Relflection on South East Asia Part 1 Trip

I’m back at home in a typical city environment. The streets are clean and I do feel safer knowing that there is security out there keeping the neighbourhood safe and that people mind their own business. And I don’t have to worry about the budget for the entire day or the next day or till the trip’s over.

No more travelling for now. It’s time to save up for the next one. I need to go again. I enjoyed every single moment writing about what I experienced and getting people to read it. I get to learn from experiences, from the places I visited, from the people I met who have different background, purpose and stories of their own. I am thrilled to be a part of a community in wordpress, that appreciate writers’ effort to share. I thank everyone who liked my posts and even complimented me about it.

Even when I’m not out there, traveling, I am eager to wait for the posts from the people I follow. I want to see what they see outside where I live. I want to travel even when I’m just sitting in front of my computer or holding my handphone. I need to see more, I need to know more. The possibility is endless. It’s exciting.
I thank my two cousins I grew up with for accompanying me during this trip. The two of them has qualities that helped me a lot during the trip. I wouldn’t enjoy the trip by myself. We learned a little more about each other and about ourselves. One of my cousins is the best at bargaining and the other is just simply awesome at keeping our safety during our trip. I do sometimes do things without thinking about the outcome, that other cousin of mine straightened the condition telling me what could’ve happened.
Here is my reflection for my trip to Thailand and Cambodia. I think every thing starts with a dream, plans after plans. Don’t say it’s impossible because that’s just depressing. I encountered many “signs” that could have negatively affected my traveling plans. Firstly dollar price increased. It’s fortunate that I have my savings in SGD. But for my Indonesian cousins, the dollar prices surely affected them by a lot. Luckily they determined to go on with the plan. Secondly, volcanic ash. There is a volcano erupting in North Sumatera where my cousin’s from. His flight to Singapore could’ve been cancelled. Thirdly, we didn’t get the train tickets to go to Bangkok by train, as originally planned. It was the Chinese New Year period. Eventhough I emailed the train company a month before, the tickets were already sold out!

Here are the lessons from my visit to Thailand and Cambodia (some may apply for traveling anywhere):

  1. Taxi in Bangkok try to get the driver to turn on the meter fare. It is so much cheaper that way. If possible, have the route on the map, so the driver doesn’t bring you rounds before arriving at your destination and have you pay extra.
  2. Traveling by tuktuk is at most THB150. Or probably THB200 if it is on peak hours. Just be daring to cut the tuktuk driver’s offer by half. When I wanted to get to our hotel from Chatuchak, the driver offered THB250 which I bargained to THB200 (I did’t dare to bargain so much. Don’t know why). He rejected me at first but I told him I’m taking the BTS instead. He quickly accepted my offer for THB200.
  3. Don’t travel by MRT/BTS if you are in a group. It’s just more worth the money traveling by tutuk for 3 person or taxi for 4 person.
  4. Food is affordable in Bangkok. For THB100 you can eat enough with drinks. It might get a little pricier (US$1-US$3 more) in Cambodia, especially in Phnom Penh.
  5. Think about comfort. Bring along a pillow that goes around your neck to sleep on the bus. It could save your life. Sleeping on the bus is a life saver unless you don’t have that perfect sleeping position. You will have back and neck pain.
  6. Bargain. Especially if yoh are a big spender. If you are not satisfied with the price, leave it. Two things can happen, the seller catches up to you and agrees with your price, which is good, or the seller ignores you totally, then you know your  price is too low.
  7. Buy Visa, for those who need it, from the official. Tour guides may charge you extra. You think it is kncluded in the transport fee, but at the border when entering a country they may ask more to “buy” your visa.
  8. Dont worry. Don’t worry about whether you’re lost or not. You can tag along with many tourists around. If you are a first timer, you’d be surprise that most of them are first timers too.
  9. Sleep on the bus. Get sleeper bus if you wanna save money on your trip when travelling to other town or city.
  10. Choose the best flight time. Think about saving money, like taking the MRT or other more affordable transports to the airport. Don’t book a flight that is too early in the morning that you can’t take the MRT. Or a flight too late that the MRT is already closed.
  11. Plan anyway. Make time to plan. There’s no plan that is too early or too late. A plan is a plan no matter how close the event is. Be comfortable with all the plannings of the trip. It’s a waste of enery worrying about uncertainties.
Taken at Chatuchak Market

Taken at Chatuchak Market

Taken in front of Bapuon, in  Angkor Thom

Taken in front of Bapuon, in Angkor Thom

Taken in front of Wat Phnom

Taken in front of Wat Phnom

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