Lilang’s Payag, Liloan,Cebu


Third weekend in a row visiting far-flung restaurants in the mountains of Metro Cebu.

(1) Nanda Cafe

(2) Citylights Camp & Diner

(3) Lilang’s Payag

This time, we were meeting up with a family we haven’t met since the pandemic started. Unyara had a wonderful time since she has an “Ate” to play with.

Waze led us to some sketchy narrow roads once again. Hahaha! It’s very straightforward if going thru Yati road though!

  • Caption from the husband

Watch it at:

Read details or listen at: link.medium.com/Y3E1jKbSlob

The Leechy Trek to Tinagong Dagat in Mt. Mandalagan, Negros Occidental Day 0/2


So What Do You Think is The Story of How I Ended My Hiatus?

LEECH, no pre-climbs and the threat of menstrual cramps were 3 of my major concerns in trekking Mt. Mandalagan. Yet despite the reservations, my will is bigger than my fears. We already missed Mandalagan in 2013 because I was on a company trip in USA and the then-boyfie-now-husband didn’t want to go without the annoying me. Sweet! So without further ado when the opportunity presents itself, I shared it to the husband. Since I received Christ, being a good and submissive wife has become a goal. Nowadays, unlike before, instead of deciding on my own right away, I consult my husband (aka Migo) first.

Migo has been wanting to resume trekking for a while but I have been too busy with other things. Our company trekking club went to Tres Marias on the Freedom long weekend but he understood that I needed to rest and recuperate now that the events at work has come to an end. He had fully supported my June hiatus, the social media sabbatical and my desire to pursue Jesus in his own ways.

So when he expressed the desire to join the trek to Mandalagan, I agreed despite my fears. Thanks to a good friend for sharing the info and to another friend who responded positively to our interest.

So the story of how I ended up going to Mandalagan despite my hiatus is a love story. People trek mountains for different reasons. As for me, it has always been love. My love for adventure and my love to my oh so awesome husband who empowers me to face my fears – this time, LEECHES in Mandalagan.

Will get to them leeches later but first…let me take you back to…

Day 0 Friday

The plan was to meet at North Bus Terminal at 3:30PM so we took a leave to prepare. We plan to pack earlier but as usual, we ended up cramming and even forgot to charge our powerbanks which makes the husband very uncomfortable.

Since the bus leaves at 6PM, we decided to leave the house at 4PM to charge some more. But that too wasn’t enough. It led to the husband’s comical search for power outlets every place we went. This has been our mishap last trek too. I hope this wouldn’t happen again. Must add in the list.

Somebody is happy upon seeing the charging station at North Bus Terminal.

We were the last ones to arrive at 5PM. We didn’t really know who we are going with but when I saw 3 other familiar faces, I felt at peace. I don’t really mind trekking with strangers but there’s comfort in familiarity. Unlike before, I didn’t went into full mode chatterbox, which happens rather often lately. Nowadays, I find it more appealing to just wait for people to talk to me than do the reaching out first. I still love connecting to new people but now with reservations. I don’t want to come off as a show-off and a braggart which was mostly tied to friendly and extroverted people. 😦 But the change was not really about how people will see me, I have been over that already, it’s because of my desire to learn how to listen more than talking. Jesus values listening more than talking so I’m trying my best to learn the art of observing and listening first before opening my mouth. It was only when the bus left that I asked for the names of those that I met for the first time.

The trip to Toledo City took more than 2.5 hours. Migo dozed off while I spent my time writing on my personal blog. I expected it to be posted before the signal went off at Naga but the words just kept on coming. Thankfully, it was done just before the bus stopped at Toledo port.

After receiving our ticket and terminal fee, we were told to be at the ferry by 9PM. Since it was already 8:45, we all agreed to buy takeout at Mcdo. We were at the ferry by 9PM uncomfortably munching on our takeouts and somewhat regretting why we didn’t buy burger instead. The seat numbers weren’t followed so we ended up taking the bench next to the trash can and too close together. Pfft!

Hello San Carlos City

The ferry ride took almost 2 hours. Because I didn’t want to drain my phone, I decided to sleep but the seat was very uncomfortable so I only managed to dozed a little. We arrived in San Carlos City at 11:15 PM. 15 minutes after, we went back to the bus and it departed to Bacolod City.

Bacolod City First Timers

This was our 3rd trek in Negros Island. When we trekked in Mt. Canlaon, we arrived in San Carlos City and then Canlaon City. For Mt. Talinis, we arrived in Dumaguete City.

Day 1 Saturday

I was quite surprised with Bacolod especially the big and airport feels Ceres Bus Terminal. We arrived at the old Terminal at 2AM. We waited for our other companions and then rode a tryke to Ceres Bus Terminal where we catch a short rest before the terminal operation resumes at 5AM.

To The Jump-Off in Patag, Silay City

The bus terminal was awake at 5AM. After washing our face and enduring the cold at the airconditioned comfort room, we were ready for the next stop: Silay City. We arrived in Poblacion, Silay at 6AM after 30 minutes of travel from Bacolod City. We settled and had breakfast at #HugotSizzlers.

Patag is still an hour away from Poblacion. To save the fare, instead of hiring a private vehicle, we utilized the commuter jeepney instead. We only pay for Php45 for the trip but we had to wait 45 minutes for the jeepney to be filled.

The Hospital, Patag (Jump-Off)

The jeepney left at 8:15. By 9:15, we were at the hospital where we got our guides. We haggled to only have 1 guide as 2 of our companions were from Negros and they are quite familiar with the trail. Unfortunately, the tourism insisted that we should have 2.

Compared to other guide fees which was mostly Php500/day, Tinagong Dagat guide fee was Php750/day. We were already uneasy by the guide fees more so when they asked us to pay for the entrance fee, we were baffled why we had to pay when we only went their to get guides but they insist that we should pay. T_T

We thought that was our only “pay” trouble. We thought wrong. Stay tuned on the next post as we finally start our trek and leave the Hospital but before ending this post, let me tell you a story about the hospital.

About the Hospital. Back in 2013, I remembered one of our hiking friends told us that the hospital was kind of haunted. I was especially excited to see it. To my surprise, the hospital was now turned into rooms for the guests who want to swim at the pool beside it. Hehe! No more ghost feels for me. Lol

One Trip and Tons of Fun in Moalboal, Cebu


We were on a self-imposed hiatus since our trip from Indochina from August 20 to September 1, 2016. The wife has been struggling with a lot of things and with it the desire to pursue wanders and adventures were put on hold. But since the start of the year, she realized that she was overdoing everything and was putting unwanted dent to our awesome life. 

Last weekend, we kicked off our wanders on a joy ride to Moalboal, a 5-hour drive to the South of Cebu with our 2 guy friends aboard #Punky, our 2-month old baby Celerio. It was a trip with tons of fun other than the beach.

The Itinerary 

Day 1:
08:00 Meetup
09:30 ETD to Moalboal
12:00 Lunch stop at Metro Carcar
13:30 Resume drive to Moalboal
15:30 ETA Nanay Terry’s
16:30 Magic Karaoke
17:00 Kite Flying
17:30 Dinner Preps
18:30 Dinner
19:30 Night Swimming
20:30 S’mores-ping Time
21:00 Board Games
02:00 Lights Off

Day 2:
07:30 Breakfast Preps
08:30 Kite Flying, Swimming
11:30 Going Home Preps
12:45 ETD to Moalboal Market
13:00 Lunch at Moalboal Market
15:00 Mantayupan Falls Barili
16:00 Milk Station Barili
19:00 ETA Cebu City

Where We Stayed:

Nanay Terry’s 09103618540 
Php 2000
Airconditioned room good for 4

What I like about staying at Nanay Terry’s is that it was at the laid back part of Bas Dako. You will still need to walk to the public beach which makes Nanay Terry’s front beach less crowded. 

What We Did?

  1. Karaoke on the car – it was so timely that the husband was able to discover “Magic Karaoke” – a bluetooth mic and speaker.

2. Kite flying – we bought Octi before our trip to Indochina but was only able to fly her once at SRP where we were told that we need to get a permit to fly. Haha! But only after we were done flying her. Lol When we return from our trip, we scouted other places to fly her but failed. 

3. Banana  bed lounging

4. S’mores-phing – melting the marshmallows and putting in between hersheys and grahams crackers.

5. Photo Ops

It was a fun-filled weekend and a learning one too since we were able to produce our first ever #Xiaomi #Yi recorded videos. Haha! The wife compiled the videos while the husband did the final editing.

It was a gloomy Saturday but we were blessed with a sunny Sunday. It was an awesome come back indeed from our almost 4 months of break from wanders.

Till our next escape!!! But first, let us know what you think of the #CarpoolKaraoke, #BananaBed and #KiteFlying. Have you tried any of them? It’s awesome right?

Changes From Asia Travels


54 days until 2017 but here I am still stuck with the lessons from this year’s adventure. Who wouldn’t? Everything easily excites me before but these days I feel more relaxed and just thankful for the wander-less weekends. All I want to do is rest, binge-watch on TV series and have endless laughter and conversations with friends. But this time the conversations were no longer about me. I feel so blessed that all I wanted to do is just share and make other people feel the same. 🙂

Here are the noticeable changes since coming back from the trip:

  1. Appreciating down times. Before, being busy was everything. Now, I make it a point to just say “Yes” to the things that matter.
  2. Lie-lowed on Facebook. I couldn’t imagine a time that Facebook would be an option. Being the social butterfly that I was. Haha. Now I only checked it for notifications and messages. I still take pictures but I rarely post them anymore. My reason for over-Facebook-ing was to update my friends of what’s going on but on the trip, I realized that it was really more about me. And I think I have enough. 🙂
  3. Seeing the value of good influences. My heart is overflowed with  a new drive – to be able to do things with a renewed purpose. After the trip, the idea of not spending the weekends on a trek, trip or playing for fun was so absurd and boring. Now it was actually rejuvenating. I hope to be spending more of it with family and in a ministry soon. God willing. God has always been nice that I wanted to give him back the favors. 🙂

There’s still more but let’s just stick with 3 for today. Don’t worry, you will be reading some adventure still but might not be that frequent. What you will read more are the lessons that I’ve kept over the years. I’m still thinking on a best way to tell it to you. But if you have questions about anything, do drop me a message. 🙂

 

Daily Prompt: Sincere


via Daily Prompt: Sincere

It took me a while to decide what to post but the first thought in mind was – the world needs more sincere people (but I want to blog about my newest craze too. Pardon the somewhat hi-jack).

Nowadays I feel that the world have shortage of it. But you can’t really forced people to be sincere. You have it in you to believe or discard their opinions about you. Sometimes, the sincerity of a person towards you is not a reflection of who you are. It is a mirror of what they are. 🙂

Maybe that’s why I like traveling and pictures so much because they gave me the most genuine feeling in the world. In travel, thanks to my big God, my paths has always been showered with sincere people. With pictures, everything is just unchanging. Once the picture is taken, it will be unchanged forever.

To end this post about sincerity, here’s a snaps of my latest craze from Photobook Philippines where my 2 loves meet (Travel and Pictures):

(1) _16 inch x 16 inch Couple Photo Pillows

07

(2) _Canvas Landscape 36 x 24 Inches

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How I did it?
Step 1: Buy a voucher at Metrodeal. Stuffs from PhotobookPH is very expensive without a voucher. Better get one. See below my current vouchers.

(1) Canvas Landscape 36 x 24 Inches orig price at P6500. Voucher price at P1549.
(2) 16″ x 16″ Couple Photo Pillows orig price at P2000. Voucher price at P1099.
(3) 14×11 LL Imagewrap Lay Flat (24 Pages) orig price at P5600. Voucher price at P999.

Step 2: Go to PhotobookPH website and search for the desired product. There are lots of ready made templates to choose from. Unfortunately for these items, you can’t edit at Photobook Designer. Payment is at the web designer too. Let me know if you are interested. I’ll gladly help. 🙂

Step 3: All transactions are online so you will need a Credit Card to pay.

And ohh, Metrodeal and PhotobookPH is not paying me to advertise. This is just a personal post because I am just so happy with the result. Weeeeee!

My Sincerest apology for the hijack. If I didn’t tell you that it was, would you know about it? Hmmm!

Backpacking IndoChina in 11 Days: What To See & Do in Cambodia

I need to remember how great our adventure was. The thought of just hopping from country to country alone was an adventure in itself especially the border crossings but the best adventure was being able to see the places that we’ve only seen in books or in pictures. So stay with me as I relived our 11 day adventure that started in Cambodia then Vietnam then Laos, and finally Thailand. Yay!!! You can do this too! Maybe even better than we did. 🙂


Today is exactly 2 months since I turn 30 and flew to Cambodia – the starting point of our multi-country escape in Indochina to celebrate  a new milestone. To be honest, I haven’t really had the time to check all the pics and do a cleanup since we return. And sometimes, everything feels like a dream. But I know it’s not because I have pictures to prove it. Plus every now and then, I get messages from strangers commending about our kick-ass and detailed plan too.  I have Trip Zilla to thank for that. 🙂 Just grateful that I could share and inspire others to travel.

After detailing the everyday activities, I still have lots to tell but unfortunately, things happen. When I finally caught up, I got super busy that I felt the need for extra hours just to do the things that I wanted to do. 24 hours is just not enough. But today is a bit different. There’s this little voice in my head that’s telling me that I need to write to calm my raging thoughts. Oh yes, my to dos are still endless but I need this.

I need to remember how great our adventure was. The thought of just hopping from country to country alone was an adventure in itself especially the border crossings but the best adventure was being able to see the places that we’ve only seen in books or in pictures. So stay with me as I relived our 11 day adventure that started in Cambodia then Vietnam then Laos, and finally Thailand. Yay!!! You can do this too! Maybe even better than we did. 🙂

First stop: SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA

When you thought of Cambodia, of course the first place that would come to mind is Angkor Wat right? We were there. But to our delight, Angkor Wat is not just a single monumental structure. The place was HUGE. And that’s not all it, Siem Reap was actually home to lots of Angkors or city in ruins. IT WAS MIND-BLOWING. And because the husband is a National Geographic fan, it was like playground for him. For me, every corner is a place to photo shoot. Haha! If we ever come back to Cambodia, we would surely take the 3-day pass. But if you are in a hurry like us, you can just have it in 1 day and visit only the musts. See below our pictures arranged from our first stop to the last.

Day 1 Siem Reap, Cambodia (Currency spent: USD-cash on hand)
-Sunrise @ Angkor Wat
-Bayon, Baphoun, Royal Enclosure, Terraces of Elephants
-Checkout
-Lunch
-Bantay Kdei, Ta Phrom, Sunset @ Phnom Bakeng
-Night bus to Phnom Penh

Second stop: PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

We didn’t really knew much about Phnom Penh. When the husband asked why we would go there, I just answered because the bus from Siem Reap ends there and I want to rest after sleeping on a night bus. But surprisingly, we were able to sleep well on the night bus. Plus when we arrived at our accommodation, we were allowed an early check-in. So having rested, we don’t have a choice but to spend the rest of the day wandering. But what a wander that was. In all of our stops, Phnom Penh’s was the most heartbreaking. At S21, the husband had to asked that we shouldn’t take a selfie because it seems inappropriate. And to my disbelief, I just agreed without 2nd thoughts. We visited two sites from the horrors of Polpot’s regime in Cambodia: Choeung Ek Killing Fields and Toul Sleng Genocide Museum (S21). We spent the half day in Toul Sleng listening to the history of Polpot’s terror. I was teary-eyed all throughout. Those places are not for the faint at heart. It will really break you. But don’t fret because there’s still other nice places in Phnom Penh too like the Royal Palace and some others that we missed because we’ve stayed at Choeung Ek and S21 too long.

Day 2 Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Currency spent: USD-cash on hand)
-Early arrival in PhnomP
-SLA early check-in
-Killing fields 9-12 AM
-Lunch
-Toul Sleng 2-4 PM
-Royal Palace
-Independent Monument
– Buy tix to PP & Laos
-Slept @ SLA

More pics to follow from Phnom Penh soon. I will make time to scour in the coming days and post it in instagram since I’m still having problems with the storage and I don’t have time to tinker the new blog.

Stay tuned!!! We’d love to hear your thoughts of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh as well. Were you amazed at how big the Angkor Wat too? What are the nooks of Angkor Archaeological park that you’ve visited and we missed? How about Phnom Penh, were you as sad as we were upon hearing the stories of Polpot’s terror? Do tell.

PS: Please follow us at our INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK page. We’d love to hear and reconnect to wanderers like you. 🙂

Thank you for reading. May God bless you on your travels.

Cheering on you,
Migo & Miga

3 Days in Vang Vieng, Laos (Day 7-9/11)


The plan was to leave Vientiane at 6 AM but we found a 9:30 AM bus schedule. We welcomed the change since we’ve been waking very early the passing days.

We woke up a little late than usual and had our breakfast at the Karenderia near Singsanti’s. By 9:00 AM, we were already in front of Capitol Residence waiting for pick-up. After 15 minutes of waiting, we were worried why our pick-up didn’t show up. The husband asked me to call the ticketing. They assured us that the pick-up will be there in 10 minutes. Another 10 minutes passed, still nothing. The husband pushed to call again but I hesitated because it might seem too pushy. After a while the tuktuk came and we relaxed a little. We picked up 2 more along the way.

Bottom right pic is Migo standing in front of our accommodation in Vientiane. The rest are pics from our breakfast - the street opposite the karenderia, the karenderia and our food!
Bottom right pic is Migo standing in front of our accommodation in Vientiane. The rest are pics from our breakfast – the street opposite the karenderia, the karenderia and our food!

Bus to Vang Vieng

The travel to Vang Vieng is about 4 hours. When we got to the bus, it was already filled so the husband and I were forced to seat apart. On the way, the husband was sound asleep while I blogged about our day in Vientiane.

Journey to Vang Vieng from Vientiane!
Journey to Vang Vieng from Vientiane! Migo & Miga wearing the new couple shirt bought at Vientiane night market.

Hello Vang Vieng!

When we arrived, most of the tourist left the bus station immediately on board a van while we waited for our host to pick us up. After a while a pick-up arrived. Without asking, we went with the other group. It turned out, that wasn’t our pick-up. Haha! When our host called, we told her we rode on the wrong pick-up. Nouth arrived in a while.

I picked Nouth’s place because it had awesome ambiance. True to the pics, it made me feel like we were on a honeymoon. We’ll talk more about the place we’ve stayed in 6 cities on a separate blog soon. Stay tuned.

Our quaint accommodation with our friendly host, Nouth!
Our quaint accommodation Lao Valhalla with our friendly host, Nouth!

Vang Vieng Day 1

After settling, we slept and explored Vang Vieng. We borrowed a bike and took our first pic of Vang Vieng’s mountains. Then went to the riverside looking for the view on bright side’s pic. We saw bridges but none matches what we saw in the picture. It was about sunset so we decided to just let it go since what we were seeing was just as beautiful.

Migo tuning the bike for our first stroll!
The riverside view with the power of timer! :D
The riverside view with the power of timer! 😀

 

Life in Vang Vieng, Laos! We were welcome with the rainbow promise. 🙂

When we had our fill, we walked to find a good place to eat. We had dinner then went back to the guest house and stayed at the common area. After a while, other guests arrived. We had the chance to get to know them. Hema and Alex from Spain, then Lara from UK. We bid goodbye around 11:30 PM since we had an early call-time for the half day tour.

Miga’s favorite setup to eat. 🙂

Vang Vieng Day 2
We woke up around 8 AM. Had breakfast and by 9 AM, we were ready for our half-day tour. One other guest who also stayed at Lao Valhalla joined us. On the way to the drop off we exchanged infos. When we arrived on our tour service, 3 more joined.

Our group of 6 composed of 4 nationalities: Chinese, Koreans, Laotian and us. The tour started at a trek to the start of a multi-stop zipline. The 1st stop was around 10-15 minutes walk from the common area where our Laotian guide waited while preparing our lunch.

It took us around an hour to finish all the stops. While enjoying the ride, you get to enjoy the view on the top of each platform too. At the last ride, I was famished.

Lunch were served and after we went tubing into a cave. We laid down on our tube and then pull ourselves into the cave.

The tubing was extreme. I was concerned with pulling myself that I fail to enjoy the view inside. I was afraid of being left out too. The husband said his arms were sore ’cause of the tubing. Luckily, mine didn’t because I pushed to stay close to the only other girl in the group – Yang, the Chinese. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to take a photo, besides it’s pitch dark inside the cave. I’m claustrophobic so that was kind of hard for me.

We rested for a while and then went into the last stop of our half day tour – the Elephant Cave. Yang and the 3 Korean guys Yong, Jang & Kim have full day tours. We went back to our cab and traveled back to the start of their 10K kayaking. As they were oriented, I’m feeling grateful that we opt to miss it. When they left with their kayaks, our service drop us back to Namsong Bridge.

While our tour-friends are busy paddling the 10K back to city center, the husband and I went to rent a motorbike for our trek!

Motorbiking and Trekking in Vang Vieng
When we bike to the city center on our first day, our bike act up. As the husband tried fixing, a guy approached us and walked the bike. We were surprised. In my head ran bad thoughts again but as we got nearer, we saw the same bikes. We assumed he must be Nouth’s friend – the owner of the bike. He gave us a new bike and fixed what we used. While at it, we saw his motorcycles for rent too.

On the way to Nouth’s place after our half day tour doing zip line, tubing and caving, we were dropped by the tour service at Namsong Bridge. As we passed by Nouth’s friend’s place, we decided to rent a motorbike. In Vang Vieng, there are no public transportation. To go places, you have to bike or motorbike on your own. Since we planned to trek, we needed a motorbike to go there.

The husband chose the manual motorbikes first but after 2 tries, he opted for the automatic ones which were rented at a higher price. We took the motorbike home and rested for a while before leaving for our next activity of the day – trekking in Vang Vieng (will make a separate post for details).

After the trek, we went back to the city center again and as planned tried massage after dinner. Our very 1st massage since birth. Haha! It was an amazing experience. Can’t wait to try other massage since we just had a Lao traditional massage. We went back to the house past midnight already so we decided to retire.

Vang Vieng Day 3 – Blue Lagoon and Off to Bangkok, Thailand

From my research, I only find a 10AM bus sked but when we bought a ticket on our 1st day, there was a 1:30 PM trip bound to Bangkok already. It added us an extra half day in Vang Vieng and crunched our travel time to night.

We spent the extra hours swimming at Blue Lagoon despite the rain. By 1 pm, we were ready to go. We bid goodbye to Nouth. Yang was scheduled to leave too. Nouth drop us at the end of Namsong bridge. We walked to the other side and waited for our bus pickup.

While waiting, the husband bought lunch and mango shake. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to enjoy it since I toppled the table and dropped the mango shake. I was stunned for a while, thinking he would lashed out at me. But just like always, his patience and tolerance for my carelessness is noteworthy. Thank you Lord for husbands like Migo. 🙂

Then we were off to our journey back to Vientiane then finally to the friendship bridge where an agent of Soutchai Travel assisted us. He bought our terminal fee then instructed us to ride the bus to the other side. When we arrive in the border of Thailand, another agent from Soutchai Travel helped us get our night bus ticket. When we were settled at the bus station, he bade us goodbye. As it was still 7 pm, we had an hour to ourselves since the bus is scheduled to arrive at 8:00 PM. The husband and I didn’t waste our time and bought food and a Thai sim card. The 7/11 staff was very kind enough to set-up our sim. It was much easier than our experience at Laos. 🙂

The story about how we were awed (or naihas) with the night bus to Bangkok is up next. Stay tuned. Hopefully, I can blog this weekend. I’m just so excited to be done with the personal blogging so that I could finally start my non-meish blogging and do a cleanup.  I’m afraid that if I did the non-meish stuffs first, I would forget the personal details. It’s just doesn’t  feel right to forgot my first love.  LOL

Booked: Indochina Backpacking Tips and Tricks


Sharing our trip at Tripzilla was good because I was able to learn a lot from the people’s comments. While I find our trip just within our budget, I realized that it may have been too much for others. Our budget was 100K excluding the flight fare and accommodation (pre-paid). We spend only 8OK for 4 countries which makes it 20K per country (10K/person/country).

We find our trip just enough but to those who find it steep on the budget here’s a list of tips and tricks in which they can compromise while we decided that they are must-haves.

Accommodation
One of our biggest expense is the accommodation since we have them all pre-booked in AirBNB around 2-3 months before the date. While I am adventurous and a daredevil, the husband wanted a sure place to stay. He couldn’t imagine us jumping from place to place without a proper accommodation at hand. Also, we have a listing in AirBNB. Using it as our main platform for accommodation is paying it forward.

Tip: In all of the four countries, there were lots of accommodations everywhere. If you are feeling brave, just booked only your starting country since you might need it at the immigration or use other platforms other than AirBNB and see if you can find a much better deal.

Transportation
Jumping from one country to the other is expensive. We’ve spent around 14K. These were all land trips since I wanted to experience the border crossings. Call it crazy but Indochina wouldn’t be the same had we flown all over. Lol Expensive and battering but worth it. We were able to experience traveling in different modes of transport plus we had a chance to immersed with the locals too. You can check on the table for our fares and cross check it with flights. You might find a better deal than we did. The table had time duration too.

Also, Laos was super stretched. It was crazy going there from Vietnam. Most of the itineraries I saw on the net exclude Laos.

There was miscalculation on the flight too. It would have been nice if we started from HCMC, Vietnam to Cambodia to Bangkok and then end in Laos. But we weren’t really thinking of the itinerary when we booked.

Tip: Don’t include Laos in your itinerary. Vang Vieng is not to be missed but you can do a trip to Laos separately. On this trip, we missed Luang Prabang so maybe you can include it in yours. In Laos alone, we’ve spent around 11K+ so if you exclude it, it’ll be cheaper.

Food
When I made the plan, I only allocated around 8K. What happened was it ballooned to almost twice. Instead of just eating in the streets, we splurged a little. Ate at cafes and some to our heart’s desires. Lol I’m a fan of thrift eating too but we’ve saved enough to eat nicely so why shouldn’t we?

Tip: Don’t eat at cafes. Be adventurous always and eat always in the streets. 

Tours and Private Transportation while checking Spots
I’m an avid DIYers but when you only have a day to spend on a city, you can’t help but splurged on the easy way or else you will be spending your day unwisely. Besides we only have 11 days of travel in between these countries. We need to make use of our time wisely.

Tip: Haggle to the max. We didn’t really haggled much for ours. 🙂

Extras
The 40K is not all spent in Indochina trip only. We spent around 15K+ in our Manila lay-over. Look at our gdocs detail to see everything that we spent per country. Also we splurged a little in buying stuffs like couple shirts and souvenirs which were not actually part of our plan. Hehe

Tip: Be firm in your budget. Don’t be tempted with couple shirts and unique skirt (wore them on our 1st day in Vang Vieng). Don’t even think of buying souvenirs even if they are too cute. Don’t give tips and the likes. Hehe We spend 9k on these extras. 

Summary
We planned this trip for almost 8 months since we booked the ticket on December 31, 2015. I’m an OC planner and always try to make travel cheap. But maybe this is not cheap enough. Haha

Tip: Next time on your next travel, make the itinerary first before the ticket. The greatest lesson I learned from this trip is to plot your itinerary first before getting a ticket especially if you plan on a multi-country route.

So is our trip expensive? Depends on whose perspective. But we’ve always been cautious travelers and we planned for things wisely. We are not some millenial traveler. For us, this is enough and money well spent. If you ever find a much cheaper version, do let us know. 🙂

Open our planning doc for more details. Just added a new sheet “Expense_Details” that has the day-to-day spending because we’ve been getting inquiries about entrances and etc.

I actually have all the data in my ever note since everyday on travel before sleeping, we tracked how much we were spending to make sure we were on track. 🙂

Cheering on you,
Miga&Migo

I’m 30! Hurray! So How Did My 3030.5 Go?


So I actually couldn’t remember the exact date that I aimed for 3030.5, but I will look for it soon because I know I have written it somewhere in my “million” blogs. Haha But it has to be somewhere before 2012, maybe it’s in 2011. That time when I was having a quarter life crisis. To make the story short, I got OVER it because of wanders! Hurray!!!

Though it was just a spur of the moment aim to take my depression away, I was super amazed that I almost achieve it. WOW.

So what’s 3030.5 really? It’s an aim to visit 30 places in my hometown Cebu, 30 provinces in my home country Philippines and 5 countries. It might seem like a small achievement now but when I made this dream, it was BIG.

It’s just amazing how I have transformed when I stopped feeling like a victim of fate. When I started to embrace and be contented with what I have, everything falls into place. God really is amazing. It is true that everything happens for a reason. Right now, I’m seeing all the bad things in my life as something to be proud of.

If you are reading this and feeling like there’s no hope for a better future, trust me, there is. Just keep holding on and try to see the good in the bad. 🙂 And before I turn this post into one of my “Notes2Self” series, see below the progress of a dream.

Cebu Total Been To? To Travel % Traveled
Mun/Cities 53 35 18 66%
Philippines Total Been To? To Travel % Traveled
Luzon 39 10 29 26%
Visayas 16 7 9 44%
Mindanao 27 6 21 22%
82 23 59 28%
World Target Total Been To? To Travel % Traveled
Targets 30 7 23 23%

35.23.7 – Overachieved the Cebu and world. Yay! I lacked 7 provinces in the Philippines. 😀 Now I have a new target. =) Weeeeeeeeeee! #FeelingBlessed

How about you? What was your reason for traveling? Did you ever aimed for something about travel and achieved it without really thinking hard about it? Do share! After my epic Indochina adventure, a thought hit me. I wanted more from this blog. I want to share, inspire and know more like minded people. I still don’t know how but if you do, feel free to share it to me. Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!

Booked: Indochina Backpacking Itinerary + Expenses (Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand)


I wanted to do this post after I narrated the everyday adventure but the thought of knowing how poor have we become won’t let me rest. Haha! I didn’t even want to go out since we arrived on Thursday because of it. LOL But the husband was unusually restless. He went out on Friday and begged me to joined him on a movie with friends on Saturday (Train to Busan). All throughout, I felt like I was there but not really there. All I wanted to do is just sit down and track our damage, which I did this dawn. Slept around 3 AM just to get it all laid out. (Yeah, OC!) I wanted to write a post immediately but I remembered piktochart. I can’t make a post without it.

indochina_15343758_726988bc3d5ad9619816cd35801637e3cba9a24e

Today everything is ready. 🙂 I had an initial accounting on Friday while the husband was playing board games. I noted that we spent around 25K per person, almost the same amount with our Hongkong-Macau trip for 5 days but I forgot to include the flight fares and accommodations which were already paid plus our expense in Manila and some ATM charges. In all, we spent around 40K per person – that’s everything already. 10K less than my estimated 50K pocket money only. I actually thought we spent bigger since we had some extra splurges like the souvenirs and shopping which were not part of the estimates. Haha! See the details here. Everything is plotted – schedules, itinerary, expenses, transpo & accommodation.

Was it worth our money?

Of course! It was worth every penny. The joy of wanders is totally overwhelming. Much more to me since I loved everything about the trip since the planning. And being able to achieved everything that was planned is totally mind blowing. I attribute it all to God, to the good people of the place we’ve been to, especially to the husband who has been very supportive in everything. Once again, the Lord has shown me that nothing is impossible if you only put your mind and heart into it. People thought it was crazy – 4 countries in less than 2 weeks? Who’d do that? We JUST did. Crazy Couple, are we not?! o_O

Where’s the awesome pics?

As much as I wanted to share it now but this blog’s storage is unfortunately full already. And it might take some time to select favorites with an almost 8 GB of pics from Day 0 to Day 12. The husband did post our Go Pro selfies on his Facebook. That would be for now. Will find a way in the coming days. Hehe! Stay tuned. 🙂

The Itinerary

I had a very detailed itinerary in our planning board but on our next trip, I think I will adapt the new plotted itinerary found in our updated board. Putting in just the goals of the day is way better that OC-ing everything with time limits. Flexibility is much more fun. Also, I loved it that every time we arrived at a new place, the husband would just ask our target place to visit and then he will searched it on his maps and find a way to get us there either walking or bus or train. Well, you could do this if you have a very reliable and direction-savvy husband or travel partner especially if you are like me who is only good at planning but zero in directions and map reading. Hahaha!

Day 0 Cebu->Manila, Manila->Siem Reap
-Flight to Manila (unfortunately Cebu Pac doesn’t have Cebu->Siem Reap. Right now, there are only 5 international destination that can be reached directly in Cebu: Singapore, Hongkong, Taipei, Incheon, Tokyo-Narita. Maybe, we’ll have Singapore or Taipei next. The husband and I had a consensus not to do Korea and Japan anytime soon. Will blog about it on the coming days.)
-8 hours of lay-over
-Flight to Siem
-Late night hostel checkin
-Slept at Khmere’s Place

Day 1 Siem Reap, Cambodia (Currency spent: USD-cash on hand)
-Sunrise @ Angkor Wat
-Bayon, Baphoun, Royal Enclosure, Terraces of Elephants
-Checkout
-Lunch
-Bantay Kdei, Ta Phrom, Sunset @ Phnom Bakeng
-Night bus to Phnom Penh

Day 2 Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Currency spent: USD-cash on hand)
-Early arrival in PhnomP
-SLA early check-in
-Killing fields 9-12 AM
-Lunch
-Toul Sleng 2-4 PM
-Royal Palace
-Independent Monument
– Buy tix to PP & Laos
-Slept @ SLA

Day 3-4 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Currency spent: VND-withdrawn)
Day 3:
-Checkout at SLA at 7AM
-Early departure to HCMC
-Checkin at Rich’s Place
-Afternoon & night in HCMC
-City walk to riverside & etc
-Book Cu Chi tunnel tour
-Slept @ Rich’s Place

Day 4:
-Checkout at Rich’s at 6AM
-Breakfast outside
-Left the big packs
at VietWay Tours
-Cu Chi Tour 8-230PM
-Bus back to PPenh 400 PM
-Arrive 10PM, slept
at Village Hostel

Day 5 Bus from HCMC, Vietnam ->PP, Cambodia ->Vientiane, Laos (Currency spent: USD, LAK-withdrawn in Pakse, Laos)
-Checkout at Village Hostel
-Van to Stung Treng 4AM
-Arrival in Stung Treng 12PM
-Van to Pakse1230PM
-Arrival in Pakse 500PM
-Dinner
-Night bus to Vientiane 830PM

Day 6 Vientiane, Laos (Currency spent: LAK)
-Arrival in Vientiane 7AM
-Early checkin @ Sing’s
-Rest & lunch after
– Buy tix to Vang Vieng
-Visit Buddha Park
-Riverside & night market
-Slept at Sing’s

Day 7-9 Vang Vieng (Currency spent: LAK-withdrawn in Vang Vieng)
Day 7:
-Checkout @ Sing’s
-Breakfast at karenderia
-Departure to VangV 9AM
-Arrival in VangV 1PM
-Checkin @ Nouth’s
-Rented a bike and do a tour
-Slept @ Nouth’s

Day 8:
-Free breakfast
-Join a half-day tour w/
Ziplining, Caving & Tubing
-Rent a motorbike
-Trek to Phon Ngern
Mountain
-Dinner & tried a Lao Massage
-Slept @ Nouth’s

Day 9:
-Free breakfast
-Motorbike to Blue Lagoon
-Checkout @ Nouth’s
-Left VangV @ 1PM
-Dinner while waiting for bus
-@ Sleeper bus by 8PM
-Slept @ bus

Day 10-11 Bangkok (Currency spent: BAHT-withdrawn in Nong Khai)
Day 10:
-Arrive in Bangkok at 6AM
-Early checkin not possible
-Left bag and do an early
temple visit @ Royal Palace
and Wat Pra Kaew
-Checkin at 3PM, slept
-Free dinner @ 7 PM
-Visit a board game cafe
-Slept @ Daniele’s

Day 11:
-Woke up late.
-Free brunch
-Checkout & left bag
-Visit Wat Pho
-Back to pickup bag
-Dinner @ airport
-Left bangkok at 12AM

Day 12 Flight out of Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok
-Arrive in Mla at 4 AM
-Checkin at The Wings
-Slept until 12PM
-Free brunch
-Checkout at 1:30 PM
-Left Manila at 4:00 PM
-Home by 5:00 PM
-Dinner at Bigby’s til 10PM

Highlights:
-Able to withdraw VND, LAK & BAHT
-Affordable internet sim in Laos & Thailand
-All bus tix were bought on the day & were able to pick new sked thus extending
wander time.
-Tried a lot of means of transport
-Eat at street foods & cafes alike
-Able to bike & motorbike in Vang V
-Able to trek in Vang V
-Meet new friends in Cu Chi & Vang V tour
-Achieved the 4 country target with no bus sked aberrations & etc
-No bad experiences in people and etc
-Able to navigate on our own via maps
-Amazed by The Wings in NAIA 3
-Awesome trip!!!

TOTAL DAMAGE:

Category Cost
PRE-PAID (via credit card) ₱18,831.40
Ceb<->Mla;
Mla->Siem;
BKK->Mla
₱10,802.40
Accommodations ₱8,029.00
PAID DURING TRIP ₱61,729.95
Transport in between cities ₱14,736.00
Expenses* ₱46,993.95
TOTAL FOR TWO PERSONS ₱80,561.35
Per person cost ₱40,280.68

Documents here:

Indochina in 11 Days (Cam-Vie-Lao-Tha) Infographic
Trip Details (Schedules, Itinerary, Expense, Transpo, Accommodation)

Accommodations:

Date Place Link to Stay Cost /Person (US$) Total Cost (US$) Total Cost (₱)* Notes
1 8/20 – 8/21 Siem Reap, Cambodia Khmere’s Place US$10 US$20 ₱942 Sat Night, Booked
2 8/22 – 8/23 Phnom Penh, Cambodia Local Riverside Guesthouse US$10 US$22 ₱1,036 Mon Night, Booked
3 8/23 – 8/24 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Rich’s Place US$13 US$15 ₱705 Tue Night, Booked
4 8/24 – 8/25 Phnom Penh, Cambodia Khmer Village Hostel US$10 US$20 ₱960 Wed Night
5 8/26 – 8/27 Vientiane, Laos Singsanti’s US$13 US$15 ₱802 Fri Night, Booked
6 8/27 – 8/29 Vang Vieng, Laos Lao Valhalla Bungalows & Restaurant US$25 US$25 ₱2,641 Sat,Sun Night, Booked
7 8/30 – 8/31 Bangkok, Thailand Daniele’s US$15 US$15 ₱943 Tue Night, Booked
TOTAL US$96 US$132 ₱8,029

*US$1 = ₱48

Transportation:

Date From To Transportation (Ticketing/Bus) Travel Time (hrs) Cost /Person (US$) Total Cost (US$) Total Cost (₱)*
1 8/21 (Sun), 22:30 Siem Reap, Cambodia Phnom Penh, Cambodia Night Bus (Cambodia Angkor Express) 7 US$18 US$36 ₱1,728
2 8/23 (Tue), 08:00 Phnom Penh, Cambodia Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Day Bus (Phuong Heng (Sun Leang)) 7 US$15 US$30 ₱1,440
3 8/24 (Wed), 16:00 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Phnom Penh, Cambodia Day Bus (Phuong Heng (Sun Leang)) 7 US$15 US$15 ₱1,440
4 8/25 (Thu), 4:30 Phnom Penh, Cambodia Stung Treng, Cambodia Van (Sun Leang) 7 US$65 US$130 ₱6,240
8/25 (Thu), 12:30 Stung Treng, Cambodia Pakse, Laos Van 5
8/25 (Thu), 20:30 Pakse, Laos Vientiane, Laos Sleeper Bus 11
5 8/27 (Sat), 9:30 Vientiane, Laos Vang Vieng, Laos Day Bus (Yortdoy Service) 4 US$5.50 US$11 ₱528
6 8/29 (Mon), 13:30 Vang Vieng, Laos Udonthani, Laos Van (Southchai) 6 US$35 US$70 ₱3,360
8/25 (Thu), 20:30 Udonthani, Laos Nakhon Ratcha, Thailand Sleeper Bus 7
8/30 (Tue), 3:00 Nakhon Ratcha, Thailand Bangkok, Thailand Sleeper Bus 3
TOTAL 64 (2.67 days) US$153.50 US$307 ₱14,736

*US$1 = ₱48

Basically, above are the details that you will need if you ever want to do what we did. But maybe you can find a better option than do a crazy all day travel from Vietnam to Laos. You can also scrap Laos altogether like this itinerary.

When we book this trip, we didn’t really thought about what we will do. We just booked the cheapest flight that we found. Haha! You can do better. 🙂 That’s if you are willing to gamble like what we did here since basically, I didn’t find the same itinerary of what we did when we planned this. LOL Laos was the odd one out but I really wanted to visit Vang Vieng. No regrets though because Vang Vieng is way better than what I have dreamed of. 🙂

Finally this is it. 🙂 I will try my best to continue writing the everyday happenings but most of the non-personal details are already here. You can ask me anything if you have more questions about doing this adventure. If you ever thought about doing this, listen to that voice.

No matter what other people tell you, doing what you love is the best thing in the world EVER! Go and seize it. YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE so make the most out of it. 🙂 You can’t bring possessions to your grave but memories live forever.

Cheering on you,

Migo & Miga

This post is at TripZilla’s Blog. Shared also at TripZilla Philippines Facebook Page.

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