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    Wondering if anybody has been to the following places:

    North/South Korea
    Japan
    Taiwan
    HK
    China

    I am looking for advice on routes/areas to go to etc because I dont really know much outside of the main tourist cities, thanks
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    Hiya,

    I've just got back from two weeks in Japan. We did Tokyo-Kyoto-Koyasan-Osaka-Miyajima-Tokyo with a few other places as day trips! Happy to answer any more specific questions if you want
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    I've lived in Beijing, China for the past 4 years. If you're looking for somewhere other than the popular tourist destinations and big cities, I would recommend the following:

    Yunnan province (especially Dali) - gorgeous scenery and amazing food. My favourite place in China.

    Qingdao - coastal town with beaches, famous brewery of Tsingtao beer, great seafood.

    Yangshuo - Southern China, beautiful little town in the mountains, can take a tour to the rice terraces which are incredible, rafting, bike riding through the mountains, and see the cool rock formations which can be seen on the back of the 20rmb note - another of my favourite places in China. (If you do visit, stay at the Village Retreat - great place)

    Beijing obviously has a lot to offer in regards to tourist attractions (Great Wall, Tian'anmen, The Forbidden City, Summer Palace etc), but I recommend trying somewhere different if you want to see 'real' China.

    Also, if you are travelling Asia, I would recommend the Philippines - my favourite place in the world. Amazing islands and beaches, gorgeous blue sea, Boracay island if you want to chill and party, Legazpi if you want to see the Mayon Volcano, Bohol has the chocolate Hills.... there are so many islands and flights around are really cheap.

    Hong Kong is cool, but very expensive. Worth a few days, I'd say!

    Not been to the other places yet!
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    Just booked my one way flight to Vietnam, first time to SE Asia and the plan is to travel around over there for a few months at least seeing Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand (if not more), so I've a few questions for the seasoned SE Asia travellers:

    Overland crossings with no confirmed flight home, can I expect to get 30 days tourist visas or 15 days or so maximum when crossing into Laos, Cambodia and Thailand etc. as a UK citizen?

    Plan on staying mainly in hostels and or cheap hotels/guesthouses do I need to take a mosquito net or a sleeping sack/liner?

    I've not been for my vaccinations yet, so this might become clear when I go and speak to someone, but malaria tablets, will I need to buy up to four months worth before I set off and take them with me, or just take a few weeks worth and keep on topping up when I'm out there?
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    You can ask me questions about Hong kong. I am a local
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    (Original post by HairyChineseKid)
    Just booked my one way flight to Vietnam, first time to SE Asia and the plan is to travel around over there for a few months at least seeing Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand (if not more), so I've a few questions for the seasoned SE Asia travellers:

    Overland crossings with no confirmed flight home, can I expect to get 30 days tourist visas or 15 days or so maximum when crossing into Laos, Cambodia and Thailand etc. as a UK citizen?

    Plan on staying mainly in hostels and or cheap hotels/guesthouses do I need to take a mosquito net or a sleeping sack/liner?

    I've not been for my vaccinations yet, so this might become clear when I go and speak to someone, but malaria tablets, will I need to buy up to four months worth before I set off and take them with me, or just take a few weeks worth and keep on topping up when I'm out there?
    Do you have a return flight or onward flight from Vietnam? My friend went recently and they wouldn't let him enter the country before buying a return flight from the airport there and then. I'm not sure about Laos and Cambodia, you'd have to check. You can get a tourist visa on arrival in Vietnam, just make sure you have all the necessary paperwork and photos (check the embassy website).

    There are a lot of mosquitoes around, but I always just used a plug in repellent or spray. The windows in hostels will most likely have nets on the windows. Never bad to be safe though!
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    Nice one Nerol,

    Nah, I'm just flying one way into Vietnam, then planning on travelling around for a couple of months and flying back from maybe Bangkok/Kuala Lumpur/Singapore. I've just sent off for a 90 day visa from the Vietnam embassy in London so that should be sorted before I fly out. And from what I've read online, it does seem Thailand are strict on overland visas compared to Laos/Cambodia, I'll have to check it out more or hopefully meet people out there who have recently crossed or applied.

    Did you take antimalarials on your travels in SE Asia? Again, from what I'm reading it seems more common not to take anti-malaria medicine and instead be aware of the symptoms of malaria and dengue fever and just cover up and use repellent wisely. They're only really recommended if you've going well off the beaten track for long periods or trekking/camping.
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    (Original post by HairyChineseKid)
    Nice one Nerol,

    Nah, I'm just flying one way into Vietnam, then planning on travelling around for a couple of months and flying back from maybe Bangkok/Kuala Lumpur/Singapore. I've just sent off for a 90 day visa from the Vietnam embassy in London so that should be sorted before I fly out. And from what I've read online, it does seem Thailand are strict on overland visas compared to Laos/Cambodia, I'll have to check it out more or hopefully meet people out there who have recently crossed or applied.

    Did you take antimalarials on your travels in SE Asia? Again, from what I'm reading it seems more common not to take anti-malaria medicine and instead be aware of the symptoms of malaria and dengue fever and just cover up and use repellent wisely. They're only really recommended if you've going well off the beaten track for long periods or trekking/camping.
    I've not had any shots or tablets for anything. If you plan on trekking through the wilderness, then yes, take the medicine. As long as you're aware of symptoms and not days away from a hospital, you should be fine.

    Just read up very carefully on immigration laws in each country you visit. The leniency and way the rules are enforced literally vary from day to day in these places. If I were you, I'd make sure you have onward flights or trains booked in advance wherever possible, or at the very least have money in your bank and a planned and printed itinerary for your time travelling.
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    (Original post by HairyChineseKid)
    Nice one Nerol,

    Nah, I'm just flying one way into Vietnam, then planning on travelling around for a couple of months and flying back from maybe Bangkok/Kuala Lumpur/Singapore. I've just sent off for a 90 day visa from the Vietnam embassy in London so that should be sorted before I fly out. And from what I've read online, it does seem Thailand are strict on overland visas compared to Laos/Cambodia, I'll have to check it out more or hopefully meet people out there who have recently crossed or applied.

    Did you take antimalarials on your travels in SE Asia? Again, from what I'm reading it seems more common not to take anti-malaria medicine and instead be aware of the symptoms of malaria and dengue fever and just cover up and use repellent wisely. They're only really recommended if you've going well off the beaten track for long periods or trekking/camping.
    Wrt onward travel you only need to have one if you're using the visa-free tourist entry and don't have a visa (which doesn't apply to you since you're getting a visa). Also, in reality, it really depends on who you get behind the counter. 99% of people don't have an issue. Historically, it's usually when people are travelling into bangkok without visa that they might get asked for onward travel-i've never heard of it happening in vietnam (probably started happening since they introduced visa-free entry this summer and that's what caught out the others person's friend). Even then, most argue that only plane tickets are acceptable.

    Overland crossing was no problem especially with thailand. Most people don't take antimalarials- the crowd there aren't really the type that err on the side of caution. The sprays, are the popular alternative, are sticky as hell- I'm convinced they don't work anyways but I used them anyways (when bothered).

    Go to sapa but don't book the trip in hanoi, just book a bus ticket there. Book the trekking and homestay tour in sapa itself- they'll all be waiting for you when you get off the bus. Much more freedom and also spend time in sapa town itself. It looked really vibrant but I couldn't experience it as I had a bus back to hanoi to catch.

    If you go to halong bay, throw away your hipster card (if you're one) and go on the hedonistic aya napa-esque party cruise.

    You're going to love it.
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    (Original post by HairyChineseKid)
    Just booked my one way flight to Vietnam, first time to SE Asia and the plan is to travel around over there for a few months at least seeing Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand (if not more), so I've a few questions for the seasoned SE Asia travellers:

    Overland crossings with no confirmed flight home, can I expect to get 30 days tourist visas or 15 days or so maximum when crossing into Laos, Cambodia and Thailand etc. as a UK citizen?

    Plan on staying mainly in hostels and or cheap hotels/guesthouses do I need to take a mosquito net or a sleeping sack/liner?

    I've not been for my vaccinations yet, so this might become clear when I go and speak to someone, but malaria tablets, will I need to buy up to four months worth before I set off and take them with me, or just take a few weeks worth and keep on topping up when I'm out there?
    Don't assume that you automatically get visas-on-arrival. Some countries require that you apply for a visa beforehand.

    I don't know why you would want to stay in hostels in Southeast Asia when hotels can be very cheap. You should definitely bring a mosquito net because many westerners cannot even handle the mosquitos, not to mention other insects.

    Malaria tablets should be widely available, as long as you know exactly what kind you need.
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    (Original post by coffin_suresh)
    Don't assume that you automatically get visas-on-arrival. Some countries require that you apply for a visa beforehand.

    I don't know why you would want to stay in hostels in Southeast Asia when hotels can be very cheap. You should definitely bring a mosquito net because many westerners cannot even handle the mosquitos, not to mention other insects.

    Malaria tablets should be widely available, as long as you know exactly what kind you need.
    Please ignore this especially about staying in hotel. Stay in hostels a thousand times. Only families stay in hotels.

    mosquito nets made me laugh tbf
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    (Original post by 4:20)
    Please ignore this especially about staying in hotel. Stay in hostels a thousand times. Only families stay in hotels.

    mosquito nets made me laugh tbf
    Seriously, not everyone loves hostels and not everyone can handle insects. How do you know what kind of traveller he is? I just suggested what's safest.
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    (Original post by Danny Bav)
    Wondering if anybody has been to the following places:

    North/South Korea
    Japan
    Taiwan
    HK
    China

    I am looking for advice on routes/areas to go to etc because I dont really know much outside of the main tourist cities, thanks
    Take as few flights as possible and travel overland! It'll be a much better experience than waiting in rundown airports.

    If you want to go outside of the main tourist cities my advice would be don't take the lonely planet guidebook - take a map and phrasebook and see where you go!

    Make sure you get a rabies vaccination - if you get bitten, it could be fatal and it essentially buys you time to get proper medical care. I know it's something like £160 but it's worth paying that kind of money just in case, for peace of mind's sake. When I went to India if I didn't get the rabies jab I would've been sh*tting myself the whole time.
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    (Original post by coffin_suresh)
    Seriously, not everyone loves hostels and not everyone can handle insects. How do you know what kind of traveller he is? I just suggested what's safest.
    If you're backpacking in Asia why would you stay in hotels?! It's not a holiday, and most hostels are safe; providing there are locks, it looks structurally sound and there are lights - it's safe.
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    The safety and comfort obviously varies from place to place, no? Asia isn't identical to Europe. I'm just suggesting that by paying only a few more dollars, he can be in a safe and comfortable room in a proper hotel. If backpacking isn't a holiday, what is it? Work?

    Why don't you just let the guy decide where he wants to stay? This guy has never been to Southeast Asia. We should be telling him what options he has, not telling him what to do.
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    (Original post by coffin_suresh)
    Seriously, not everyone loves hostels and not everyone can handle insects. How do you know what kind of traveller he is? I just suggested what's safest.
    Stop talking out of your arse. There's nothing more unsafe about staying in hostels over hotels, majority (we're talking 80%+ here) them are clean with cleaners that clean them everyday. Majority of the hostels are ran by Westerns so they know the importance of cleanliness among other things. I suspect you've never been to one. Seriously, go on hostel world or booking.com and read the feedback there.

    Millions of people use them every year without any issues and have the time of their life there. Absolutely 1% of backpackers use hotels. Honestly you're coming across as a typical snob that need to get out there and challenge your baseless preconceived notion.

    Yh let the guy decide but don't give wrong information and moreover don't get pissed when you get called out. It's not about saving money, it is about making the most of the experience and staying it hostel improves that an unfathomable amount without putting a person in any extra danger.

    I am talking from experience and it's clear that you aren't.
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    (Original post by Danny Bav)
    Wondering if anybody has been to the following places:

    North/South Korea
    Japan
    Taiwan
    HK
    China

    I am looking for advice on routes/areas to go to etc because I dont really know much outside of the main tourist cities, thanks
    For Taiwan there is a huge depository of photos of various tourist locations which might interest you:

    http://www.hotelsandphotos.com/in-photos-taiwan-2015

    I am not sure why anyone would want to go to North Korea though.
 
 
 
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