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Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/22/2013 18:00:39


J Russell Mikkelsen 
Level 4
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Got any traveling tips and advice?

In April, I'll be quitting my job and taking off for South East Asia with only one goal in mind, have fun and survive. I'll be traveling as long as my money lasts and I plan to make it last at least a year.

I'm starting in Taiwan and from there... who knows. Probably Vietnam, Lao... I don't know. We'll see where the road takes me.

I've never been anywhere in Asia before, let alone South East Asia. I know there are a fair amount of warlight players who've been to and lived in the area. Anything you want to share from your experiences would be welcome.
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/22/2013 18:13:17

Dr. TypeSomething 
Level 3
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The important question: will you be retiring from, quitting, or stopping Warlight?
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/22/2013 18:42:29


{rp} Julius Caesar 
Level 46
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dont go to vietnam laos or burma or cambodia...


that is unless you know rambo
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/22/2013 18:50:11

Qi 
Level 55
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If you like history, authenticity or architecture, Taiwan is dull (though the Palace Museum is nice if you want to see what the KMT stole from Beijing). If you like ecology, Taiwan is interesting, if you can find a way to escape the urban areas. Avoid Taichung, it has little worth seeing. Nantou county, Yilan, Taidong, Kaoxiung, Jilong, Tainan are worth visiting. Taiwan's southeastern beaches are full of beautiful girls in summer, which is worth seeing.

I'd recommend Thailand. The Buddhist culture is authentic and they have a rich culture and cuisine. Hong Kong is nice but is boring after a week. Yunnan and Sichuan in China might be the most interesting parts of China, if you want to see something other than the east. Korea is probably a bit like HK (dull, all about materialism), but too ethnocentric. I think people from California would be most drawn to Japan. Indonesia is incredibly diverse in many ways and would definitely be worth a few months. Apparently southern India is more hospitable than northern India, and Gao is most comfortable for Westerners. If you are interested in food, every place mentioned is great.
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/22/2013 19:05:07


{rp} Julius Caesar 
Level 46
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go to nepal and bhutan, bhutan has beatiful nature preserves and you can say you at least spent a night in kathmandu
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/22/2013 19:20:19


J Russell Mikkelsen 
Level 4
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People, nature, culture, history. That stuff interests me. In that order. I will definitely have to make it to Indonesia. But I'll be traveling all through the whole area. So, I don't really need recommendations for where to go. If I like a place, I'll stay longer. If I don't like it, I'll move on.

I would appreciate any info regarding visas. Obviously, I will be doing my own research on that but hearing other people's actual experiences is always helpful. For example, I've heard that Taiwan requires any visitors to have a plane ticket out of Taiwan before they come in. Is that true? I was planning on buying a one-way ticket.

Also, I should point out that I'm a dual citizen and have two valid passports. One USA and one EU. From what I've learned so far it seems that traveling as a European citizen will be easier than as an American. Is that accurate?
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/22/2013 19:22:57


J Russell Mikkelsen 
Level 4
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I could add that I prefer seeing people and places than seeing museums. I want to meet people, socialize and go to places... beaches, springs, rivers, mountains, etc.

Museums are kinda... meh.
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/22/2013 19:28:02

Qi 
Level 55
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I've never entered Taiwan before purchasing a ticket to leave. I think if you dress well enough and simply explain you are traveling and have no interest in staying beyond the 30-day visa exempt period (passport stamps from recent trips might help verify this), they would let you in. but in my 10 or so trips to taiwan i've only been questioned once.
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/22/2013 19:34:30


{rp} Julius Caesar 
Level 46
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it would be easier to get into india with a EU passport and other nations wont question you as much if you came with it. most asian countries dont trust america
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/22/2013 20:32:37


Min34 
Level 60
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Sounds like Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Laos are countries for you (I do not know how a country like myanmar is, it might be a option)
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/22/2013 22:02:44


Master ARC 
Level 57
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On to the more important question:

Will you still be playing WarLight?
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/23/2013 00:09:28


J Russell Mikkelsen 
Level 4
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The first resource I've been scouring is wikitravel. According to them, Taiwan allows a 90 day tourist visa to American citizens, no fee or application necessary. But I've heard 30 days from multiple people, including Gui above. Is wikitravel not a reliable source?

Link to wikitravel's info:
http://wikitravel.org/en/Taiwan#Get_in
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/23/2013 00:27:21

Dr. TypeSomething 
Level 3
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No. Maybe for visa stuff it's OK (though I would be skeptical), but I would never use it for finding accommodations/restaurants and stuff. It is very obviously edited by businesses in the area advertising their own places. It hasn't reached the threshold like wikipedia has where there are enough people monitoring it to filter out that crap. Hostelworld.com is your friend for accommodations.

For visa stuff though I would use the US state department. Don't know for European passport. But look at the state department for Taiwan. It says this:

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: As a U.S. passport holder, you will be allowed to enter Taiwan without a visa for up to ninety days (no extensions permitted) as long as you have a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry into Taiwan and have a confirmed return or onward air ticket. You must have already met any additional visa requirements for the next destination, if applicable. If your passport is valid for less than six months from the date of entry into Taiwan, you may apply for a landing visa that has a duration of stay of no more than thirty days. The cost of a landing visa, including processing fee, is NT $5140 (currently equivalent to approximately US $165.00). Extensions are not allowed. You also have the option of applying for and receiving a Taiwan visa prior to arrival in Taiwan. The cost including processing fee is US $164.00.

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1036.html


Why the hell am I doing this in the Warlight message board?
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/23/2013 00:39:21

Fizzer 
Level 58

Warzone Creator
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http://www.wikivoyage.org > http://www.wikitravel.org

They're similar sites, but the latter is now profit-driven whereas wikivoyage is open like wikipedia is. Most of the contributors who built wikitravel have moved to wikivoyage, so you should too.
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/23/2013 00:42:49

Qi 
Level 55
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It's 30 days for Americans (unless the policy changed in the last 60 days). Maybe it's longer for EU citizens.
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/23/2013 01:46:39


{rp} Julius Caesar 
Level 46
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you need to remember white people in general aren't very welcome in some places worse if you use american ID myannmar is a VERY dangerous place as is Laos just be careful cause we'd never know if something happened to you.
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/23/2013 01:48:15


{rp} Kingmaker 
Level 58
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Go to Vietnam. I lived there 1 year and found the people friendly and fun. The country itself is rich in beautiful landscapes and is full of both historical and cultural features. Go to Ho Chi Minh and see the Mekong Delta, Kuchi Tunnels, Museums. Hire a moped to get around for about $5-10 dollars a day. Great Fun! Head over to Nha Trang for great vistas and seafood. Also go to the hot springs and mud baths near there. Then you have Halong bay and Hanoi in the north. See Cat Ba Island.
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/23/2013 02:26:30


Vanellope von Schweetz 
Level 60
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Going someplace and telling them you plan to leave within 30 days sounds like it might give them good reason to investigate you further.

I'll be heading south of asia a bit after you.

But I have found http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/index.jspa to be helpful. Its a travel forum run through the BBC. They were down for a long while until recently. So they are still putting old threads up again.
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/23/2013 15:23:30


{RSP} Nike
Level 4
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how did this become notable!? I dont get it.
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/23/2013 15:49:16


no one
Level 57
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visit hong kong. it is a beautiful city.
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/23/2013 16:44:39


Lord Fred100
Level 35
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I actually agree with Chameleon on the India part , I've been to many southern indian and north-eastern states and people there are comparatively more welcoming and nicer than compared to the ones in North and it's "Goa" lol.
Have to agree though , Goa's best place for westerns because the aura there suits everyone , especially the westerns.
Well there's one thing you should keep in mind while visiting India , it's a vegetarian country , you wouldn't see people praying to cows , but you would see a LOT and I mean A LOT of vegetarian food.
Imo , if there wouldn't have been muslim invasions and british colonizations in India , 90% of the people would be following vegetarianism lol.

Fyi , about 46% of the country's population's said to be vegan , that's actually a lot considering it's population lol.

Anyhow considering you're only aiming at south-east asian countries best would be Malaysia and Taiwan. Thailand is a great place but the bizzare stories you hear happen there are rather scary lol. Malay people are nice and rather welcoming. Taiwan's a good place to go too , not sure if it comes in south east asia or not and nepal's good too , a lot of hindu sages's , it's a good place to get spiritual knowledge (most of the sages come from tibet and india).
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/23/2013 16:53:07

Feral
Level 10
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Malaysia is quite nice, alot of beaches etc. Quite hot though as it is near the equator :P The food is quite spicy too and the people aren't as stranger friendly as other countries :L Money-wise it should be good though - 5RM in a pound, 3Rm in a dollar. RM - the malaysian currency.

Haven't really been anywhere else in Asia, but hope this helps a bit
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/23/2013 16:55:03


Lord Fred100
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Yeah , malay cuisine is actually good because it's a result of indian and chinese immigrants since 1500 A.D. settling there , which has contributed a lot in their culture and cuisine , it's practically india and china combined there for years , food wise it's a great place (Just like any other country).
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/23/2013 19:50:00


J Russell Mikkelsen 
Level 4
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Thanks everyone! Thanks for the info and link, Dr. Type. Thanks for the heads up on wikivoyage, Fizzer. I'd never heard of wikivoyage. It is great.

It's unlikely I'll go to India, but I appreciate the info nonetheless.

Wordsworth - How easy is it to travel both within and in and out of Vietnam? They appear to have a relatively strict visa policy. Is it easy to get a visa that lets you vacation there?

Strategist - How recently were you in Malaysia?

Eeyore - That makes no sense to me. Why obeying the law be suspicious?

Gui - Dr. Type really wants me to have a beer with you. Where are you living these days?

I have some specific questions if anyone feels like answering:
-How universal in Mandarin? Is it spoken or understand outside of China?
-Is there any form of universal currency, like the EU, or does every country have its own? Do countries China claims to be its own (like Taiwan) have their own currency AND China's currency?
-Aside from air fares, how much should I expect to budget for a month of some hostel and some hotel living in most SE Asian countries?
-How easy or safe to cross a border on a bus or train instead of by plane?
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/23/2013 20:39:33

Qi 
Level 55
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Mandarin:
- HK: Each time you speak Mandarin to a stranger in HK it's an experiment. Sometimes they reply in fluent Mandarin with a southern accent, sometimes (at restaurants, with fruit sellers/other workers) you hear perfect Mandarin in reply (over 200,000 Chinese migrants since 1997), sometimes you hear funny but intelligible Cantonese-Mandarin, other times you hear what the speaker hopes is Mandarin but sounds like Cantonese to you. My theory: if you speak good, fluent Mandarin as well as Northern Chinese do, people in HK will be able to understand you (thanks to Taiwan's and China's cultural influences and the greater linguistic similarities between Mandarin and Cantonese than between English and Cantonese. I find speaking Mandarin to be more efficient and mmore interesting than English in HK.
- Taiwan: Taipei is fine. People 30 and younger seem to all speak Mandarin. The older generations speak more Taiwanese, which is also more prevalent in the countryside and in the south. But Taiwan's Mandarin is a southern Mandarin influenced by Taiwanese pronunciation and rhythm to some extent. Sometimes the words aren't as clear as in Beijing. The other day my wife said something very basic to me about investing and I didn't understand her because she didn't say the '-g' "final" on the word, which made me think she was saying something else that didn't quite fit the context. Since Chinese is such a context-dependent language, the pronunciation and rhythm might throw you off a bit if you are used to northern Chinese.
- Singapore: Mandarin is alright. English might be better.
- Currency: Nothing universal. The cheapest place to exchange currency (that I've seen) is the Bank of Taiwan in Taiwan's airports. Taiwan has the NTD 台币 with Chiang Kai-Shek's mug, China has the RMB 人民币 with Mao's.
- I work in a tourist area in the center of Taiwan but spend weekends at my home in Taipei. If you visit this area I'd be glad to have a reason to grab a beer and ask about what conditioner you use. I wish my hair were fuller and had more bounce.
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/23/2013 21:20:29


J Russell Mikkelsen 
Level 4
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I can say thank you in Mandarin. That's the extent of my knowledge. But I plan on learning a lot more.

I'm flying into Taipei. I have a friend living just outside of the city. So, let's meet up! In fact, anyone (of American drinking age) who lives in or is traveling through SE Asia in the next 12 months can email me if you want to have a drink.

jrussellmikkelsen [at] gmail.com
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/24/2013 10:48:24


{rp} Kingmaker 
Level 58
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VIETNAM: You need to get your visa in advance or they wont let you in. You need to go to your nearest Vietnamese embassy pay your 30-50$ and leave your passport. Go back next day or a couple of days later and collect it. Then you can go to Vietnam
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/24/2013 16:40:36

Feral
Level 10
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I was there maybe 3 years ago lol. As I mentioned before, Malaysia uses its own currency. Some of the people there know Mandarin because there are Chinese Malays, although Malay and English are mostly used. Can't really help you with hotel price - prices may have changed and depends on whih part of Malaysia you go to.

Oh and personally I think West Malaysia is better than east, but if you go to the east you can visit brueni.
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/25/2013 23:17:08


{rp} Julius Caesar 
Level 46
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good luck on your trip be safe
Hey You Asian Dwellers and Travellers: 1/26/2013 03:46:54


i-like-swords
Level 31
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No mention of the Philippines? Okay, I will admit it isn't the cleanest country, but the people there are friendly and you can good food for low prices being sold on every street. There are a couple of sights near Manila such as the Mall of Asia and some museums depicting the country's colonial period, but the best areas to visit are typically the beaches(along Sulu, Palawan, or even Puerto Galera), perhaps hiking in the mountainous northern part of the country, and there is a subterranean river tour I heard about on the island of Palawan.

I hope you have a good trip!
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