So /trv/... What should you aim for when travelling, specially when backpacking, and with a limited amount of time.
Depth or quantity? As in visiting as many locations as possible, or doing fewer, but throughly.
I'm currently debating on experiencing several countries instead of staying in two, for the span of a month.
That depends entirely on what you want to get out of the trip. Either way is valid, there is no One True Way. There is no "should."
One thing to watch out for is the idea that staying on one side of a border means you got more "in depth" into an area -- sometimes, to get the "in depth" experience it might even be helpful to cross that border.
What about Asia.
I have 15 days, starting in Bangkok, before I start an internship in the UK.
I was thinking about checking out northern Thailand, then heading to Vietnam, and finally Burma. Thing is I saw a thread today where an anon was discussing the same itinerary (minus Burma) in a little less time, and I though that there is a lot to see.
Bangkok already is a huge city with a lot to offer. Not only that, but Chian Mai is close by. Same with Vietnam. Theres Saigon, and Hanoi to see.
I've done both very quick trips to many locations and slower paced visits to just a few, and although I usually prefer fewer places for longer duration, each style has certain advantages. If, for example, you won't be able to travel again for a long time, or you're unlikely to be in a region again, a higher-speed, drive-by sort of travel obviously offers tiny samples of a lot of places. But feeling rushed may make the whole thing less enjoyable.
All other things being equal, I very rarely want to stay less than two nights anywhere, and very rarely do I want to spend less than a week in a country, but I've made many exceptions over the years.
>I have 15 days, starting in Bangkok, before I start an internship in the UK.
>I was thinking about checking out northern Thailand, then heading to Vietnam, and finally Burma. Thing is I saw a thread today where an anon was discussing the same itinerary (minus Burma) in a little less time, and I though that there is a lot to see.
I think fifteen days could scratch the surface of any one of those three countries pretty nicely, especially if you're willing to fly domestically--almost enough time to do three or even four towns justice. For example, you could visit Chiang Mai, a beach, Bangkok, and maybe one other place comfortably enough if rapidly. But it seems very tight for three countries. You could pick one town or site in each country and fly between them and probably have an enjoyable whirlwind trip, but I'm not sure four or five days in a country is worth the visa fee (usually not applicable to Thailand, but most people need to buy visas for VN and Burma). Unless you don't think you'll be back in Southeast Asia for many years if ever, I would encourage you to pick a single country.
>Also, overland travel would make it even less feasible--Bangkok to HCMC is 20+ hrs in a bus (probably across Cambodia, so there's another visa fee).
Or, of course, there's overland travel between Northern Thailand and Northern VN--in that case you're looking at more like 40 hours in buses, across mountainous bits of northern Laos, where the roads are not exactly good.
If you go for the quantity approach it will be better if you research and plan thoroughly before you go, that way you can get the most out of each day and don't lose time trying to figure out what to do after you arrive.
With a month though you can do a bit of both. Spend most of your days getting as much sightseeing in as possible, but set aside a few to spend just staying in one place, getting more experience of what the different lifestyle is like.