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Old Feb 21, 10, 4:51 am   #1
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3 months with $6k? Where to go...

Hey all. I guess this is where this belongs. Anyway, I am a contractor in the middle east and have been for sometime. I am looking to take about a 3 month break but I am unsure where. I am looking at a budget of around $6k but that was just a ball park figure I basically made up that I would be comfortable spending on the trip. I am 30 yrs old, I have no wife and no kids (that I know of anyway) and I am looking to just get away for a bit. I am being told that I should probably hit up south east asia as it is cheap and there are plenty of things to do. I have never been there so I guess that is something to consider. I am not much of a beach person but I dont mind it. I am more of a mountain type guy though. I only have 2 stipulations to my trip. 1) I have my own room. No sharing. 2) Own bathroom. I have had my fair share of sharing both with hundreds if not thousands of people over the past 5-6 years.

So does anyone have any input on where I should at least start? I will probably not stay in the same location for more than 2 weeks or so unless I find the "right" place for me.

One of my friends said that he loves eastern Europe and you can find some pretty good deals over there as well. I know it would be at least cooler temp wise as I am looking to take this trip around April or May. I know SE Asia can be brutal around the summer time.

I figure most of my money would be spent on alcohol, lodging, food and airfare(probably in that order as well).

Any input you guys have or any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Feb 21, 10, 5:25 am   #2
  
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I think asia is the cheapest option, Indonesia is large enough for trekking and has some nice vulcanos for hiking.
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Old Feb 21, 10, 9:41 am   #3
  
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Eastern Europe is pricier now than 10 years ago, but for ease of travel it's hard to beat. $6k could easily finance 3 months there (Poland, Slovakia, Czech, Hungary, Romania etc) and the Tatras and Carpathian Mtns are great. The Balkans (Macedonia and Montenegro in particular) and Croatia are also quite beautiful. It would be all too easy to spend 3 months working your way from Istanbul or Athens to Poland or the Czech Republic.

The Ukraine is especially cheap right now due to recent fluctuations in their currency, but it might be a tad difficult to get around the mountains without knowledge of a local language. Big cities (Kiev, Lvov, etc) are definitely worth seeing.

And if you can stomach the bureaucracy of getting a visa, Russia is a phenomenal trip.
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Old Feb 21, 10, 12:23 pm   #4
  
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For $6,000 you can go nearly anywhere in the world for 3 months. I've done western Europe a few years ago at less than $6,000 in 3 months (however, i stayed mostly in hostels). If you plan on staying in one general area (like a small country) then you have enough for almost anywhere, if u just rent a cheap place and mind your transportation costs, eat from grocery stores, etc. In western Europe I would suggest Portugal and Southern Spain, or anywhere in Eastern Europe. Your dollar will definitely stretch further in Asia (especially SE Asia), and especially during the rainy season. Totally different environment though and you will have to "watch" how much you spend less. Will make for a more carefree vacation, but a very different vacation than, say, Europe. Central America is also incredibly cheap. Middle East is cheap as well, but you likely want to go somewhere else, since u are there now. Don't forget India.

Last edited by frankiwa; Feb 21, 10 at 4:49 pm
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Old Feb 21, 10, 1:39 pm   #5
  
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Vietnam -> Cambodia -> Laos -> Thailand -> Indonesia.
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Old Feb 21, 10, 7:17 pm   #6
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Hi, from another 30yr old no wife no kids traveller.

$2000 a month or $70 a day is a decent budget for anywhere in the world apart from West/North Europe maybe.

You can probably go down to New Zealand/Australia, with a stop in SE Asia like others suggested, but I would add Burma to your list, its simply spectacular.

Have you looked at adventure companies such as Intrepid/GAP?
Its a hassle-free way of travelling, but with lots of independence.

Last year I spent 2 months on a truck trans-Africa, for about $4000 with Intrepid.

I understand about the private room, having done my fair share of dorms over the last 9 years of travel, I also need a private room nowadays. Its good that most hostels have private rooms these days.
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Old Feb 21, 10, 11:37 pm   #7
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If I do decide to go to Eastern Europe I will probably start out in the Ukraine and kind of make that my "base". The SE Asia is intriguing because it is so different than anywhere I have been before. Never really thought about doing NZ but I may have to look into it. Also, the adventure compaines are a totally new concept for me. I always just did everything on my own (sometimes good, sometimes bad). But I guess that is the luck of the draw. I will definately give them a look. Thanks all for the replys and keep them coming.
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Old Feb 22, 10, 7:16 am   #8
  
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Originally Posted by sycotik View Post
. . . the adventure compaines are a totally new concept for me. I always just did everything on my own (sometimes good, sometimes bad). But I guess that is the luck of the draw. I will definately give them a look.
In 2006 I hopped a boat from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh that had a group of 10-12 from Intrepid on it. They were having a great time and the guide was cool and low-key. I saw them again at the Blue Pumpkin in Siem Reap, and remember thinking for a tour it did not look too bad.
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Old Feb 22, 10, 7:47 am   #9
  
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Originally Posted by sycotik View Post
Hey all. I guess this is where this belongs. Anyway, I am a contractor in the middle east and have been for sometime. I am looking to take about a 3 month break but I am unsure where. I am looking at a budget of around $6k but that was just a ball park figure I basically made up that I would be comfortable spending on the trip. I am 30 yrs old, I have no wife and no kids (that I know of anyway) and I am looking to just get away for a bit. I am being told that I should probably hit up south east asia as it is cheap and there are plenty of things to do. I have never been there so I guess that is something to consider. I am not much of a beach person but I dont mind it. I am more of a mountain type guy though. I only have 2 stipulations to my trip. 1) I have my own room. No sharing. 2) Own bathroom. I have had my fair share of sharing both with hundreds if not thousands of people over the past 5-6 years.

So does anyone have any input on where I should at least start? I will probably not stay in the same location for more than 2 weeks or so unless I find the "right" place for me.

One of my friends said that he loves eastern Europe and you can find some pretty good deals over there as well. I know it would be at least cooler temp wise as I am looking to take this trip around April or May. I know SE Asia can be brutal around the summer time.

I figure most of my money would be spent on alcohol, lodging, food and airfare(probably in that order as well).

Any input you guys have or any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Ukraine.... amazing value for your $$.... women are plentiful and gorgeous... interesting history... amazingly scenic... plenty of English speakers in the major cities. Travel by train throughout the country is cheap and easy.

Odessa, Kiev, Kharkov, Dnip.... do it man. It's heaven on earth for a sinlge guy your age
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Old Feb 22, 10, 9:07 am   #10
  
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I'm leaving for Ukraine in a week... looking forward to my experience.

Although I must admit my budget is nowhere near $6k
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Old Feb 22, 10, 9:39 am   #11
  
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Vietnam -> Cambodia -> Laos -> Thailand -> Indonesia.
Just got back from that run. Don't know how attractive it would be if you didn't like beaches though. Indonesia was raining sideways the whole 10 days. it's cheap as dirt and has a lot of volcanoes. It's on a different Monsoon cycle. In SE Asia, April-May are the hottest 2 months (other than Indonesia). Since Syco is a mountain guy what about Fall in the Andes ? Others are going to have to help him out with that. I've only been to Rio, Buenos Aires, & Santiago. Don't know 'nuttin' other than it's beautiful & cheap enough. wj
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Old Feb 22, 10, 2:52 pm   #12
  
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Originally Posted by jredknapp11 View Post
Ukraine.... women are plentiful and gorgeous...

Odessa, Kiev, Kharkov, Dnip.... do it man. It's heaven on earth for a sinlge guy your age
Women there are out of this world
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Old Feb 22, 10, 3:09 pm   #13
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I would also say Southeast Asia, with Indonesia at its best around June-August and places like Thailand best, weather-wise, December-February. Though the rainy season is still not bad except along the Indian Ocean coast.

Hotel values are really excellent in much of the region; some of the beach areas in Thailand are so overbuilt that you can pretty easily get air-con, private bath, cable TV and a frig in a hotel that also has a pool for $20-25 a night. Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are also cheap but are poorer countries and require more adapting. The Philippines and Indonesia are somewhere in between.

Malaysia also has quite a lot to offer, and some secondary cities have some excellent lodging deals. KUL is also the best hub for Air Asia, so if you plan in advance and hit a good sale (like their annual $0 fare sale) you could book lots of flights to hop around the region cheaply.
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Old Feb 22, 10, 10:30 pm   #14
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Thanks for the comments. Looks like I have a bit a research to do on SE Asia and Eastern Europe.
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Old Feb 23, 10, 4:22 am   #15
  
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Ukraine is not totally alien territory to me - and frankly I can't imagine staying longer than two weeks there unless one was particularly interested in drinking and whoring (both of which are cheap, easily available and not of particular interest to me) or hiking/outdoorsy stuff (which you really need a group, or at least buddies, for, right or wrong?). However, the weather would be a nice temperature - warmish but not sticky. I don't know whether outdoor tables for cafes would be out or not. Probably yes.

I was just talking to someone today about Latin America generally and I have not come across anyone who hasn't been to Argentina and loved it. I understand (maybe wrongly) that it's pretty cheap, too. And of course it, and its neighbors, have beaches as well as mountains in abundance. If you speak English, then you can probably guess the meaning of basic written Spanish, so that's a help for getting around. But it might be the wrong season, and I have to admit I have never been there, so...

If it weren't World Cup season, I'd also suggest Southern Africa.
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