Travelling is always fun. However, when it comes to packing your luggage, it takes time and could also be frustrating.
“Everything you own must be able to fit inside one suitcase; then your mind might be free ~Charles Bukowski”
Since we can’t resist traveling, even though I am not traveling, I am still writing a travel blog. Throughout the years, I’ve gained some experience on how to pack tight and light fo different travel purposes (either it is for leisure travel, business trip, weekend getaway or short trip). I used the same method to pack my stuff easily.
Let’s get straight to the point: Every time when I start packing, I started to recall my daily routine, from wake up > brush teeth > face wash > shower > skincare > dress up and etc.
What do you need in Travel Packing List?
I have summarised the (basics) necessary packing list in these two pictures which divided into 3 parts :
1) Face & Hair 2) Upper Body 3) Lower Body
How to Organise Your Travel Luggage?
It is always a good idea to travel light and as a girl, however, as a girl, we tend to bring a lot of stuff (even just for a short trip). XD I remembered I was once brought two pieces of luggage just for one week trip.
Life is all about learning right?
Lesson learned and still learning. 🙂 Learn how to pack smart is crucial especially for backpackers like us since we would need to carry your backpack wherever we go.
Below I would like to share with you a few useful and recommended accessories/tools you could pack your stuff smarter and easier.
1) Travel Packing Bags
It helps to pack your stuff neatly. You may arrange and categorize your clothing/skincare products into different bags, it comes with sizes of S, M, L, XL, XXL
P/s: Above recommendations were base on my own experience and own research, for those who would like to know more about travel merchandise, you may visit: www.waradise.com A platform created to showcase various accessories and tools for all travel lovers out there.
Love the products? Recommend to your fans & friends and get the reward when they shop online: click here
After 2 days 1 night in Katoomba, I took another 2 hours train ride back to the central station.
It is always convenient to check the train arrival time (from google map) before heading to the train station to avoid waiting at the train station for an hour.
I took the 620pm train where it arrived central at 821pm. From the central station, change another train at Platform T4, then 5 stations to stop at Bondi Junction Station. From there, take another bus ride (No. 380, Stand B), 13 stops, 11 minutes to arrive at Bondi Beach, Stand C bus stop.
Good Tip: If you are unsure where to change the train or bus, it is always good to ask people around. Most of the time people are willing to help.
The bus arrived at 905pm and stopped right in front of the hostel: Noahs Bondi Backpackers
Good Tip: As a female traveller, I always search for the strategic location for accommodation which means easy to access and within walking distance from public transport.
Furthermore, the hostel is just right in front of Bondi beach. I walked around the beach area and enjoyed the night view here:
BONDI ICEBERGS CLUB:
“Located at the southern end of Bondi Beach, Bondi Icebergs Club is an international landmark, and no trip to Sydney is complete without a visit to our pool and clubhouse.
Bondi Icebergs has been the home of Winter swimming since 1929 and our famous pool is open to visitors all year round. Located above the pool, our fully licensed clubhouse is open to both members and guests, and all visitors are welcome to enjoy sweeping views over the pool and Bondi beach as they drink or dine on our sunny balcony.” – icebergs.com.au
night viewThe famous Bondi Baths have been a historical landmark of Bondi Beach for over 100 years.
POOL ADMISSION ENTRY FEES
Child (12 years & under) $5.50
Seniors Card Holders $5.50
Family (2 Adults & up to 3 Children): $24
Yoga Entry: $8
Locker Hire: $3
Towel Hire: $4
Learn to Swim Spectator: $4
For more information: https://icebergs.com.au/swimming-pool/pool-sauna/
DAY 5: BONDI BEACH
I spent most of my day in Bondi beach on day 4 and Intan decided to join me at Bondi beach. The hostel has a nice big balcony which allows the guests to chill at the area.
A coastal walk from the Bondi to Coogee is also another popular activity in Bondi. It is six kilometers long and takes about two hours to complete the whole trail and you will get to enjoy the beautiful coastline vistas and cozy beaches.
It is advisable to walk in the early morning to avoid sunburn. Or else remember to bring the hat and sunscreen.
We stopped at the Tamarama Beach Sydney and had some fun and a great time here:
During lunchtime, we have decided to try out the well-known Hurricane’s Grill in Sydney:
No doubt, it is the “Best pork ribs in Sydney!”
After lunch, we were back to the Bondi beach and enjoyed the sunbath.
It is time to leave the beach and heading back to the city area. For the next two days, I have reserved the 2 remaining stays at Redfern. This area is an inner-city suburb of Sydney and it is located 3 kilometers south of the Sydney central business district. I have been hearing different reviews about Redfern and I’ve searched the area that that would be interested to explore:
“I’ve been told that the Sydney suburb of Redfern, the long-time home to many Aboriginal people, has changed. I’ve been asked if Redfern is safe. It is a few years since I have been here and I have come to see for myself. As I leave Redfern Station, I silently acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land and pay my respects to Elders past and present.”
As usual, it is always good to use common sense and guts feeling whenever you decided to adventure something.
It started to rain heavily during my last two days in Sydney. However, it did not stop me to explore around the city.
Day 6: REDFERN – UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY – OPERA HOUSE
When the heavy downpour stopped, I started to walk around Redfern area in the early morning.
Views from Redfern along the way to the University of Sydney:
UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
It is worth to pay a visit to the University of Sydney since it was:
-Established in 1850
-Australia’s first University
-One of the world’s leading, comprehensive research and teaching institutions.
-Ranked in the top 50 universities in the world
From the University of Sydney, I used the google map to find a way back to the central district:
The final stop was to see through the Sydney Opera House with closed eyes.
The weather was gloomy and drizzling during the evening time.
I gave a quick walk to The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney which was just right next to Sydney Opera House.
That pretty much summed up my trip to Sydney.
How did I feel about Sydney?
Sydney is a high living expenses city, however, there were many nice, cheap and free things you could do in Sydney. Do your own research and plan your trip nicely, you would not need to need to have a high budget to travel around the city. Aside from the town, it is recommended to spend a few days in the countryside. If you have noticed, most of my travel focus is on sightseeing, understanding the local cultures and take a chance to interact with the locals and meeting new people.
That is also one of the reasons why I enjoyed traveling alone.
EXPENSES (Conversion rate: AUS 1: MYR 3)
Hostel: AUD 166.78 Food: AUD 70 Transportation: AUD 60 Flights: Average RM1100 – RM1500 (return tickets)
RM422 (1 way from KL -Sydney, 20 kg check-in luggage) – Air Asia
RM270 (1 way from Sydney to Melbourne comes with 10 kg check-in luggage) -Tiger Air
RM 990 (1 way from Melbourne back to KL, 20 kg check-in luggage) – Air Asia
Total: RM890 + RM1500 = Approximately RM2300 (For 6 days 5 nights trip)
DAY 2: ROYAL NATIONAL PARK – WEDDING CAKE ROCK- NORTH CRONULLA BEACH
DAY 3: I’M FREE WALKING TOURS SYDNEY – MANLY BEACH – KATOOMBA
DAY 4: BLUE MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK- THREE SISTERS – BONDI JUNCTION – BONDI ICEBERGS CLUB:
DAY 5: BONDI BEACH – COASTAL WALK FROM BONDI TO COOGEE – TAMARAMA BEACH – REDFERN
DAY 6: REDFERN – SURRY HILLS – UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY – VICTORIA MARKET – OPERA HOUSE – ROYAL BOTANIC GARDEN
DAY 7: SYDNEY DOMESTIC AIRPORT – MELBOURNE
Sydney is situated on Australia’s east coast and it is the state capital of New South Wales.
Everyone said Sydney is an expensive city, no doubt the cost of living here is high. My Sydney trip was mainly focused on sightseeing and exploring free things to do here.
I started to track the flight ticket price since a half year ago before my trip starts:
My Flight ticket:
RM422 (1 way from KL -Sydney, 20 kg check-in luggage) – Air Asia
RM270 (1 way from Sydney to Melbourne comes with 10 kg check-in luggage) – Tiger Air
RM 990 (1 way from Melbourne back to KL, 20 kg check-in luggage) – Air Asia
Total Flight Fares = RM 1682
Since I was visiting both cities of Sydney and Melbourne, here is a brief history between Sydney – Melbourne rivalry:
“There has been a long-standing rivalry between the cities of Sydney and Melbourne, the two largest cities in Australia. The rivalry between the cities was the reason that neither Sydney (the oldest and now largest city) nor Melbourne (the largest city at the time) was chosen as the capital of Australia when the nation was federated in 1901. Because of this disagreement, section 125 of the Australian Constitution specified that Melbourne would initially serve as the seat of government on a temporary basis, while the permanent capital of the new Commonwealth must be located within the area of New South Wales but at least 100 miles from Sydney. This city became Canberra.” ~ Wikipedia
It is a useful and convenient card to be used for public transports access. You may get the card once you have arrived at the airport.
Tip: For Opal Card, apparently after you have used $15 a day it is free. So you can use ferries (check which ones) buses metro etc all day and that saves you an awful lot of money.
As mentioned previously, On every Sunday, the public fares only cost AUS 2.70 per trip for the whole day.
I took TELSTRA prepaid plan after comparing with other TELCO offer packages. You may compare all different packages at the airport.
DAY 1: CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT
From KL to Sydney it took 8 hours 25 mins on way. I arrived at Sydney airport at the local time around 820 pm. It’s rather a convenience from the airport to the city centre by taking public transport. I took the train (one-way costs $14.30) which only took 20 minutes to arrive at Sydney Central Business District aka CBD which is the main commercial centre of Sydney, the state capital of New South Wales.
Tip: For safety purpose, as a solo female traveller if you are arriving your destination at night/midnight time, it is always good to book the accommodation which is easy access by the public transport and it is within walking distance from the bus stop/ train station.
During my travel time, most of my accommodation was booked via www.booking.com
I chose Big Hostel at that time as the location was rather a convenience, furthermore, they provide complimentary breakfast and kitchen utensils in this hostel which able us to prepare our own meals during our travel time.
There was nothing much I have done on day 1 due to the long flight and it was already late night here. Most major shopping centres close at 5 pm every day, with the exception of one night a week with what is so named ‘late night shopping’.
DAY 2: Royal National Park -Wedding Cake Rock
Prior to Sydney, I have searched online and looked for group activities that I could join when I was there. I like using Couchsurfing and Meetup apps to get to meet new friends.
Finally, I managed to know a girl from Indonesia who will be coming to Sydney the same week as me. She invited me to join a group trip to Royal National Park together with other travellers.
I met the team in the morning and in total 5 of us drove all the way to the Royal National Park. Initially, the group wanted to explore both wedding cake rock and Figure 8 Pools at Royal National Park Sydney. However, the road to Figure 8 Pool was closed.
If you plan to reach the park via public transport, I read somewhere. It requires you to catch the ferry from Cronulla to Bundeena (25 minutes trip and another 30 minutes’ walk through the village of Bundeena to get to Beachcomber Avenue.)
Trekking to Wedding Cake Rock
It was an easy trail to walk into wedding cake rock and it’s a good exercise for all age group. Just remember to apply sunblock to prevent sunburn. Views along the way:
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) have fenced off the actual rock for safety purpose.
North Cronulla Beach
We arrived at Cronulla which is a beachside of the suburb of Sydney :
After the dinner, while most us already feel tired but there were two of them still trying to persuade to explore the nightlife in Sydney. I decided to go back to the hostel early and join the Free city tour tomorrow morning instead.
DAY 3: I’m Free Walking Tours Sydney
Another traveller, Intan that I have met yesterday decided to go together with me for the free city tour.
1030am city tour and it took about 3 hours to walk around the city.
Tip: Remember to wear a comfortable shoe and prepare some money (as a tip) for the tour guide to appreciate his efforts and hard work of touring us around the city.
As mentioned previously, On every Sunday, the public fares only cost AUS 2.70 per trip for the whole day. Yes, it is only available every Sunday. We took this chance to take the ferry to Manly beach (where on a normal day it costs AUS $15 per trip).
It took 30 minutes ferry trip to reach the Manly town. Both of us were spontaneous enough to buy a set of bikini and took tons of pictures at the beach.
Thanks to Intan for the impromptu suggestion and it turned out a great memory for both of us.
Lastly, we took a Thai food since she missed Asian and spicy food a lot (she is currently a graduate student in Canberra)
Even though it was not a cheap meal here but we had a great time at Manly town.
Once I was back to the town, I went to the hostel and took my backpack and took a night train all the way to Katoomba for a 1-night stay at the mountain area. Again, it is worth to take the train to Katoomba since it only cost AUS 2.5 one way up to the mountain.
Tip: Remember to check the train schedule and departure time online (use google map), so that you know what time you should reach the train station. It will take 2 and 1/2 hours to arrive at the station and it was almost 1130pm when I arrived. The place was super quiet, to be honest, it was a bit scary at night and I had to walk for 5 minutes to arrive at the hostel.
However, once I have reached the hostel, I feel everything was worth and I wished I could stay there longer. I even checked online if I could extend one more night here and postpone my stay at Bondi tomorrow instead.
Anyway, it was another great day.
It was a quiet and refreshing early morning. The lovely host greets me nicely and mentioned if I would like to extend 1 more night at the hostel since I arrived late last night. Or else she mentioned I could stay at her place till late at night and catch the night train to Bondi beach instead.
The hostel provides a simple breakfast.
It was so nice till I tried to pour the second oats and made a mess where I dropped the whole muesli on the floor. I was shocked and screamed. Most of the other travellers were laughing.
The host was kind enough did not scold me and helped me to clean up my mess. What a wonderful way to start my day XD
Later, I tagged along other two travellers to walk up to Blue Mountain Park which takes about 20-30 minutes of walking from our hostel.
“The Three Sisters are an unusual rock formation in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia, on the north escarpment of the Jamison Valley. They are close to the town of Katoomba and are one of the Blue Mountains’ best-known sites, towering above the Jamison Valley. Their names are Meehni (922 m), Wimlah (918 m), and Gunnedoo (906 m).”
After visiting the three sisters, I have decided to go back to the hostel and have some private time for reading and meditation.
I have decided to take the 630pm trip back to the central and transferred to Bondi Junction.
It was another great weekend that I decided to join the Top View Philippines 2 days 1-night tour to Baler trip.
Baler is a small town in Aurora province on the east coast of Luzon in the Philippines. Baler is situated in the northeast of Manila and distance is about 231km from Metro Manila and took about 6 hours driving distance to reach here.
We departed on Saturday midnight at 12 am and in total 11 of us in a van. The journey would be accessed via a mountain pass hence the roads were curved.
According to Baler history, there was a Tsunami “Tromba Marina” demolished the town on the 27th of December 1735. Many people have been killed by the disaster and there were only 7 families survived. The seven families who were survivors climbed to the top of a hill which today is called Ermita Hill.
This was the first stop of our trip to visit the biggest Balete tree in Asia. According to Wikipedia, “Balete tree is the several species of the trees in the Philippines from the genus Ficus that are broadly referred to as balete in the local language.”
Apparently, this is a 600-year-old Balete Tree and it is also known as The Millenium Tree.
2) Ditumabo Falls/Mother Falls
After taking numerous photos at the first stop, finally, the group decided to head to Ditumabo Falls a.k.a. Mother Falls.
It required 30 minutes trekking / casual walk to enjoy the waterfall. It is advisable to wear the waterproof sandal since you will across many small streams.
Entrance Fee: 30 PHP ( 0.50 USD) & 200 PHP (3.70 USD) for group tour guide
3) SABANG BEACH
It was a tired afternoon after a long journey to Baler and had fun at the mother waterfalls. We checked in our accommodation at Sabang Beach. There are many accommodation options you could choose on the beach side, you could search more on Agoda website etc.
People said:” A Baler trip would not be completed without giving a try on surfing.”
If you are a first timer for surfing, this is the best place for you to pick up the surfing skill. Furthermore, the price is rather cheap which costs 300PHP (5 USD) only for 1-hour class with the local surf coach + Surfboard
Had a great time with this group of people
When you were on the beach, all you need is to be laid back and also don’t forget to enjoy the sunrise view. Woke up at 5 am ++ if you do not want to miss this beautiful sunrise view.
4) Historical Walking Tour in Baler Town
Baler is a town full of historical story. When you are in the town, take a look and walk around :
Quezon memorial park
Museo de Baler *The opening hours only during weekdays. Saturday and Sunday are closed
Dona Aurora Quezon house
5) Hanging bridge
A hanging bridge that allows you take some nice photo shoots. The bridge was made of wood and if you are not afraid of height, have a try walking across it.
6) Ermita Hill
As mentioned earlier, it was only 7 families survived during the tsunami in 1735. They went up to the hill and managed to escape. Ermita Hill is one of the highest places in Baler.
Going up to the hill is not that difficult, you just need to walk up around 250-300 concrete stairs to reach the big cross.
You get to see a great view of the ocean and the mountains in Baler.
7) PAGASA Baler Radar Station
This is one of the weather stations which allowed PAGASA (The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) to collect the data used for weather forecasts and predictive purposes against natural disasters.
8) Diguisit Beach
Next stop was at the Diguisit beach which is only 15 minutes driving distance from Baler town. People come here not to surf or swim, but to explore around the rock formations in Aniao Islets, which was amazing!
No doubt, this is another good photography spot for Instagram posts.
Here came to the end of my Baler trip and if you like to join some outdoors activities, I would recommend Top View Philippines travel group which guide by a young team. Especially thanks to Maryse who organised this trip and thanks for the group who brought a lot of laughter and sweet memories during the trip. Hope to join other events in the near future. 😊
Below is the itinerary which organised by Top View Philippines Travel Group.
Event Fee: 1,800 PHP ( USD 33)
11:00 pm – Meetup@ McD Panay Avenue
12:00 am – ETD to BaLer
6:00 am – Breakfast on Pax Account
7:00 am – Start of tour
*Giant balete tree (oldest balete tree in Asia)
8:00 am – Ditumabo Falls/Mother falls
12:00 NN – Lunch on Pax Account
@famous seafood resto/Baler surfer grill/yolly’s seafood resto.
1:00 pm – Historical Tour
*Quezon memorial park
* Museo de Baler
* Baler Marker
* Baler Church
* Dona Aurora Quezon house
2:00pm – Hanging bridge
2:30pm – Ermita hill
3:30pm – Sabang beach Surfing
5:00pm – Check inn Accomodation
6:00am – Breakfast on pax Account
7:00 am- Eco strip tour
*Diguisit Rock formation
*Baler Radar station
11:30am -Lunch on pax account
12:30pm – Checkout Accomodation
1:00pm – Free time for own leisure
3:30pm – Souvenir shopping
4:00pm – Departure to Manila
* private Van RT (Manila- Baler- Manila)
( GL Grandia )
* Transient accomodation
All entrance fees
*Ditumabo falls PHP 30/head plus guide fee
*Surfing lesson with a surfing instructor
*Board rental 200-300/head
Things to Bring:
Thank you www.escapewriters.com came out with the topic of solo female travel. In fact, travelling alone is not as scary as you thought. Here is my solo travel experience that I would like to share with my readers:
My name is SuMei and I am from Malaysia. I started my solo travel blog when I’ve decided to quit my previous job and started to travel as a Solo female traveller since last year October 2017 and it was a 4 months trip where I have been to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Currently, I have started a new job and base in the Philippines for a few months.
How were others reaction when you declared about your decision of solo travelling?
Some were surprised and most of my close friends supported me to so. YOLO and thanks to my supportive parents where they trusted and allowed me to travel by myself.
How many places have you explored until now? Which one is your most favourite and why?
I have visited in the total of 20 countries as of the year 2018. I like Laos the most as the country is beautiful, laid back and people just know how to enjoy life over there.
What is on your bucket list? Your dream place to visit. Any travel destination you would suggest for a female solo traveller.
I would like to visit and explore South America in the near future and as a start, for a female solo traveller, I will suggest going to Japan which is a relatively safe country to travel alone. I had a great time over there.
How do you do planning and budgeting for any trip?
Before I go on a trip, I will do research about the particular country. The expenses and the current situation in the country. And of course will check out the accommodation from hostelworld, Airbnb etc. I found workaway website is meaningful and beneficial to the budget traveller like us. I got to know a lot of local people and stayed with them during my solo travel time which was another different/ great experience.
How do you beat loneliness while travelling? Tips to make local friends or get a group of company.
In life, we can’t avoid loneliness even when we are not travelling. I do enjoy the solo time which allows me to listen myself more, ignore others feedback. Try to enjoy the ME time. Meanwhile, of course, you could use various applications to meet up with other travellers including Couchsurfing, meet up and even staying at the hostel you will get the chance to meet a lot of mutual interest people. To be honest, I really enjoy travel alone where I got to know more new friends and new exposure by myself!
Do you remember any crazy thing that happened to you while travelling?
When I was travelling to Japan alone and met my US host which he sent me to Mt. Fuji in the midnight and I just tagged along with other Japanese to reach the peak of Mt.Fuji. The whole journey took me about 14 hours back and forth and it was indeed a crazy adventure with all the people I have met there!
There are many other stories during my solo trip and I just enjoy creating more stories during my travel time!
Your backpacking tips for other women. Just pick 5 must-have items you would love to have in your travel bag.
Well in order to avoid the bad experience, try to use common sense not to go out at night alone if you feel the place is not safe. Listen to your intuition and six sense, if you do not comfort to the particular things, dare to say NO!
Do you think male solo traveller are easily accepted?
In my opinion, the male solo traveller is still easier to travel compared to Female due to social perception. However, ignore the norm which had set by the society, just enjoy yourself! Do whatever you like!
Any advice or word of motivation you would like to give to other women who have a dream to be a solo traveller just like you?
Dare to go with your dream. When your mind wanted to do something and you keep thinking instead of taking action, it will forever be stuck in your mind. Just go ahead and dare to do it! Join the relevant female travel group and get more support from other girls! Remember, we are always there for you.
Quy Nhon, a place which was not in my initial Vietnam plan. It was recommended by one of my local friends whom I met back in Dalat, Vietnam.
How To Get There?
Vietnam Airlines offers daily flights from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. There are buses from Dalat, Nha Trang, Danang and Hoi An.
I took a sleeper bus from Dalat to Quy Nhon, where it was a scary bus journey for me. The driver drove pretty fast and perhaps he got used to the road and he is confident with his driving skill but still, I couldn’t sleep well throughout the whole journey though. *The adventure journey has just begun*
I arrived at the bus terminal in the early morning, 3 am. Yes, I was sitting at the bus terminal alone and waiting for my hostel host to pick me up in the early morning at 6 am. Meanwhile, there was an old local man sitting alone at the bus terminal. As soon as he saw me, he started yelling things in Vietnamese, which I could not understand at all while walking towards my direction. I was absolutely shocked and frightened because I did not know what his intention was. The situation lasted for an hour before more people arriving slowly to the terminal.In fact the old man’s intention was trying to help me.Everyone was curious about where I came from and what had happened. Luckily, one of the staffs at the terminal knew how to speak some basic English so I asked him for his help to contact the hostel owner.
Eventually, my host arrived by his bike and my Quy Nhon trip has started.
WHERE IS QUY NHON
Quy Nhon is the capital of Binh Dinh province situated in Central Vietnam. Binh Dinh is critically known as the land of Martial Arts and has also acquired a very good reputation as the best stopover destination from Nha Trang to Danang/Hoi An and vice versa. However, Quy Nhon is still considered a hidden gem in Vietnam, and yet to be aware by many foreign travelers when visiting Vietnam.
My first impression about Quy Nhon was peaceful vibe. There were not many foreigners and the city seemed to be intact. People living in harmony and their lives are very simple. Although most of the locals did not speak English, they are very friendly and willing to assist you.
Q Inn Homestay
The owner is a very nice guy where he offered to free pick up for a solo traveler from the bus stop to his homestay. He is a generous person where guests are allowed to have the bicycle, laundry, coffee, and eggs without any charges! Furthermore, his place is clean and the living room is lovely! And if you would like to try out some famous local food, he is able to recommend it to you or even buy on behalf of you.
Best place to snap photos and enjoy the breathtaking sceneries of the whole city. It is accessible to travel to the top of Vung Chua mountain by motorbike which takes about 15 minutes from the city center.
Thi Nai Bridge – The longest cross-sea bridge of Vietnam
The bridge is nearly 2.5 km long and it was inaugurated in 2006. It connects the city of Quy Nhon to the Phuong Mai Peninsula with the goal to develop socio-economic programmes of this region.
Tháp Đôi Towers
Located in a park in the center of the city. A quiet place which takes about 10-15 minutes to walk around. Tháp Đôi Towers were built in 11th century by the Hindu Cham people, where was established to declared Vijaya as the emperor capital and Quy Nhon’s port city as its economic engine.
The Entrance fee is 8000 VND.
Queen Beach and Quy Hoa Leper Colony
It takes about 20 minutes from the town to arrive here. A relaxing area where local people enjoying laid back time here.
Bãi Kỳ Co on Phương Mai peninsula
Phuong Mai Peninsula is about 8 kilometers far from Quy Nhon city. It has an extraordinary ecosystem with various plants and beautiful landscapes.
Bai Xep Beach
13km away from south of Quy Nhon, top-ranked beach on TripAdvisor review. This is a fishing village. Recommended accommodation: Life’s a Beach
This coastal city is a paradise for seafood lovers. Enjoy the local food here:
The night market is located at the middle of the town. Many nice and cheap local stuffs you could find it here. Do not expect to find any touristic souvenirs 😂
Quy Nhon is.a special place for me. I did not plan to go there but ended up deciding to visit over ans made some good friends there. At first, I planned to stay for only 2 nights but eventually I extended my stay to 4 nights for the fact that I was in love with the city and needed more time to discover the full potential of the land.
Food was cheap and varied, people here are extremely friendly and helpful even though I struggled with the language barriers.Places were clean and peaceful. I will visit there again if I had another chance in the near future.
Chiang Mai apparently is the largest and mountainous city in the northern of Thailand.
The first time when I arrived at Chiang Mai, I fell in love with the place at the first sight. It is a city but the city not as crowded as Bangkok. It is energetic yet it can be quiet too. These are some of the reasons why I like here.
It is not surprised why many expats and retirees chose to move and settle down here, because of the low-cost living yet you still could remain the good quality of life in Chiang Mai.
What to see and do in Chiang Mai?
Songthaew/ Red Pick Up Truck Taxi
In the total of 5 hours bus journey from Golden Triangle to Chiang Mai, the first transport I used was the local Songthaew where this is a pickup and shared taxi/truck that commonly used in both Thailand and Laos.
Especially in Chiang Mai, Red Pick Up truck taxi is the shared taxi for the passengers who will travel roughly in the same direction. And of course, the price is cheaper.
There are many temples in Chiang Mai. Some of the temples are located in the city centre within walking distance.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
One of the most sacred temples where it is located on top of the mountain.
Entrance fee for the foreigner: 30 Baht per person
You could enjoy the peak view/ whole Chiang Mai view at the top of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
Meet Up with friends
The locals know the best! My local friends brought me to try out the famous Anchan noodles aka blue noodles:
Anchan which means Butterfly-pea flower, the color of the noodles and drinks were made by anchan. That’s why it is in blue color.
Guu Fusion Roti & Tea
Many varieties of Roti here. We were greedy enough to order four plates for 3 persons. 😛
Dinner: Guess how much it costs?
It’s only 180 Baht for all- you- can- eat buffet!
Chiang Mai University
Do you know Chiang Mai University is also a tourist attraction?
At Chiang Mai University lake -Ang Kaew reservoir
Maya Lifestyle Shopping Center
You can walk around and window shop at Maya shopping center area. The Think Park Chiang Mai is also nice to check out.
Chiang Mai Brazilian Jutjitsu
If you want to practice BJJ while travel, there are many BJJ class in Chiang Mai.I went to Chiang Mai BJJ this time. Awesome people here 🙂
Local Night Pub in Chiang Mai
Tried out the new Thailand beer and exotic (crunchy) food here:
I was in Chiang Mai only for 3 days 2 nights. I should have extended the stay longer.There are other many nice places in Chiang Mai such as the National Park, a trip to Pai and etc. etc. which I haven’t got a chance to visit.
In a nutshell, I like Chiang Mai very much.I will definitely be back in one day soon.
The journey continues from the slow boat- Laos to North of Thailand When I’ve arrived in the border of Thailand, it was already evening time and the sky was dark. I have to make a quick decision either to take the mini-van by myself and to meet my workaway host in Golden Triangle. The second was to follow the other travellers to Chiang Rai for one overnight.
After getting the advice from them, I followed the group to Chiang Rai instead (since the cost to go alone to Golden Triangle was rather expensive).
The minivan arrived around the late evening time and it stopped right next to the night bazaar. We were checking out and walk in randomly to any hostel.Eventually, we managed to find a nice and affordable hostel: Sabaijai Hostel which I liked it a lot (clean, spacious and having own privacy) :
There are many ways to go from Laos to Thailand including taking the bus (which takes shorter time). However, you will miss many parts of Mekong river scenery view.
Where to get the slow boat ticket?
It is definitely not hard to book and purchase a ticket. In the downtown centre, there are many travel agents who can arrange the boat ticket for you.
There are two options:
a) You can either buy the boat ticket until Pak Beng(which is the small village allowing travellers like us to rest for one night after 8 hours journey). From there, you may decide to either continue to buy another ticket to continue the slow boat journey or taking a bus to Thailand in the next morning.
b) Book the full ticket to the border of North Thailand. You will still stopover one night at Pak Beng village and the ticket is valid for the next day morning journey to Huay Xai.
Suggestion: I will recommend and suggest to go with the second option as the boat journey is definitely better than a bus trip.
What to prepare before getting on to the boat?
Food is the key! I have to emphasize that you must shop and buy a lot of food at Luang Prabang Night Market before your next early morning boat journey.
Buy some banana, tomatoes, canned meat, cakes, sandwiches, packaged drinks, Maggi noodles, bread, butter, milk, chips and snacks (whichever food can be stored and last for 8 hours)
Because for the next 8 hours, you will only stay on the boat and everything will be done on the boat.
You may buy some food (cup noodles) and coffee on the boat, and of course, the price is slightly more costly. Since that was my first experience, I only managed to grab two banana and chocolate cakes during my travel time.
And I had to buy a Maggi Cup Noodles on the boat, which cost me around USD2 for just a noodles cup. So guys, just remember to prepare and get ready before getting on the boat!
What to do on the slow boat?
There is neither Wifi nor data signal on the boat. So yeah! It is the best time to get rid of the outside for a while!
You can choose to take a nap on the boat (even though there was no bed there, but the seat is good enough to rest and relax). In fact, I slept a lot on the boat because of the relaxing journey.
Eat:Yah! You tend to get hungry easily and eat a lot of food and snacks!
Chat with other travellers
There are many travellers who will travel together to the same destination. You get to meet and share different stories with people from different countries.
Glad to meet the four gentlemen (another gentleman was sleeping) and we got travelled together to Chiang Rai, Thailand.
Got the chance to try out the mate tea from Argentina.
It is also another good option to read some books on the boat.
If you can’t get rid of modern life, you may watch some downloaded movies.
Enjoy the Mekong River view
It was great to get to enjoy the scenic view along the whole journey. The boat stopped at certain points and you may greet the local with smiles! 🙂
After a long half day journey, you will arrive at Pak Beng. This is a village which allows travellers to rest for a night before continuing the next morning journey.
Once you have arrived there, you will get to approach by the local for the accommodation. On average, the cheapest one room per night is around 100,000 which is around USD 12. You may share with another person for one room.
When you arrive there, it is about evening time. You get to clean up yourself and have some dinner at the restaurant in Pak Beng.
For the next morning, you may get to walk around at the village in the early morning. And get yourself ready to buy some food (sandwich and banana etc) and go on the boat again!
The journey will take another 8 hours, that’s where you will arrive at the border of Laos-Thailand. It is almost evening time again.
You can either take the tuk tuk to Huay Xai and stay for another night. Or straight taking the tuk tuk to arrive at the border and taking the minivan to Chiang Mai / Chiang Rai, Thailand
By the time, when you arrive at the border it is already evening time. Hence there was no more public bus. Instead, you have to carpool (minivan)with other travellers who want to go to the same destination.
It was indeed a long long journey, however, I did enjoy myself and my time for the slow boat journey. It gets to relax my mind and away from the modern city life a while.
Hope you will try this journey yourself on next time!
Tips: Remember to change all your Laos Kip at Laos or at the Thai-Laos border. It is hard to exchange Laos Kip to Thai Baht in Thailand. Almost none of the foreign exchange shop accepted Lao Kip.
Alternatively, you may just use Thai Baht currency in Laos because it is accepted in almost everywhere in Laos: click here for proof
For the next post, I will share about Chiang Rai, Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai trip in Thailand. Stay tuned!
All of us like to travel to Thailand especially for food and shopping purposes.
Of course, Bangkok (BKK) is in our top priority list, because it is such an affordable, cheap and a food paradise for everyone.
Lately, I just back from Bangkok Thailand. Since I have been to Bangkok many times and I will be there for workaway about a month. I have decided to explore a new place which is near to Bangkok: Kanchanaburi.
Kanchaburi just takes about 3 hours train/van journey from BKK. In the total of 129 kilometres away from BKK to Kanchanaburi.
What is this place about?
It is a historical place where it is known for the Death Railway, built during World War II.
Numbers of Southeast Asian civilian labourers (Burmese, Chinese, Thai etc.) workers were recruited to build on the Burma railway and has been estimated more than 180,000 labourers, sacrificed and died in its construction.
Sadly to say that as a Malaysian, I only got to know about the history after I have visited this place. I know I am a bit outdated but on another note, is it a time to concern and think about our Malaysian education system?
How to go to Kanchanaburi?
Taking the train from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi, it only costs 100THB one way.
I will recommend you to take the old train from Thonburi station in Bangkok to arrive here. Alternatively, you may choose to go by bus or minivan.
There is only two trains to go Kanchanaburi from BKK (per day) :
HELL FIRE PASS – this is a bit far from the town, you have to take the public transport to go. During my visited, I was lucky enough to meet a good Irish uncle and he offered me a ride to go together with his friends from Scotland.
The museum is free entrance.Afterwards, you may start to track the hellfire pass (in the jungle) :
Along the hell pass fire trek, you will start to relate and understand how suffered the labourers were (without food and water) when building the bridge.
I have visited hell pass fire with the three of them. They gave me a free ride and treated me for free lunch and sent me back to the bus station to BKK.
I was blessed enough to meet them and they did not want anything in return.Nice people are everywhere indeed.
NAM LOK STATION: Taking the train to the last stop, Nam Lok. I did not manage to go this time.Hence there will be some reasons to come back this place?
Kanchanaburi is one of the places that I recommended my friends to visit. It is a lovely and peaceful place. If you’ve ever been here before or planning to go soon, share with me your experience and stories.
Planning a trip to Asia? I have been using this website to book for my Thailand trip -Flight, Bus, Train tickets: click here