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New Backpacker

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New Backpacker

Hi guys! I'm from Singapore and this is my first time bacpacking and goin at it alone. Im thinkin either cambodia or vietnam. Would like to seek some advice from all of you. I dowana be goin in blind. Will be doing some research myself of course but would like the opinions of people with experience too.

Nova Scotia
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for Nova Scotia
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11,665 posts
168 reviews
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1. Re: New Backpacker

Well you can start reading these forums. And click on some of the 'top questions' at the right above.

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2. Re: New Backpacker

Thank you for the quick reply!

Yepyep im reading some of em. But most of em say about what to do there etc. Im also trying to find out how and what to do to prepare myself going there. Ive been trying to google that but doesn't really help.

Sorry where is the link for the top questions? I can't find it.

Wanaka, New Zealand
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3. Re: New Backpacker

For the best advice, you need to start by asking specific questions. I am not sure what you really want information on.

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4. Re: New Backpacker

Ok.

1. I understand whats visa,but how do you know which country needs visa and which do not. Where do you get this info from?

2. Usually do you prebook your hotel bookings when you go backpacking? If you don't, then how do you ensure you have a place to stay the night. What if the hotels are full up?

3. Aside from toiletries, clothes, first aid and survival equipments, travelling equipments. The standard few items. Are there anything else you would suggest to bring that most people wouldnt think of?

4. When you go backpacking solo, how do you find out where are the hot spots other backpackers will go to? So you can go ahead and meet other backpackers and make new friends.

5. This is your own personal opinion. As this is my first time and im going at it alone, which would you suggest. Vietnam or Cambodia? I can't do both as i only have a week worth of time and from my research that isn't enough time to even explore one of these places to the fullest. But which would you suggest?

Im still researching on stuff. If i do have any other questions, will definitely post it up here.

Wanaka, New Zealand
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5. Re: New Backpacker

1. Visas are one of the FAQ to the right of this. (But perhaps you are on a phone/device and can't see these). Put visa into the search box above and lots of old posts will come up.

2. I booked all the hotels/accommodation for our 7 week trip to SE Asia before hand. This was because we were on a tight schedule and were travelling with 3 children. We didn't want to waste time looking for accommodation when arriving in a new place. This doesn't suit everyone, but worked really well for us. We also found that it gave us the pick of accommodation and usually at a good price because we were booking well ahead.With only a week, I would recommend working out where you want to stay in advance to maximise the time you spend on actually seeing new places. I contacted the hotels directly via email - after checking out reviews on here.

5. I personally enjoyed Vietnam more than Cambodia, but it may depend what interests you. IN a week you could only visit Siem reap and Phnom Penh and perhaps one other place.

Brisbane, Australia
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for Kuala Lumpur
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6. Re: New Backpacker

1. Usually the Embassy of the country you are visiting is the best place to get information on their visa requirements - google will help you here, for example "visa for Cambodia" will bring up a few advertisements and dubious sites, but then you will see the offical page for the Kingdom of Cambodia: http://evisa.mfaic.gov.kh/

2. Pre-booking hotels/hostels is a personal preference - in a place such as Cambodia, you will generally always find a tuk tuk driver at the airport who will take you to "the best place" (i.e. his friend/brother/uncles) that is sure to have availability. If you don't like what you see, move on to the next one. The other option is to do your own research of reviews (either here, or booking.com, expedia etc) and just book your first night - this gives you peace of mind that you will have somewhere to stay for at least your first night, without being locked into something you may not like. It is highly unlikely, in either Vietnam or Cambodia, that you will not find somewhere with a vacancy....although the price and quality may need to be flexible on your part.

3. Don't forget any personal medications, with your prescription label attached. Other than that, when we travel, we always go by the philosophy that anything we have forgotten we can just "buy when we get there" - as long as you have your passport and access to money, everything else is superfluous.

4. To find out where the backpackers go - check trip advisor, or other travel blogs. Once you find where the hostels are, you will certainly find other backpackers to guide you in the right direction.

5. My personal opinion, as your first backpacking experience, I would recommend Cambodia over Vietnam. The people are much more friendly and trust worthy, with much less of the rip-offs and scams that infect the likes of Vietnam, Thailand etc. Just be sure that you have armed yourself with some basic knowledge about where you are going, as there will always be someone who might try to take advantage of an unsuspecting newbie. For Cambodia, know the price for a tuk-tuk ($1-3 short trips $15-25 all day), and taxi or guide rates, watch out for the 'milk' scam, bargain at the markets, and where-ever you go in your travels, do not buy from (or give money to) child beggars that should be in school!

The top questions/faqs are not visible on mobile/tablets etc - you will need to go to the full on-line version and you will see them on the right hand side of the forum.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: New Backpacker

And Cambodia is a far easier country all round for the first time DIY traveller than is Vietnam.

Best regards. Ian

Hanoi, Vietnam
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8. Re: New Backpacker

for Cambodia you can get a visa on arivval vietnam you can also but i would reccomend arragning that pior to leaving as for accomdation you can just rock up the hostels have pretty turnovers and you can always go searching for one that has room and staying in dorms you almost forced to meet peopole so that wont be an issue

Kurashiki, Japan
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for Kurashiki, Cambodia, Myanmar
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9. Re: New Backpacker

Reports from people staying in "dorms" in December 2013-

People had their passports stolen (by other foreigners who were then selling them!). You can get a very clean en suite room sometimes even with hot water in Cambodia for $10 or less.

10. Re: New Backpacker

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