Asia 2.0 Route
This is my planned route for my upcoming adventure, dubbed Asia 2.0:
1. Beijing, China (3 days)
I will spend one day solo exploring the city before I join my tour group for 4 more days visiting the Great Wall and other highlights of this city
2. Shanghai, China (3 days)
I plan on checking out the Bund and the rest of China’s biggest city. I also might watch some Chinese acrobats and do some shopping.
3. Xi’an, China (2 days)
I cant wait to see the Terracotta Warriors in person
4. Yangtze River, China (4 days)
Here we will board a river boat and cruise down the Yangtze River, stopping at various spots along the way, including the Three Gorges and the Dam
5. Yangshuo, China (3 days)
This area just looks breathtakingly beautiful and I cant wait to see it
6. Hong Kong (6 days)
After spending a couple days here ending of my China tour, I will spend a few more days exploring Hong Kong and hopefully checking out some of the things i missed out on last visit.
7. Chiang Mai, Thailand (7 days)
This will be my relax and rejuvinate part of my trip. I plan on going to the spa, and lounging by the pool. I will also visit some of the Wats in town, take a cooking class and revisit the Elephant Nature Park.
8. Bangkok, Thailand (5 days)
I have a few days in Bangkok to myself before I join my next tour. I plan on going to a floating village, doing some shopping, and probably visiting a few Wats.
9. Ko Samui, Thailand (3 days)
I cant wait to spend a few days relaxing on the beaches of Ko Samui and Ko Phangan
10. Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand (1)
A quick stop here on my way into Malaysia
11. Penang, Malaysia (1 day)
My introduction to Malaysia, I will visit Georgetown and hopefully try some yummy diverse food
12. Cameron Highlands, Malaysia (2 days)
The hills here look so beautiful and green. I hope to try some of the tea right from the source.
13. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2 days)
I cant wait to see this lively city!
14. Melaka, Malaysia (1 day)
Here we will check out the streets of Chinatown
15. Singapore (4 days)
After spending 2 days here I will say goodbye to my tour group and then spend 2 more days exploring this cosmopolitan city
16. Sandakan, Malaysia (4 days) *
I am so excited to visit Borneo! I will visit Turtle island and hopefully see some Orangutans as well.
17. Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (5 days) *
Not only do I look forward to KK, I also want to check out the islands in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.
18. Krabi, Thailand (7 days) *
I think i may head to Ao Nang and Koh Phi Phi and maybe Koh Lanta to finish off my trip. I figure I will need some relaxing beach time before I head to Beijing for a day before heading back to the cold Canadian winter
*not set in stone yet
Let me know if you have any recommendations of things i should see while visiting each of these places!
Asia 2.0 Planning Checklist
With exactly 3 months (UPDATE: LESS THAN 1 MONTH LEFT NOW!) left until I leave for my next big adventure I figured I would share with you my long list of things I need to do before I leave. I will update this list as I complete each item, and probably add more things as I go.
Contact Chinese consulate with questions regarding visa -I found out I need to apply in the last month before I leave, I will share with you my experience with the application process
Set date of start and target end of trip so I can start to coordinate tours and flights
Call Air China to confirm flight change policy– I’m booking a round trip flight to save money but I don’t want to be 100% locked in to day ill fly home- Found out they only charge $50 + fare difference to re-book return flight! -Book round trip flight from Vancouver to Beijing – the price dropped, so I booked it right away
Book “China on a Shoestring” tour with G Adventures– There were only 2 spots available for the date I wanted to leave, so I quickly booked it!
–Visit travel clinic – done, I will need to get malaria pills 🙁
-Visit dentist and eye doctor – I wont have a job and therefore no extended medical when I get home, so it will be better to get everything taken care of now -Book “Bangkok to Singapore on a Shoestring tour” with G Adventures woot woot!!
Book first night hotel in Beijing -Booked with tour to save me the hassle of finding another hotel for one night and having to move to the hotel the tour will use
Buy new shoes and break them in -bought, and I love them!
-Research best travel credit & debit cards –find out which cards will have the lowest international fees
Fix hole in backpack–In Vietnam my bag got caught on something and it ripped a small hole in one of the outer pockets
–Buy a “trip book” –where i will jot down information about my flights, hotels, tours, and ideas for things to do and places to stay- Done!
Keep an eye out for sales on anything i might need -everything is bought!
–Start making a short list of beaches and cities I might want to visit after the tour ends-im thinking one or two of the islands in Krabi,Thailand
–Buy a tablet -bought the new Google Nexus 7!!!
-Get more passport sized photos taken
Apply for a Chinese visa – done!
-Continue to read blogs and watch movies/tv series about the places Ill be visiting -watched Brokedown Palace and Return to Paradise, and just finished reading The Beach
Buy travel insurance -bought through BCAA
-Print flight, tour, and hotel confirmations
-Register travels on Canadian goverment website
Early planning stages of Asia 2.0
Last week I announced that I am planning a trip back to Asia in the fall. At this point I’m still in the early planning stages of the trip i am calling “Asia 2.0”. Most of my to do list consists of researching and starting to plan a basic itinerary. I’ve been reading lots of blogs and articles about China as well as southeast Asia to get an idea of what to expect and things I would like to see. From now until I leave I plan on posting more checklists and updates as I learn and plan more of this trip.
4-5 months to go checklist:
-Which countries will require visas (ill need to find out for China,Thailand,Malaysia, and Singapore) I know I’ll need a visa for china for sure
-How soon do I need to apply for the visas if needed
-Look into the best way to get into Asia –Fly from Vancouver to Beijing or Hong Kong, or maybe leave from Seattle if cheaper
-Look into buying a tablet or mini-laptop
-Start watching movies or read books about the areas I will travelling to– I want to watch the “Wild China” series on Netflix, and any other movies about these places… any suggestions?
-Start planning rough itinerary –what do I not want to miss
-Save money! -I have almost enough money saved up in my travel fund account now, but I would like to save about $1000-1500 by the fall to cover any extra costs and as a safety net
-Check passport -double check expiry date and that I have enough blank pages for visas and stamps
-Get back into an exercising routine –to get in shape again, in time for travel and just in general
Do you have any suggestion of places i should check out while in visiting these countries? Or any suggestions on posts related to planning a trip that you would be interested in?
Surprise! I’m going back to Asia!!!
I’m so excited to be going back to Asia this fall! I have been thinking about this trip ever since I came back from my first visit to Southeast Asia, but I wasn’t 100% sure if it was going to happen. However I’ve managed to save enough money and I have a plan regarding my job.
I originally planned on going back to Thailand, with stops in Chiang Mai and Bangkok and then head south to the islands, ending in Malaysia. I found a tour with G Adventures that starts in Bangkok and heads south, covering much of Malaysia and ending in Singapore. I would also like to spend time after the tour ends in Borneo.
Every flight from Vancouver to Bangkok has a stopover, usually in a major Asian city. Last time I had a stopover in Hong Kong and I don’t think I took full advantage of that. I decided this time I want to spend more time in Hong Kong, a city I enjoyed way more than I thought I would, and maybe even take a small tour around the area(maybe mainland China). Then, while doing some research, I discovered a few different tours, again with G Adventures, of China that looked really interesting.
So I scraped the idea of a quick look at the area, and I’ve decided I will book an 18 day tour of China, starting in Beijing, visiting a few cities and some countryside along the way, and ending in Hong Kong. I figure this tour will give me a great overview of China. A round trip nonstop flight from Vancouver to Beijing is actually cheaper than flying to Hong Kong and then to Bangkok, so this works out even better. The tour uses mostly trains to travel throughout the country, which is both exciting and slightly scary to me, but either way it will be an adventure.
So the plan is to start in Beijing near the end of September and take the “China on a Shoestring” tour. I will spend a few days after the tour in Hong Kong, making sure to do a day trip to Macau. I then hope to fly into Chiang Mai where I will tour the city and make another visit to the Elephant Nature Park again before heading down to Bangkok. In Bangkok, a city I mostly missed out on last time, I hope to visit all the major sights before joining up with the “Bangkok to Singapore on a Shoestring” tour. Then I will spend approximately 2 weeks extra on my own, first in Singapore, and then I will head to Borneo where I plan to chill out on a beach for a few days and enjoy this beautiful nature-filled island. This last segment of the trip is a bit more in the air, and I will play it by ear once I’m in Asia.
I am so excited to get back to that side of the world. I hope to share both the planning and the journey itself on this blog. If you have any questions or suggestions of places to see please let me know!