** Research still in progress – due to depart November 2011 **
Wow. When we through this one into the kitty we thought it would be a fairly simple project. I mean, loads of people go backpacking, how hard can it be?!
Actually very! There is a lot more to it than we thought, and there is loads of new things to learn about that we don’t need to consider in a van. When are we going? Getting back? Visas – where from, how long, etc? What route? Where do we stay the night, every night? How do we get around? Makes Europe in a campervan look trivial!
Bits we’ve bought
So our research. As usual, we’ve been spending on new books and toys, and after loads of looking around we’ve bought these:-Okay – yeah – its a new mobile phone, but its Android and easily unlocked, and its absolutely awesome. OK – it is not an Apple iPhone and you can tell its not quite in the same league, but for the price it is amazing. We have installed 16Gb Micro SD card, and have the FREE MapDroyd software and full maps of Europe and Asia. We’ve also installed free NavIT – a free satnav with full Europe and Asia maps, and you can get MM Track which allows you to use the Memory Map maps. The phone has a very good GPS and electronic compass built in and so for navigating and not getting lost it is fantastic. Of course, it has 3G internet, WiFi and plays Angry Birds 🙂
After chatting to people on the Lonely Planet forum we have decided to focus on Mainland SE Asia, so mainly Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. A fairly well use trail and we can save places like Oz, NZ, Fiji etc for possible future trips. This also seems to mean we won’t have a need for a Round-The-World (RTW) ticket – just a return ticket to a major Asia hub, Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur and just blag it from there.
Whilst we love tech, we’ve ordered paper books and paper maps to draw on – seems the right thing rather than a Kindle – yet…
So far we’ve got a couple of books and maps:-
And lots of reading to do!! No, this isn’t an ad for Amazon – we really have all these and loads to read!
Whilst we think the Lonely Planet guides are in specific and in detail, we reckon the Insight ones are easier to read and have prettier pictures! The maps though are excellent, and if you only buy one map buy the Thailand one as it does cover mainluy the same area as Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia version.
Hoping to book flights within a week (mid June 2011). Eek.
We’re expecting to be leaving end of November and returning in April but thats all the plans so far
Very useful websites
Other stuff we really need to do ASAP