes this blog and has great insight and suggestions to all the countries in Southeast Asia: Cultural Travel and Street Food Around the World | Migrationology

I also found this very helpful as there is so much to see and do in BKK. 101 Things to Do in Bangkok, Thailand
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:34 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 8,062,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRock View Post
Hi Siddharta G! I was glad to see your thread pop up. We are headed to Thailand in early January as well. We are so excited and wish we were there already!

What internet portals did you use to research your trip? I have been using Lonely Planet forums primarily and general Google searches. I also have a Rough Guide to Southeast Asia.

I ran across these two blogs this past week I thought I would share.

This one is all about Thai food(which I love!) Thai Street Food and Pictures | Eating Thai Food

This guy also writes this blog and has great insight and suggestions to all the countries in Southeast Asia: Cultural Travel and Street Food Around the World | Migrationology

I also found this very helpful as there is so much to see and do in BKK. 101 Things to Do in Bangkok, Thailand
Here are a couple of other Thailand-related links worth checking out:
This one is Thai Visa Forums. Originally, members were mostly expats, but it welcomes anyone interested in Thailand. Covers a very wide range of subjects.
Thailand Forum

This is from a food-related forum. One thread is sort of a blog mostly about places the poster, Peter Greene, went to eat in Bangkok. The thread is closed now, but it's excellent and loads of fun to read.
eG Foodblog: Peter Green - eG Forums
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Old 12-08-2011, 07:41 PM
 
8,266 posts, read 10,704,378 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
Between two people, we usually traveled with one full-sized pack and a school-backpack sized daypack. Or two medium-sized backpacks (think 60% of a large airline carry-on.)

A lot of what you end up hauling might not be necessary, but it can make the experience more fun. 30% of the pack was usually trinkets or keepsakes we were hauling to the next reliable post office to send home.
I think that maybe the trinkets thing is where we differ, along with bringing clothes to go clubbing. We can travel pretty much indefinitely with a medium sized backpack each that fits in the overhead bin, that is enough to constantly cycle clothes given min 3 days anywhere we stop.

I can never figure out those people trudging along with a ginormous backpack stuffed to the hilt on their back and a smaller on on their chest. Then bonus they have shoes hanging off the sides by the strings.
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:19 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,344,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davy-040 View Post
Open a window or **** in a bottle.
Indeed I was tempted to use the bottle. The amount I was holding in though I was afraid the bottle might not contain it all!
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:21 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,344,192 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsa1775 View Post
I once made the mistake of taking the Lao Cai to Hanoi Train in Third class.
10 hours to travel 150 miles on a stinking hot summers day, no airconditioning or fans to speak of, and a carriage full of farmers, complete with their produce and animals.
It was a great experience, but my advice to the OP, spend the extra $5 and the take first class carriage where possible.
That was back in 2006, no idea if its improved since then.
Agree. Unless you're really skint SE Asia is NOT the place to skimp on things like travel and accommodation. If you're disciplined with your spending on souvenirs and other things, even a modest budget should really stretch. $10 for a comfortable hotel is not uncommon. A good meal can cost $1. Tours can be super-cheap as well.
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Old 12-10-2011, 12:20 AM
 
Location: Fort Collins, USA
1,470 posts, read 2,366,576 times
Reputation: 1806
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Wouldn't want to rub shoulders with the people in the country we visit, would we now? We're superior to them, and deserve to travel first class, and just pull back the curtains and look out the window at them.

Take the train from Dakar to Bamako some time. Or from Wadi Halfa to Khartoum.
While I see your point, there is another side to this. The people riding third class in a poor country are doing it because that's all they can afford. Most of them probably think backpackers (who are still incredibly rich by the standards of the average Vietnamese, Malian, or Senegelese) are insane for choosing third class when they can afford something better. There's nothing romantic about "roughing it" if that defines your whole life.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,212,583 times
Reputation: 36087
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeric View Post
While I see your point, there is another side to this. The people riding third class in a poor country are doing it because that's all they can afford. Most of them probably think backpackers (who are still incredibly rich by the standards of the average Vietnamese, Malian, or Senegelese) are insane for choosing third class when they can afford something better. There's nothing romantic about "roughing it" if that defines your whole life.
When I was on the train from Dakar to Bamako, I talked to some people in first class, and they said it was just as bad, bur for different reasons. The first class cars had windows that could not be opened, but the AC didn't work, and it was 115 degrees outside. I was back in third class, where there were wooden bench seats and nothing to keep the breeze from blowing in---and the dust and smoke from the engine. And it was a 40 hour trip in first class, too. I think for second class, they just charged extra for 3rd class carriages that still had glass in the window, and there was less dust up closer to the front of the train.

The worst thing about the trip from Dakar to Bamako was the foreknowledge that the only way you would ever see your family or loved ones or green grass or cool rivers again was to make the same trip over again in the opposite direction.

It wasn't really that crowded, but the Sudan train was packed with people sitting on their baggage, which included livestock and bushels of produce.

Fourth class was free on those trains. Balance on top of the cars, and falling asleep and falling off was a frequent occurrence.

In those days (70s), there was no Lonely Planet or anything else. I once saw a copy of a mimeographed guide, created by some students at Oxford, that had some Africa budget travel rumors in it, but otherwise there was nothing to go by except the miraculous and indispensable and scrupulously accurate Michelin Maps and word of mouth along the way.

Last edited by jtur88; 12-10-2011 at 09:24 AM..
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Old 12-10-2011, 05:35 PM
 
8,266 posts, read 10,704,378 times
Reputation: 4769
I've heard similar complaints, specifically that the top bunk had some unescapable air conditioning vent that blasted cold air on the hapless victim the entire trip.

If we're doing sleeper I'll take a nice long open window and a fan, ensuing bug collection be damned.
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