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Pacific-Asia planning help.

Pacific-Asia planning help

To get the most out of a trip to the Pacific Rim of Asia, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific, planning is essential. National tourist offices can answer questions on travel requirements and, in most cases, offer details on accommodations and sightseeing at popular destinations.

Reservations: Do make all reservations--especially for airlines--as far ahead as possible (flights can fill up two months in advance), and reconfirm all flights. A travel agent can help you tailor an itinerary to your time and budget, whether you prefer the structure and convenience of a group tour or the flexibility of travel on your own.

Climate: Monsoons--seasonal winds bringing heavy rains--generally drench tropical latitudes between May and September. Typhoons (hurricanes) can occur in the late summer seasons north of the Philippines and in the South Pacific.

Visas: Few countries require U.S. citizens to have visas; most require only an onward or return ticket and sufficient funds for two weeks or less. Several require that passports be valid for six months after your departure.

Customs: Many nations restrict the export of national treasures. The U.S. restricts the import of products made from endangered animal species.

Time zones: Crossing the International Date Line makes it tomorrow in most of the Pacific. To Pacific Standard Time add 20 hours for New Zealand, 18 for Sydney, 17 for Japan and Korea, 16 for Hong Kong, 15 for Bangkok, Singapore.

Books: For details on countries in three distinct Pacific regions, pick up copies of these Sunset travel guides: Orient (Lane Publishing Co., Menlo Park, Calif. 1988; $10.95), Southeast Asia (1982; $9.95), South Pacific (1987; $15.95).

Two guidebook series do a good job on individual countries. Insight Guides (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.) are colorful and deep in culture, history, and sightseeing information, but thin on lodging and logistics. Lonely Planet Publications (Berkeley) publishes a series of "travel survival kits" useful for budget travel and accommodations.

For tips on inexpensive lodging and offbeat adventures, try the fourth edition of South Pacific Handbook, by David Stanley (Moon Publications, Chico, Calif., 1989; $15.95).
COPYRIGHT 1990 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Pacific Travel Discoveries; includes related article on information service for weather
Date:Feb 1, 1990
Previous Article:Getting to know Southeast Asia's tropical fruits.
Next Article:Sunset as the Magazine of Western Living and The Pacific Monthly.

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