Our trip to Asia continues in this fourth of a five part series for backpackers travelling through Asia. We left off in part three by talking about getting to India via Nepal or China. India is a vast country that could take a lot of time to see if you want to catch it all in a single trip. Between the distance and the lack of reliable public transportation, you need to plan your time in India wisely.
Time will also be an issue when you are ready to leave India. If you want to continue south through Burma, Thailand and down and Indonesia, plan on at least several more weeks of travel. Remember to save time for China and Mongolia as you make your way back to Eastern Europe. If you are planning to see Japan as well, you will need to add a few more weeks. Suffice to say that this is one backpacking trip that could end up being a lot longer than you originally planned.
Most backpackers are going to want to see Delhi. The nice thing about Delhi is that it is just across the border from Nepal; you can make it your first stop upon entering the country. Delhi is a city that seems to always be in transition. As the old city crumbles and decays, the new Delhi is rising on the other side of town. India's capital is alive with historic sites, monuments, mosques, and markets.
The Taj Mahal and Golden Temple at Amritsar are also must-sees while you're in India. However, do not spend all of your time looking at buildings and monuments. India has plenty of wide-open spaces where you can enjoy nature at her finest. Consider visiting the Ajanta and Ellora Caves and the Kerala Backwaters.
As we mentioned previously, you will have some decisions to make when you're ready to leave India. Assuming time is not an issue for you, the next leg of your trip can take you through Bangladesh, Burma, and Thailand. From Thailand you can make your way eastward through Cambodia and Vietnam, or continue heading south into Malaysia and Indonesia.
A southern journey will require you take a boat trip when you are ready to return to the mainland. Nevertheless, that's okay, as it gives you an opportunity to see some of Indonesia's smaller islands and the Philippine islands as well. Regardless of whether you travel east or south, you will want to begin the final leg of your trip in southern China. As with India, China is a vast country that you will find difficult to fully appreciate in a single trip, unless you have months to work with.
Here's where we'll end part four of this series. In the next article, we will finish up by looking at China and a couple of your other options. Between now and then, get plenty of rest and make sure your camera has fresh batteries. The last leg of our trip will be exciting.