I’m going on a major trip next year, overland, mostly by train, to Thailand, It’ll take me about a month to get there, what with stopping on the way. I’ll be in Thailand getting to know my small nephew and meeting up with his mother again. On the way I plan to stop in Warsaw, Vitebsk (Belaruss, date and accommodation fixed with the lovely @seren ), St Petersburg, Moscow, Ulaan Batoor (capital of Mongolia), Beijing, Wuhan then down to Thailand. On my way back I’ll be in Wuhan again, then Shanghai and then onto Japan (ferry) to do a pilgrimage around one of the islands (700 miles, 2 months, next October/November time). Ferry to Vladivostok and train back. Possibly Finland and Scandinavia on the way back.
So, I’ll be leaving here at the start of March. It’ll be COLD til I get to southern China, but HOT in Thailand and COLD in Japan.
So what do I need to know?
What should I take, bearing in mind I have to carry everything and I’m fairly newly diagnosed with osteoporosis?
What should I see in these places?
Do you have any friends/colleagues/relations/recommendations for places to stay?
All help and advice gratefully received, but possibly ignored.
My brother spends a fair bit of time in Thailand, but he tends to arrange it at short notice. Once it’s closer to you being there, I could let him know your dates and see if he will be there at the same time. He knows quite a bit of the country, and speaks some Thai as well.
Are you taking anything for the osteoporosis? @AnthonyCusack is obviously more clued up that I am, but HRT was supposed to help, as well as a calcium rich diet! Have a great time! You have GUTS!!!
Do try to send us updates on your travels, Give my very best wishes to @seren, I am imagining you chatting away in Welsh in Belarus!!
Going to see the practice nurse in the New Year to talk vaccinations and whether I can get 9 months of Alendeonic Acid and AdCal tablets to tale wirh me, or if I need to acquire as I’m going along. Shouldn’t need too much in the way of vaccinations as I did the majority of the trip in 2013. That trip I was accompanied by various young relations so I’m not being that brave by doing again what I did before.
Definitely going to be speaking Cymraeg gyda @seren, if only to confuse her English students!
I’m not sure whether you know about these already, but when I heard “train”, I thought of The Man in Seat 61 as well as the European Rail Timetable.
I’m not sure how much of the journey you have planned out already or whether you already have a trusty travel agency that will sort it all out for you, but seat61.com has information in train travel in all sorts of places, and the ERT (by some of the people who used to work on the fabled Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable) has, well, train times. And despite the name, each monthly edition has supplements for one extra-European geographical area and I believe the semiannual roundups have all those monthly extras, so will definitely also have Asia. (Though not at the level of local detail that they do Europe in.) Also available electronically if you want to save weight.
You can gain an awful lot. You see parts of the world that the Internet can not explain, like the heat and smell of places. You can hear the voices that sound so much more human in real life.
The colours of the sun on local shops or rolling hills. It looks very different no matter how high the definition of your screen.
Keyboard warriors can lose the sense of human conversation. So of course travellers gain more than perusing tourist information pages. How do you taste authentic food sat behind a screen? We all know nationality returaunts do a good job but don’t quite replicate the authentic locally bought produce.
Culture is so much more than information and information (and misinformation) is all you can hope to get from the Internet.
As I said, the main point is to see my small nephew and his mother. My brother died living and working in Thailand, leaving a pregnant Thai girlfriend. While there are other family members in Britain for various reasons they can’t or don’t keep contact but I’m lucky enough to be able to. The girlfriend has suggested arriving for Thai New Year and staying till August, the 5th anniversary of my brother’s death.
I choose not to fly, on environmental grounds.
My other brother lives, and has done so for more than 10 years, in Wuhan. The train from Beijing to the south of China goes through his city. Of course I’ll stop there.
My interest in long distance walking and pilgrimage is long standing. If I’m going to be in Asia anyway, the 88 temple pilgrimage in Japan seems a ‘sensible’ adventure to have.
Familiar with seat 61, but the european rail time table is new to me. Thank you.
I’m getting an agency to deal with the visas, but I’m going to deal with the tickets on line and collect locally. Things have changed in three years and, because I’ve been before, are not quite so scarey.
As I think has been made sufficiently clear to you, this is not how we talk to each other on this forum. Please consider this a final warning - further pointlessly negative contributions and unnecessary personal comments will persuade me that you don’t intend to make the effort to fit in with this community.
My intention was to leave this community which IMO is just a front from your money-making activities, although there are a few nice folk here, HenDdraig being one IMO.
I have been prevented for editing or removing my posts from this site, so until you allow me to ¨clean up my mess¨ you are stuck with me. If you wish me gone, please delete all my posts. I regret that I cannot tolerate an environment where free speech is censored.
It seems you’re neither a very happy nor a very friendly person.
[For other readers: after Iestyn had to give HowlsedhesServices a temporary ban for being extremely rude to Mererid (which could itself quite easily have been a permanent ban), he then decided to leave an aggressive and unpleasant 1 star review on my book about learning Welsh, and to post comments attacking people who had left positive reviews - apparently in order to try and reduce the overall 5 star rating the book had at that point, perhaps because he was offended that it wasn’t free. No, I’m not sure why, either!]
I don’t really know what we’ve done to offend you, Keith, but I think you’ve been rather dishonest. You’ve not asked us any questions about the SSi Method on the forum, but you’ve made deliberately misleading statements about it in your Amazon review. If your idea of ‘free speech’ had been a debate with us about the method, you would have been warmly welcomed - we always value debate - but since your idea of ‘free speech’ is that you should have the right to be rude to others, I have no further hesitation in banning you.