Thursday, April 29, 2010

South East Asia in Six Weeks

Despite storm signal no. 2 and the Swine Flu frenzy (it was not called AH1N1 yet), we set off 7th of May last year for our first Southeast Asia backpacking trip together (Shervin and I). A trip that took us to six countries (in order): Malaysia, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia.

Our SE Asia route. Edited by Shervin, map taken from here.

I mentioned Malaysia too many, I know. I wanted it to be chronologically precise. We went through the Malaysian immigration four times in various borders, you should see the darn crowded stamps on my passport.

Those who have been following this blog may be aware that I have already posted articles regarding this epic trip several months ago. Upon readers' requests and suggestions, I will be re-posting a more detailed version of each article so as it can be more helpful to fellow backpackers.

Under a shoestring budget, we spent P49,773.425 ($1,000) each. Yes, it's prodigiously accurate. I've listed down all our expenses which included four plane tickets, my Philippine travel tax, terminal fees, bus and ferry rides, admission fees to national parks/temples/museums, numerous bowls of nasi/mee goreng, my (expensive) cigarettes, cans of soya milk, unfamiliar tea drinks, fridge magnets, Indonesian krupuk (kropek in Philippines), SIM cards, entrance fees to toilets, bottles of beer and so forth. We could have cut down on other costs, but we were way under our estimated budget anyway so we splurged a few times.

If you're willing to rough it a bit, of course this is doable for you too! Bear in mind that our expenses depend on the sacrifices, uhm, choices we make - like entering a famous national park (which might just be similar to other Asian jungles you've already visited) or not, eating dessert after your main course or not, buying a fridge magnet in every country you visit (which I did) or not, drinking a bottle of local beer after a long humid day or not.

Whether you intend to do the same route or visit these countries on separate trips, you might want to check out the upcoming posts. And I really hope that you gain useful tips from what we did right, and steer away from what we did wrong.

So let us begin. Our first stop, Malaysian Borneo.


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chymera00 said...
May 31, 2010 at 8:27 AM

So looking forward to have a read and see your photos.

chymera00 said...
May 31, 2010 at 1:52 PM

I don't know what cigs you're smoking. usually before a trip, I would google the street prices of available cig brands in the places I visit. Found out that most countries in SEA sells cigs like twice or more compared to here. I make sure to know the maximum number of cigs a person can carry past a Country's customs so I can buy (cheap) cig packs in Manila and "baon" it for my trip.

For Thailand, you can carry a maximum of 200 sticks of cigarettes. That's like 10 packs (20s) for P30 (approx 45 baht) each compared to 80 baht per pack in a random 7/11 shop in Bangok.

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
May 31, 2010 at 2:27 PM

I usually brought more than 5 packs. Thing is, I actually wanted to try ciggies from different countries. So there goes part of our budget.

And for this SE Asia trip, I already ran out of 'baon' smokes while in our second country. Haha!

But I've quit... for now (due to pregnancy). I really hope I don't feel the urge to light up again!

chymera00 said...
June 1, 2010 at 9:18 AM

Oh I see. If I was doing a Malaysia-Indonesia trip, I would've done the same thing too :) Like, trying out different kinds of kretek cigs.

It must be hard for you to quit, I know it would need a huge effort of I were to do it. Kudos to you! hehe

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
June 1, 2010 at 3:57 PM

It was actually pretty easy for me. I guess it's the preggy woman's sense of smell. Even before I found out I was pregnant, I already lessened my sticks because I couldn't stand the smoke.

But I MIGHT start smoking again in the future... can't really a promise. Haha! It doesn't help that hubby is so lenient.

Good luck on the quitting too. It is very hard especially while traveling! I love having a drag with beer or a good cup of coffee (and oh my, during rainy days!). Grr, I'm missing it now!

dumboqtpie said...
August 16, 2010 at 6:47 AM

More power to you Gaye !!! Visiting your blog again and will again.


☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
August 16, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Thanks Eddie! Hope we could travel together again. Regards to Ethel. Safe trips!

The SoleSisters said...
September 22, 2010 at 1:18 AM

Wow that is quite a trip! Thanks for the tips and info, really helpful.

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
September 23, 2010 at 6:54 PM

Thanks Chichi and Lois for dropping by! I sure am glad you guys find the info helpful. Cheers to all Pinay wanderers!

Anonymous said...
May 21, 2011 at 2:03 AM

Hi, a new reader here. YOUR ADVENTURES ARE FUCKING AWESOME, imma check your site everyday as I'm a frustrated backpacker!!!

Anyway, I do hope you link the next related blog post on multiple entries such as this one, wouldve been better if we could click-through the Malaysian Borneo word. Cos I really cant find that post. ;p

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
May 21, 2011 at 7:29 AM

Hi! Thanks for visiting. You can use the search field to look for posts. Happy reading!

myalternativelife said...
October 26, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Hey, Great article, just finished my Southeast Asia Backpacking trip and im missing it already!

Check out my blog

For more tips and guides on backpacking in Southeast Asia.


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