So I'm going to be going over to SE Asia for the first time in a couple weeks and I'd love some advice on where to go and what to do...
I've read previous questions here on metafilter
but would love some more advice.
I will be spending time in Seoul and around Toyama, Japan to start with. I have friends and family in these places, so they should be able to tell me what's good to do. However, suggestions for things to do around these places are definitely welcome. I will then be traveling with my father and brother for January 22 - February 1st. (Tentatively Shanghai, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Vietnam.) I will then go off on my own, traveling by myself for about 2 weeks. I will then be in Seoul for about 10 days before I head home.
1. I will have two days in Tokyo, one after I fly in, before I take the overnight bus to Toyama and another, after the bus from Toyama, before I fly out (Fri Jan 9th and Mon Jan 19th.) What to do in Tokyo during the day?
2. Where should I go when traveling on my own?
I want to travel as cheaply as possible, so I reckon I will be taking buses. I'm thinking about Laos and Thailand (where to go within Thailand?) but I've heard now might now be a good time to go there. Can anyone tell me if it is a serious bad idea to go to Thailand now or is it just people being paranoid?
3. I will have some free time in Seoul (feb 18th - 21st) after my dad leaves. My brother will be there but he will be working during the day. I will have already done a lot of the main, typical things to do in Seoul with my dad. Any suggestions on what to do in Seoul?
I'm not against travelin, but thinking about stickin around Seoul since I'll have a place to stay for free. I'll be in downtown by seoul station and city hall. I've checked out these previous questions
4. Suggestions on packing?
I'm a low maintenance kinda guy and will be taking just one moderately sized backpack. I've read onebag
and these threads
but those seem to be about the warmer season. I would love any more suggestions. I'm going to try and play it real light, guessing I can get pretty much anything I need when I'm there. Also, is it going to be crazy cold?
5. This will be my first time in Asia and my first time out of North America besides a week in Italy when I was in high school. Also, my first time doing serious traveling alone. I'm not foreseeing any problems but still, any general culture/travel advice?
6. If I am in a place where I can stay somewhere for real cheap, I will get a room. Otherwise, I'm going to try couchsurfing
. Any suggestions for ways a broke stranger can say thank you for letting him stay on your couch?
I'd love to cook a meal or draw some beautiful picture but I'm not much of a cook or artist.
1. While I won't be quite broke
, I won't have very much money so the cheaper, the better. I don't get grossed out or uncomfortable easily.
2. I understand that it's impossible to see everything in just a few weeks but I am leaning more toward staying in each place just a couple days and moving on, to see as much as possible (without going crazy) as opposed to really getting to know one or two areas.
3. Anywhere I go when traveling on my own, I will have to get back the Vietnam-area (most likely Saigon) to fly back to Seoul so I can fly back to the US. Round trip tickets...
Any general travel advice is great too.
Sorry for the many questions and thanks so much in advance!