To celebrate the 1 year mark of the site being opened, I thought it would be good to update my itinerary to include some of my more ambitious goals that now seem like a distinct possibility. Prior to this entry, my itinerary only included about 10 months worth of destinations. Part of this was because I was unsure of funding, and the other being that I flip flopped between multiple regions before finally deciding on a tentative route. Now that funding seems to be working out as I hoped, the itinerary can be updated to reflect it.After much thought, the newest projected itinerary with tentative cities is listed as follows:
Japan (30 days): Tokyo, Mt Fuji, Nikko, Nagano, Nagoya, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Hatsukaichi, Osaka, Nara, Kobe
China (21 days): Beijing, Datong, Xi’an, Shanghai, Chongqing, Yichang, Guangzhou, Yangshou, Guilin
Hong Kong and Macao (7 days): Hong Kong and Macao
Vietnam (21 days): Sapa, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Min City, Cu Chi
Cambodia (10 days): Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Angkor Wat, Sihanoukville
Laos (10 days): Don Khon, Luang Prabang, Vientiane
Thailand (35 days): Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Surat Thani, Koh Samui, Ko Pahngan, Ko Tao, Krabi, Phuket, Patong, Kho Phi Phi
Malaysia (14 days): Pulau Penang, Georgetown, Cameron Highlands, Ringlet, Kuala Lumpur, Melaka
Singapore (7 days): Singapore, Sentosa Island
Indonesia (21 days): Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Denpasar, Bali and Sumatra regions
India (30 days): Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kanha National Park, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Varanasi, Mumbai, Udaipur
Nepal (30 days): Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lukla, Everest (18 day base camp trek), Chitwan, Pokhara, Bandipur
United Arab Emirates (7 days): Dubai, Abu Dhabi
Brazil (18 days): Iguazu Falls, Sao Paulo, Curitiba, Paraty, Ilha Grande, Niteroi, Buzios, Rio de Janeiro
Argentina (21 days): Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, Bariloche, Mendoza, Salta, Cordoba, Cafayate, Purmamarca
Chile (14 days): Easter Island*, Santiago, Valparaiso, Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas, Vina del Mar
Bolivia (14 days): Potosi, Uyuni Salt Flats, Sucre, Cochabamba, La Paz, Copacabana
Peru (18 days): Lima, Machu Picchu, Lares trek (if available), Cuzco, Iquitos, Puno/Lake Titicaca, Nazca
Ecuador (7 days): Guayaquil, Quito
Galapagos (10 days): Isabela, Santa Cruz, Puerto Ayora, Baltra, Seymour, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno
—-Extended Travel Possible Here, See Below—
Mexico (10 days): Cancun, Chichen-Itza, Tulum, Playa del Carmen
*Easter Island I am still including as a possibility. I’ve seen airfare tickets as low as $400 round trip. If I can get something around $400 mark and am still in budget, I will go. It will be removed to save money if tickets for the time I am in Santiago are around $1000 as is about average.
The route would be completed in approximately one year. Most of the cities listed on here are just ideas on places to see. Ideally I would like to have 2-3 days in each city, plus one day of travel to move from place to place and get my bearings. We’ll see if I can keep that pace as time goes on, but as of now, I think its a good one. Some I might only spend 2 days at, and some might be a day trip away from a bigger city [Nara and Kobe from Osaka, for example]. Others I might spend longer at [Beijing and Tokyo are a couple], while a few will only be used as a connection point between two areas. Knowing me, I will likely want to slow down over time, which would possibly make this itinerary take longer, and eat into the budget. However, if I go the predicted pace and stay within a relative budget that I set up, I will continue overland from Ecuador all the way to Mexico while visiting some of the following places:
Colombia (7 days): Cali, Bogota
Panama (7 days): Panama City, Colon, David, Boquete, San Blas Islands
Costa Rica (7 days): Puerto Viejo, San Jose, La Fortuna
Nicaragua (7 days): Isla de Ometepe, Granada
Honduras (10 days): Tegucigalpa, La Ceiba, Roatan, Copan
Guatemala (10 days): Antigua, Guatemala City, Flores, Tikal
Belize (10 days): San Ignacio, Belize City, Caye Caulker, Ambergris Caye
I will be the first to admit, this list is very ambitious. I may not be able to do all of this, since the grand total is around 413 days minimum at ~3 days per city with a transport day in between. Ending the adventure with Central America is a bit two fold in terms of planning the itinerary. One – it is cheap. I hope to find great deals to go see most of these countries cheaper than the daily budget planned for the other countries. Two – if I run low on money, a one way plane ticket to somewhere near home will be under $200 regardless of where I am at. This would allow me to travel longer on a limited budget that would come at the end of the trip, without the paranoia that could arise when thinking about possibly running out of money. Expect a post regarding this in the near future.
The complete itinerary would loosely put me on a schedule as follows:
Mid-August – Leave for Japan
Christmas – Golden Triangle / Chiang Mai, Thailand
My 25th Birthday [March 29]- Kathmandu / Everest Base Camp Trek
Mid-May 2011 – Arrive in Brazil
August 2011 – Galapagos
October+ 2011 – Arrive Home!
This would put me at great times for all weather patterns, easier ability for people to visit at certain times of the year, and I would love to have my 25th birthday gift to myself be trekking to Everest Base Camp with a view of the worlds tallest mountain in the distance. My Asian itinerary will probably not be as flexible as it could be in South America since I am including practically every major city in those countries. I would rather see everything in one country and miss a country completely than go halfway and see them all. So if that means staying longer and missing out of Latin America, so be it.
That is the new plan. My budgets for previous trips have taught me that I am pretty good in planning what is necessary for $$, so I feel like this itinerary is feasible at my current savings rate. Since there is 10 1/2 months left before I go, this route is still subject to change, but it is what I am sticking to for now!
In order to reflect some of the new itinerary, some of the previous entries such as budget and attractions will be updated accordingly over the coming weeks to reflect the new plan. After, I will begin individual country spotlights to give more detail in the regions I am looking at traveling counting down the final months until the adventure begins!