Need your help deciding where to go...

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Need your help deciding where to go...

Postby DanielBMe » Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:25 pm

So I’m trying to decide on my trip for 2010 and have finalized it down to the following 4. I’m leaning more towards India or Bolivia, but having a really difficult time deciding (I must be in an “ia” mode). That’s where you come in.

Best of Southern India
India – Delhi to Katmandu
Bolivia Crossing
Cambodia and Laos (blame Anthony Bourdain for this)

I’ve never been to India and not sure which would be a better trip to take for a first timer, Best of Southern India or Delhi to Katmandu. Anyone been to both the south and north who could provide any advice? More than likely I would be going mid Sept.

I definitely want to see some beautiful landscapes/imagery/peoples. Photography being key, I’m also thinking of Bolivia (Bolivia Crossing) or Cambodia and Laos. For the Bolivia crossing just wondering if it would be better to spend a few extra days in Buenos Aires or La Paz? I only have 15 days total for vacation.

Anyone by chance done a few of these that could offer any insights?
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Re: Need your help deciding where to go...

Postby jimshu » Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:19 pm

Hi Daniel, we've been Delhi -Kathmandu, and we've done Southern India.
First thing to consider is the weather for Sept. in India.You can still be in late monsoon time.I seem to recall that many parts of southern India have been hit by floods July /Sept this year http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/dbc.nsf/doc ... 7-IND&rc=3
So plan , if you can to go later for the south .It'll still be very hot there but best time to go is November through to Feb when it's cooler.It's a lovely area of India, and we preferred it to the north.

Delhi- Kathmandu Sept will still be hot.But probably drier.Being the photography enthusiast that we know you to be, this will really appeal to you.Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, Orchna, Varanasi are all a photographers delight.The forts and castles are magnificent.And you're gonna go snaphappy gaga!
And Indians are just so happy to line up and pose for you with huge smiles over their faces.
Can't tell you anything about Nepal as our tour couldn't enter, but there's heaps of members here who will rave over it.

Cambodia is also a paradise for photography.The people, the markets, the temples of Angkor Wat complex are stunning.But I'd tend to want to do that country independantly, as there are so many tourists going there, that try and get a shot of a temple is almost impossible without the scene being cluttered with other tourists.The temples are best visited at a time of your choosing, when you can visit during quieter periods and when the light is good, and take your own time.

Bolivia, others will offer advice.
So I guess, with the above comments, I'd be swinging for the Delhi-Kathmandu option, mate.
How's that?
In the end , they're all good choices.
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Re: Need your help deciding where to go...

Postby DanielBMe » Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:32 am

Thanks Jim! I do like the Delhi to Kat trip since I also get into Nepal. But still....

Hmm anyone else have any other opinions?
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Re: Need your help deciding where to go...

Postby laverda » Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:20 pm

Don't miss Katmandu, there is not other place like it in the world. Beautiful and lots of culture, food and music
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Re: Need your help deciding where to go...

Postby DanielBMe » Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:22 pm

Delhi to Kat seems to be very popular. I'll probably do that tour. I just hope that by the last week of Sept, the rains are over.
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Re: Need your help deciding where to go...

Postby kris_nyc » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:18 pm

I'm also trying to decide on which India trip, so can't help you there. But I agree with Jimshu about Cambodia...you'd want to do that independently, because there are so many tourists visiting the Angkor temples at the same time. It gets very frustrating and very difficult, if not impossible at times, to get photos without large tour groups in your frame. If you go independently, you can visit the temples later in the day or other times when it won't be so crowded. There are hundreds of cheap guides that you can hire independently if you want a guided tour of the Angkor temples, and they speak all different languages. I'm sure you can easily arrange for a boat trip down Tonle Sap as well. The city of Siem Reap is small, and restaurants and bars are concentrated in one area.

Haven't been to Boliva, but Buenos Aires is a great city. It's a fun place to just sit back, people watch at cafes during the day, "splurge" on the best steak you'll ever have and a bottle of wine for a $20 USD, hang out in a pub with the locals til the wee hours of the morning. You might be able to get more stunning photos in La Paz though, because of the mountains.
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Re: Need your help deciding where to go...

Postby jimshu » Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:02 pm

Just to get you really confused ,Ethiopia Daniel?
We'll be booking for mid August.Too soon for you?
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Re: Need your help deciding where to go...

Postby TravelFun » Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:40 pm

DanielBMe wrote:Best of Southern India
India – Delhi to Katmandu
Bolivia Crossing
Cambodia and Laos (blame Anthony Bourdain for this)

I definitely want to see some beautiful landscapes/imagery/peoples. Photography being key, I’m also thinking of Bolivia (Bolivia Crossing) or Cambodia and Laos. For the Bolivia crossing just wondering if it would be better to spend a few extra days in Buenos Aires or La Paz? I only have 15 days total for vacation.

Anyone by chance done a few of these that could offer any insights?


My personal recommendation would be the Bolivia Crossing trip. It's a spectacular experience with ever changing landscapes which will be a photographers delight. I would suggest the Buenos Aires to La Paz route and this way you'll be gaining altitude slowly-ish than flying directly into it. Both BsAs and La Paz are beautiful cities, each unique in character, people and landscape...if you're going to have a weekend available then I would say go for BsAs where you'll get the opportunity to go to a football match.

This one is a great adventure and sure not to be missed! If you want more details or more convincing then I'm here to help.
:P

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Re: Need your help deciding where to go...

Postby JacJacJackie » Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:54 pm

I agree with TravelFun... key factor is only 15 days. I did 4 1/2 weeks in Northern India only and felt like it skimmed the surface- incredibly beautiful and intense, but also can take AGES to get around owing to riots/strikes/monsoon/AWOL trains... and could be frustrating if you're trying to jam pack a few things in. Same for Delhi-Kat... I agree its an amazing trip, but I did 8 weeks in Nepal and i feel that some of these cultures you need time to sink into & absorb since they can be pretty confronting at times. Bolivia or Cambodia will suit a shorter time frame perhaps? all the best mate
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Re: Need your help deciding where to go...

Postby jimshu » Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:14 pm

Would he need 13 pairs of undies for Bolivia, :) Jac?
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Re: Need your help deciding where to go...

Postby TravelFun » Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:37 pm

jimshu wrote:Would he need 13 pairs of undies for Bolivia, :) Jac?


Whatever takes DanielBMe's fancy :lol:
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Re: Need your help deciding where to go...

Postby kris_nyc » Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:38 pm

Hey Daniel, you sure you don't want to do Delhi to Kathmandu this January or February? That's when I'm thinking of going, and now leaning towards this trip. :D
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Re: Need your help deciding where to go...

Postby jimshu » Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:26 pm

January is gonna be real cold in Nepal.If you can leave it until April.The hills come alive with all the trees and bushes flowering.We were up in Shimla, because our trip wasn't allowed into Nepal, and the valleys were beautiful with carpets of flowering trees.Each valley would have a different dominant species, so you would travel through a golden valley, thenm purple, then yellow etc.Loved it.
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Re: Need your help deciding where to go...

Postby kris_nyc » Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:56 pm

Thanks, Jimshu. The issue is that I like to take my vacations when it includes a US holiday -- that way, I can stretch out my alloted time off further. There's a holiday in the middle of January and Feb, but none in March and April until late May.

I just looked up the averages, and it looks like it's still a lot warmer there in January/February than it is in NY. I don't mind the cold, as long as it's not colder than home. Are these numbers accurate? http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3?s=45444&refer=&units=metric
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Re: Need your help deciding where to go...

Postby jimshu » Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:06 pm

Yeah we have to travel when we can get those hols.Nepal is stunning any time of year.We'll get there someday.Still a dream of ours.And my tenant is a Gurkha with wife and 2 kids in Kathmandu and keeps talking about how beautiful it is.He's on a work permit here as a chef and hopes to bring them out.Lovely guy.
I guess those temps would be OK.But the higher altitudes that time of year will be much colder.You NooYorkers will have all the gear for those climes anyway, as you say.
I think there was a post in the Nepal thread about how cold it was so read that thread and see what it says.viewtopic.php?f=3&t=100&p=48448&hilit=cold+nepal#p48448
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