The Rough Guide to First Time Asia

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2001 Paperback New Ex display copy. shopsoiled cover. IN STOCK NOW, despatched daily from the UK En Stock, tous les jours de exp√ ?di√ ?s du Royaume-Uni EN STOCK ... NOW, despachar diariamente desde el Reino Unido por correo a√ ?reo IN STOCK NOW, auch wenn t√ ?glich aus dem Vereinigten K√ ∂ nigreich per Luftpost. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781858285740
  • Publisher: DK Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/23/2001
  • Series: Rough Guides Travel Series
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 7.88 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Read an Excerpt

PREPARING FOR THE BIG ADVENTUREWe¹ve both made plenty of mistakes and faux pas during our fifteen years of travels in Asia, and this book is a distillation of what we¹ve learnt. First-Time Asia is full of the advice we give to friends heading out to Asia for the first time, and it¹s the book we both could have done with before setting off on our own first trips. Since then we¹ve returned again and again, backpacking across India, China and Southeast Asia; living and working in the Himalayas, Thailand and Japan; and researching and writing guidebooks to Indonesia, Thailand and Tibet. And we still choose to go back to Asia for our holidays, attracted by the chaos and drama of daily lives that still seem extraordinary to us; by the food, the landscapes and the climate; by the generosity and friendship of the people; and by the sheer buzz we get from hanging out in cultures that are so different from our own.

This book is intended to prepare you for your big adventure, whether it¹s a fortnight in Malaysia or twelve months across the continent. It is not a guidebook: it¹s a book to read before you go, a planning handbook to help you make decisions about what type of trip you¹d like to make. And, because we can¹t pretend to have explored every single corner of Asia ourselves, we¹ve also included tips, advice and funny stories from lots of other travellers.

The first questions you¹ll need to address are which parts of Asia to visit and, much more difficult, which places to leave out, so the opening section of the book, Where To Go, looks at your options. We focus on the nineteen most accessible and most visited countries of Asia, giving you an opinionated taste of what thesedestinations hold in store for first-timers. Each country profile includes a roundup of the major highlights and tourist activities as well as a selection of personal recommendations and lesser-known gems. The most remote parts of the continent, north and west of Pakistan, rarely feature on first-timers¹ itineraries, so we haven¹t included them in this book. Burma (Myanmar) is also omitted in the hope that travellers will uphold the boycott on tourism requested by Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically elected leader of the country.

The middle section of First-Time Asia, The Big Adventure, deals with the nuts and bolts. This is where you¹ll find chapters on how to choose the right ticket and which guidebooks and Web sites to consult, plus advice on how long you can afford to stay away and what gear to pack. The second half of this section looks at life on the road in Asia, advising you on how to stay safe and healthy while you¹re away, grounding you in local cultural dos and don¹ts, and giving you an idea of what to expect in terms of hotels and bus services. And finally, the Basics section at the back of the book is stuffed full of useful addresses, Web sites and phone numbers for further information on everything from Taiwanese visas and backpackers¹ homepages to mosquito-net suppliers and conservation projects. Updates

Even after you¹ve digested First Time Asia, we can¹t guarantee that you¹ll avoid every problem on the road, but hopefully you¹ll at least feel well prepared ­ and excited. When you come back from your trip, be sure to send in your own anecdotes for inclusion in the next edition. We can promise you¹ll have plenty of great stories to tell.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

WHERE TO GO
1 Bangladesh
2 Bhutan
3 Brunei
4 Cambodia
5 China
6 India
7 Indonesia
8 Japan
9 Laos
10 Malaysia
11 Nepal
12 Pakistan
13 Philippines
14 Singapore
15 South Korea
16 Sri Lanka
17 Taiwan
18 Thailand
19 Vietnam

THE BIG ADVENTURE
1 Planning your route
2 Visas, tickets and insurance
3 When to go
4 How much will it cost?
5 Guidebooks and other resources
6 What to take
7 Your first night
8 Culture shock
9 Getting around
10 Accommodation
11 Staying healthy
12 Keeping in touch
13 Crime, safety and sleaze
14 Coming home

BASICS
National tourist offices
Embassies and consulates
Discount flight agents
Courier flight agencies
Specialist tour operators
Voluntary work and conservation projects
Accommodation booking agents
Health
Official advice on international trouble spots
Responsible tourism
Travel book and map stores
Online travel resources
Travel equipment suppliers
Final checklist
Index

LIST OF MAPS
Bangladesh
Bhutan
Brunei
Cambodia
China
India
Indonesia
Japan
Laos
Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei
Nepal
Pakistan
Philippines
Singapore
South Korea
Sri Lanka
Taiwan
Thailand
Vietnam

COLOUR MAPS (at back of book)
Asia: Political
SE Asia
NEAsia
India
Asia: Physical
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Introduction

Every year, millions of visitors set off on their own Asian adventure. Some want to see for themselves a few of the world¹s greatest monuments ­ to stroll along the Great Wall of China or stand beside India¹s Taj Mahal. Others are drawn by the scenery ­ the soaring Himalayas and the chance of viewing Everest at close quarters; the kaleidoscopic coral reefs of Southeast Asia, where you¹ll find yourself swimming amongst sharks, manta rays and turtles; the steamy jungles of Malaysia and Indonesia, with the prospect of spotting orang-utans, elephants, even tigers. Few people would say no to a week or two on the dazzling white-sand beaches of the Philippines or pass up the chance to watch the sunrise over the Khyber Pass.

But perhaps the greatest draw is the sheer vitality of daily life in Asia, much of it played out on the streets. You can watch Thai boxing in Bangkok and trance dances in Bali; learn yoga in Varanasi and drink rice whisky in Vientiane; eat dim sum in Shanghai and satay sticks in Penang; buy silver in Hanoi and bargain for mangosteens in Manila.

Nearly all these things are affordable even for low-budget travellers, because most of Asia is enticingly inexpensive. Western money goes much further here than it does in Africa or South America. Not surprisingly, this has put Asia firmly at the heart of the backpackers¹ trail, and many cities and islands already boast a lively travellers¹ scene, attracting young adventurers from all over the world. Few travellers leave Asia without experiencing at least one of its fabled hot spots: the beaches of Goa, for example; the guesthouses of Kathmandu; or one of Thailand¹s notorious full-moon parties.

However, Asian travelcan also be a shocking and sobering experience. Few people forget their first sight of a shanty-town slum or their first encounter with an amputee begging for small coins. Many first-timers are distressed by the dirt, the squalor, and the lingering smell of garbage and drains in some Asian cities. They get unnerved by the ever-present crowds and stressed out by never being able to mingle unnoticed among them. And then there¹s the oppressive heat to cope with, not to mention the unfamiliar food and often unfathomable local customs. There¹s no such thing as a hassle-free trip and, on reflection, few travellers would want that. It¹s often the dramas and surprises that make the best experiences, and we all learn by our mistakes.

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