I'm ready but where is ready for me!?

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I am ready to start my first adventure but am stuck on the tiny minor inconsequential detail of where to go! There is so much that I want to do and see that I don’t know where to start! I have made a decision on how long though. I’m going for 6 weeks, rather than the full blown year! I’m stuck between going to Thailand, Vietnam and Laos for the 6 weeks, or whether Peru, Argentina and Chile are calling my name.

Financially I can afford both, but my heart is torn about which one to choose. Please help me decide!

Sam Murphy 26/02/14    Where to go Link Report

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Hi there, exciting times ahead… I went to Thailand, Laos and Camodia for a 5 week trip and it was everything I dreamed and more. You will have a little longer to spend in each place so I would recommend Four Thousand Islands in Laos and Angkor Wat which is mind blowing. Have fun x

clairebear 26/02/14    Link Report

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What a difficult choice! One useful place to start would be when you want to go, rather than where, as the climates differ. Do you have an idea of dates?

Rebecca Hallett 26/02/14    Link Report

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ideally I’d like to go august and September i can push the dates back until November

Sam Murphy 26/02/14    Link Report

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ideally I’d like to go august and September i can push the dates back until November

Sam Murphy 26/02/14    Link Report

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You may be interested to know that the new edition of The Rough Guide to Southeast Asia on a Budget will be out in September – perhaps the world is trying to tell you something! Personally I think Southeast Asia is fascinating, and agree with suggestions to add Cambodia to your itinerary if possible.

In Thailand, the cool season starts in Nov (May–Oct is rainy season), with Laos following a similar pattern. Northern Vietnam is relatively dry and warm Oct–Dec, the rainy season on the central coast ends around Oct, and in the south the rains will finish in Nov. Overall I’d say it looks like – at least for your possible Asian itinerary – November is the ideal time. Of course monsoon season has its own attractions, so that’s down to personal preference, and anyway it’s not by any means predictable!

For Perú and Argentina you’re generally likely to find the most temperate climate around October. Chile’s a bit tougher (it’s so long!) but for both the Santiago area and Easter Island – to pick two big attractions – October should also be a good time.

I don’t suppose this makes it much easier to choose, but I hope it helps anyway!

Rebecca Hallett 28/02/14    Link Report

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Whilst I prefer Chile and Argentina (did I mention steak and malbec?), both countries are vast and a lot of your 6 weeks will be eaten up by buses (that said, overnight buses are luxurious and will save you time) rather than in Asia. For that reason, I would go to Asia but substitute Thailand and Cambodia. Climactically, November is better than September. Try to go to Luang Prabang in Laos, one of my favourite UNESCO places. Best of luck!

Mark James Vang 28/02/14    Link Report

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Hi Sam, very jealous of the opportunity you have to go travelling. We did a round the world trip for 6 months – I can’t comment on South America as we haven’t been (yet!!). However, Cambodia was without a doubt one of my favouritest places & I would really recommend going there – don’t miss a chance to see Angkor Wat (at sunrise & sunset if possible). Hope this helps & most importantly have fun x

Lisa Atkin 05/03/14    Link Report

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Luang Prabang, Laos. Inle Lake Myanmar. Siem Riep, Cambodia. Your money goes far, eg. $2 duck and noodle soup!!! Changing so quickly. These places a must see now. Surprisingly easy to get around. Cruise up the Mekong. Tuk tuk to the temples. See a billion Buddhas. What could be better?

gallison 07/03/14    Link Report

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Hi Sam, 6 weeks for a first trip is a fantastic amount of time to explore one country.

First off, whichever region you choose I would only concentrate on one country, not try to fit in three.

It may help if we knew a little bit more about your interests/what you would like to do? (ie do you want temples and jungle or diving and beaches?) But if this is your first ever backpacking trip then my personal opinion would definitely be Thailand, here’s why http://bemusedbackpacker.com/2013/10/14/why-thailand-is-the-ultimate-first-time-backpacking-destination/

Michael Huxley 21/03/14    Link Report

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Hi Sam,
I’m working in tourism field in Vietnam so I have some suggestions following:
- It’s enough for you to visit some destinations in North Vietnam within a week: Hanoi (1 day), Halong (2 days), Mai Chau (1 day) and Sapa (3 days 4 nights).
There are some reasonable daily tours for those destinations: Sapa (trekking tours 3D4N, overnight at local ethnic home-stay in village, ~105$/pax, Hanoi-Lao Cai by night train); Mai Chau (1D ~39$/pax); Halong (2D ~105$/pax); Hanoi city tour (1D ~33$/pax).
For Hanoi city tour, if you want, i can arrange some student in our volunteer club (www.gotoknow.info) to take you around (English speaking) to enjoy real culture and local cuisine and foods of Hanoi. Pls inform us in advance.
- In the South Vietnam, it’ll spend you 3,5 day to visit HCM city (1 day), Mekong Delta (2 days), Cu Chi tunnel (0,5 day). In Central Vietnam, highly recommend you visit Hoi An ancient port town where Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese culture interferred. You can spend 2-3 days in Central. It also has daily economic tours for you to visit those above places.
- You can catch bus from Hanoi to Vientiane-Laos (1 day 1 night), spend 1-2 day in Vientiane then you can take bus to Udon Thani (Thailand) after drop by Thasa Det (indochina market next to Mekong river). You can also take night bus from Udon Thani to Bangkok. Spend 2-3 days in Bangkok then take flight or bus to Phuket where can enjoy beautiful beaches and services there (Krabi, Phi Phi island).
If you want to spend more time in Thailand you can travel to Chiang Mai to see local ethnic culture.
- With 6 weeks, i think you can also visit Myanmar (Bagan, Inle lake, Yangoon, Mandala) where thousands of temples standing in peaceful air. Flight from Bangkok to Yangoon is not expensive.

If you have any further question, pls contact to me by email: [email protected].
Best regards,

Phong PYS 22/04/14    Link Report

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