The cheapest itinerary for South Asia, need your help!

by Paola Orosco
(Adelaide, South Australia)

Hi Amanda, I need your help again, my friend and I(New Zealand and Peruvian) thought it would be best to start from Malaysia, as the tickets are cheaper.We both live in Australia. We want to travel for 5 months but we can extend for one more month. We want to go to Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines, India , Sri Lanka, Nepal, Burma, Bangladesh, north of china, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan.

We are planning to travel the second week of December 2012, one week in Malaysia and then go to Thailand, we want to catch the full moon party on December 31, new year!

We want to stay one month in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Philippines, a month in Burma, Nepal and Bangladesh, a month in India and Sri Lanka and one month in north of China, Hon Kong, Taiwan and Japan. Can you suggest us a cheap itinerary for all this places.

We want to avoid expensive flight tickets, if we can reach this places by bus or train, would be awesome; as well as pay the visa twice in this countries. How much money do you think we need to travel for this 5 or 6 months? Thank you so much Amanda.

Answer: For budget, please check my free tutorial on budget. Backpacking Tips Freebies

The cheapest way of traveling is by bus or train in Southeast Asia (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar/Burma and Malaysia). See my previous answer which also includes the Philippines. From Burma you can't border cross to Bangladesh. You either fly to Dhaka from Yangon or from Bangkok, whatever it's cheapest for you.

If you want to avoid backtracking, I suggest you find a flight from Dhaka directly to Colombo (Sri Lanka), so you can work your way up through India to Nepal and China without stopping by Bangladesh. From Colombo you take the ferry to Tamil Nadu in south India. See this thread on ferries between India and Sri Lanka Thorntree: India to Sri Lanka.

Work your way up Nepal by border crossing from north India to Nepal. From Tibet there are trains to Beijing, but it's expensive to go through Tibet, so you should check out flights from Kathmandu to Beijing. You can't enter Tibet without a guide and special documents, and this cost money. From Shanghai you can take the ferry to Japan Ferries China to Japan. There are no ferries between Japan and Taiwan anymore, so you have to fly. From Taiwan you can take the ferry to China mainland, to Fuzhou or fly directly to Hong Kong. Again, try or AirAsia for cheap flights.

Amanda :)

Posted: April 19, 2012

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