South Asia is the place to clear your thoughts and take in something extraordinary.
I first published this blog for my friends and family so they might have the inspiration to come visit me and discover what they have once done and will do again next January. It is also for everyone who seeks to know more about the subject and those wishing to visit my pages.
Pushing people to break the routine of their daily lives and to try the unknown will always be what motivates the publication of this blog. Finding a new track and new perspective by taking a backpack or suitcase on wheels and discovering the world is what its all about.
Now that I’ve found a new home, it’s time to help other people make the step toward South East Asia. This is my way of giving back just a fraction of what I’ve discovered in this part of the world and what it has given me.
You can check and see if I’m doing the same as all great explorers of the world did; however, there is no need to climb Mt. Everest or thousands of other mountains as the great adventurers did to discover the world and push its limits.
You just leave your everyday life and start to appreciate the unknown, along with those unplanned events. Believe me, theirs is no Xbox game that can beat it. My friend Martin decided to take the step and come disappear for six months in Asia. Despite the fact that he was well prepared for the trip, he is always stressed before his departure.
I had a small talk on the telephone with Martin, giving him some advice and news before his departure.
M: You must not be afraid to leave your little security behind.
B : Sure, there are many people who would like to do that too, but they can’t do it for the same reasons that you were encouraged to do it.
M : I bought my ticket: $1200 all-inclusive from Montreal to Bangkok. I went to Chinatown, and I told the agent to negotiate the best price for six months. She ended up finding me a ticket with the dates from 12 November 2012 to 8 May 2013.
B : This was the good advice I gave to you on this site. Go to the Chinatown in your area and negotiate. You will often be surprised at the price you can get. Don’t wait to pay less just before you go, because when you calculate it, it’s always cheaper to go. The cost of living is often lower than the one of our departures. Better to spend it on the road than waiting.
M : I should arrive in Bangkok on November 14, and I’ll stay a couple of days there. Ah, I think I’ll live up in the north: Chang Mai, Chang Rai then south from February to March: koh pipi koh samui, koh pagan ….
B : Yes, you can go to Phuket then fly to Singapore on Tiger Airways or Air Asia. Both of these budget airline companies are reliable and very affordable. You told me that you had three 60-day visas that cost you $40 each. You will cover your six months, but you must use your visa in a smart way. These are single entries. Neighbor countries like Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore offers you a one-month visa on arrival for around 20-30 USD or free for Myanmar and Vietnam. You can visit their embassies in Bangkok to settle the details.
itinerary for traveling 6 months in Thailand and South East Asia
M : After two months I have to exit Thailand, so in early January I think I’m going to see you in Singapore.
B : Okay, that’s good, but at the end of January we will fly to Phuket and join my family. After that, we will fly to Laos. It would be best that you visit Singapore and then take a flight on Air Asia to Kuala Lumpur. The flight will cost about 40 USD, and it will cost $50 to travel to Vientiane in order to join us in Laos.
M : Afterward, I will go down to Cambodia. What kind of visa will I need there?
B : Oh, I loved Cambodia; you can get a one-month visa on arrival for 25 USD.
M : I am starting to get nervous. I still dream, although my sleep has begun to shorten due to stress.
Despite the stirring of ideas and the planning of his route, the bottom line is that we both agree that he will go with the flow once in Bangkok. It is hard to predict which way he will go during his six-month journey, but he has plenty of time to cover a lot of ground.
We talked about how we will communicate; if he has an iphone then he could use a local SIM card. You’ve got free incoming calls, and while you still have 10 cents in your phone you can receive calls. Often, there are people who will call you first and then hang up. They do this so that you will call them back, thus making you pay for the call. We can use Wifi Skype, and it will be even cheaper with a higher quality of communication.
Martin has a budget of nearly 7000 Canadian dollars for his journey of six-months in South East Asia. This is more than ok, because although there will be weeks that are more expensive, in general it will be very affordable. The more you live in the countryside, the less expensive it will be. Transportation is not as expensive as it is in America. Even Bangkok in Thailand is very affordable for a large city. It’s affordable for travelers and adventurers alike, with a bunch of interesting things to do that cost close to nothing.
M: In Montreal, I have counted my living expenses. It costs me a minimum of about $150-160 per day or about $4500 per month
B: Wow this is big money, and the worst part is that you’re not eating caviar; it’s just normal daily costs. Here in Singapore, the government taxes us less. We keep more to spend, even if we don’t have a free service such as public health care. We finish as the winner, because we can decide where we put our money. When you give up all your money, you can’t put it where you would like.
M: My company here pays between15k-20k of taxes per year. I’m incorporated, but as an individual I would have to pay way more than that
B: Well Martin, you need to gather a lot of paperwork today. Tell yourself that no matter how much you prepare, you will still have butterflies in your stomach at the airport. You’re going to sayto yourself, “What I’m doing here?” Don’t be worried. It’s one of the best decisions of your life. A bunch of people, along with all your friends would like to do it. Yes, let’s get on with this wild adventure..
M: I especially have a fear of being lost regarding the language
B : Don’t worry too much, because there are many people who speak basic English. Some speak English even better in the tourist areas. I advise you to learn your numbers and how to say hi and hello, along with some key travel phrases in Thai. The rest will come along in less than a week. Leering the numbers is good because it’s the first thing that you’ll use. Always find out the price and then negotiate.
Attempting to plan the routes end, but we are unable to do so precisely. All we know for sure is that the end will be in Bangkok on November 14, and he will mainly visit Thailand from north to south. He will exit two times to visit neighboring countries. Follow the rest of his adventures on GLA.
We prepared itinerary ideas for Southeast Asia from Bangkok. A good focal point in South East Asia is to go see every part of this beautiful world. Create a one month, three month, and six month itinerary in the next week that you can adapt to your taste.
This post is also available in: French