As a tourist I don’t usually do a great deal of research in advance. I do like to find out what are some of the most popular tourist destinations. And to look for those things I like a great deal, such as hiking.
I useful find myself with a list of things I want to do and a place to stay. Sometimes I had an idea of where things we located and what might be good to do on the same day. But often, I did not. I would sometimes get a list of good restaurants but I would almost never actually get to them.
I do like walking around in a new city and getting a feel for things. Using a good old fashion map worked for this. But I would often waste a fair amount of time when I got lost. GPS mapping seemed like a perfect solution for my travel needs.
While I have been using the internet a long time, I have never had a smart phone. But I got an iPad mini and decided to test out my idea of using GPS and mapping as I walked around. Looking at the options, I decided I would rather create my own map so I could have the details I cared about.
I tried in out (I bought an iPad mainly for this mapping function but also to use as a book reader) in China (Hong Kong, Guilin, Yangshuo, Yunnan and Shanghai) and it went very well. Here is my map for Shanghai:
See full screen
I am now making Curious Cat Tourist Maps available online. I used Open Maps (and umap) which I am very pleased with (Here is a link to the Curious Cat Hong Kong Tourist map as another example). I can include those items that interest me (tourist destination, lodging, eating and transit) and include background info (like what subway stop for a particular designation etc.).
I have made multi-city reservations in the past and doing so was significantly or marginally cheaper than individual tickets for each leg of the journey.
For my next trip I plan to stop over in Bangkok for several days and then fly up to Chiang Mai, Thailand. The prices of airplane tickets in South East Asia are pretty good in my opinion. And these were fine too.
But I found a multi-city ticket was double what the same sites quote for buying the tickets separately. That seems pretty bizarre to me. I am not really sure what is driving that. I mean I could imagine they get tied up with what airlines will cooperate on the multi-city venture but I figured if none would they would just create an itinerary piecing together unrelated tickets. But that appears not to be true, or something weird is going on. Is this a common thing with multi-city trips in SE Asia?
It is also a joy to fly in South East Asia compared the horrendous mess the USA has made out of air travel. Flying in the USA just keeps getting more and more atrocious. It isn’t like travel in SE Asia is really so wonderful, but in comparison it is.
I prefer Hipmunk. I’ll also try airlines directly. I have read people suggesting Google travel search so I tried that. It did provide one cheaper (10%) flight that Hipmunk missed, otherwise they seem to find identical flights. It does seem like Google’s one is much faster, but I still really like Hipmunk (I would like it even more if I could just register with them and have all my pay, details etc. stored with them and they deal with the airline but even as it is it is decent).
Do people have suggestions about plane reservations in SE Asia? Now that I am going nomad I’ll travel much more. Are you wise to lock things in a month in advance, or what? Any special need to lock things in for the December period in Thailand this year?
Related: Finding Places to Stay to Stay with Decent wifi – Khao Lak, Thailand – Digital Nomad Guide to Chiang Mai