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.

13D12N of Adventure – an Instagram and Facebook Recap


Before continuing the story of our Indochina adventure in Vang Vieng, Laos – our longest city stop, let us reminisce the adventure with our everyday updates. Instagram updates were done by the wife (me) and super amazed that the husband voluntarily joined the fun by posting in his Facebook page. Hurray! I have Pokemon Go to thank for since if not for it, the husband surely wouldn’t get a mobile internet and a new phone. Haha!

Here’s the day-to-day activity from our albums & linked to the blogs:

Day 0 – Flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia

Day 1 – Temple Hop in Siem Reap, Cambodia & night bus to Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Day 2 – Historics in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Day 3 – Day bus to HCMC, Vietnam & night life

Day 4 – HCMC, Vietnam & bus back to Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Day 5 – Multi-transport to Vientiane, Laos

Day 6 – Vientiane, Laos

Day 7 – Vang Vieng, Laos
Day 8 – Vang Vieng, Laos
Day 9 – Vang Vieng, Laos & multi-transport to Bangkok, Thailand
Day 10 – Bangkok, Thailand
Day 11 – Bangkok, Thailand & flight to Manila
Day 12 – Manila, Philippines

Will update this post as soon as I’m done writing the remaining activities from Day 7 on wards.

Here’s the 28 insta pics that summarized our activities everyday since August 20, 2016 (the wife’s 30th birthday) to September 01, 2016 (the husband’s birth day count down at 10. birthday on September 10!)

 

In Facebook:

 

Our trip in numbers:

10 leg of transports,7 accommodations, 6 wandered cities, 4 border crossings, 4 flights, 2 stop-overs

How poor have we become?

Will post soon. 🙂

A Day in Vientiane, Laos (Day 6/11)


Fresh from our all-day-all-night city and country hopping, we arrived in Vientiane early morning of our 6th day. Our AirBNB host was away on vacation so we were told to be at the place exactly at 2 PM. His maid will only be there at that time.

When we get off the sleeper bus, we saw other tourist get on a cab. It looks like a multi-cab here in PH. The driver also called us so I took it as a blessing. Looking for a ride can be a hassle. We paid 30K for the ride to the city center.

The ride took around 30+ minutes. It must have been short without the Friday morning grind. When we get off the bus, I asked the driver for directions to our place. But as we were about to start walking, the direction I thought was different from that of the husband.

We argued a little and he got angry with my distrust. It didn’t last long though. After a while, we were back to being lovey dovey. If there’s one thing I love most about traveling together, that would be our camaraderie. We were a team in everything. And I’m quite certain that we wouldn’t have the same output when we are with other people. In a group, I tend to be the Alpha but when we are together, we take turns in being one. It is also a blessing that our strengths are different because together, we make an awesome blend. I’m good with planning and research while the husband is the navigator. He takes my plan and find a way to get us there. I’m all about the positives and he, the negatives. I am in charge of the time and he takes care of the money.

Early Check-in Blessing

Locating Singsanti’s place was quite hard. The people that we asked were not familiar with the land mark, Capitol Residence but after a while of walking through the streets, we found it. As we were deciding where to go next since it was still early for check-in, someone approached us. I noticed her passed by a while back. She asked if we were the AirBNB guests. After our nod, she called someone and told us the maid will be here in 5 minutes. We were surprised. She was in a hurry to leave too so I didn’t get the chance to asked who she was.

The maid arrived after a while. Singsanti’s maid doesn’t speak and understand English so I wasn’t able to ask her who called. She led us inside and toured us around with just signs. I was quite amazed. Who needs English?

Like Phnom Penh, the early check-in was a blessing. It was still around 8 so we decided to just settle and rest first before starting our tour.

The husband then asked what’s our itinerary for the day. Buddha Park was the only thing in my list but I didn’t OC-ed on the details. He proceeded researching on a way to navigate.

Vientiane in 1 Day

We went out of the house at 11 AM and were famished. Our first order of business was to find a place to eat. There were a lot of places to eat in Vientiane, from Singsanti’s place we went back to where we were dropped. On the way we find a quaint cafe in the corner.

Over lunch, the husband talk me out of going to Buddha park since it’s about 2 hour ride round trip and the last bus back to the city center is at 4:45 pm. It was very time consuming. He wanted to visit the temples instead since it’s just nearby. But I wouldn’t budged.

Buddha Park

After eating, we walked to Vientiane Capital bus station. By tuktuk round trip from the city center, Buddha Park would cost 220K so we took the bus since it’s only 12K round trip. We arrived in Buddha Park at around 4 PM. It was quite good since only a handful of tourist were around since it was almost closing time.

Buddha Park was just as I thought. The husband was not impressed since he wanted the temples so much cause of Poke stops. Haha!
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Vientiane at Night

It was almost 5 PM when we arrived so we hurried to the temples. Unfortunately, they closed at 4 PM so we just took pictures outside. We walked to the riverside after.
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There were lots of locals at the riverside jogging and walking. Then we went to check the night market. The husband wanted to buy shirts since he used all his clothes already. Our scheduled laundry is still in Vang Vieng. Unfortunately, there were lots of cool stuffs there that we bought more than we actually need. Lol

Because we were not too famished, we went to eat at a roadside stall. We had noodles and squid for me. They were yummy and only cost us half of what we spent at lunch in a chic cafe. We went back to the night market after since the husband wanted a “Pikachu” shirt. But the shirt was too big. When we get to the Alphabet shirts, we were quite amazed at the meaning of the 1st letter of our names. K for “Keep walking” and M for “Memories in the making”. Together they meant pretty awesome so we bought it.

As we we were about to leave, a cool designed skirt caught the husband’s eye. It was nice but too expensive for my taste but the husband was strongly for it so who am I to say no? Haha! Having a husband who makes you look good is rare these days so I always feel favored.

We ended the night at a chic cafe enjoying gelato and macaroons. Because we were both spent, we just tuktuked back to Singsanti’s place which we felt pretty overpriced at 50K. I haggled it to 40K (5 USD).

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Expenses:
Starting LAK: 1, 757, 000

Brunch 135, 000
Wallet 15, 000
Ticket 90, 000
Bus#14 12, 000
Buddha Park 14, 000
Drinks 11, 000
Bus#14 12, 000
Sub-total: 289, 000

Magnet 15, 000
Keychains 50, 000
Lao Shirts 90, 000
Skirt 75, 000
Shirt 50, 000
Magician 2, 000
Dinner 34, 000
Ice Cream 42, 000
Tuktuk 40, 000
Subtotal: 398, 000

Breakfast 65, 000
Misc 5, 000
Subtotal: 70, 000

Grand Total: 757, 000
in PHP: 4, 322.00
* rate is 1000 LAK equals PHP 5.70

Itinerary:
07:00 AM Vientiane Bus Station Tuktuk to City Center
07:20 AM City Center
08:00 AM Singsanti’s Place
11:00 AM Left Singsanti’s
12:00 PM Lunch at Chez Cafe
02:30 PM Departure to Buddha Park via bus #12.
03:30 PM Buddha Park
05:30 PM Back in the City
06:00 PM Riverside Night Market
08:00 PM Streetside Dinner
10:00 PM Ice Cream
11:00 PM Singsanti’s Place

Travel Tips: Packing For A 2-Week Trip on a Carry-On


Packing can be a  no-brainer but NOT to us. It’s one of our main struggles. Last time in Hong Kong & Macau, the husband exceeded the carry-on limit so we tied the sleeping bags to my bag. We were only traveling for 5 days then. From that travel, I realized that not having a check-in is both cheap and mobile. We didn’t have down time waiting for our luggage. As soon as we arrived at the airport, we were on the go.

When I told the husband we don’t have a check-in for Indochina trip, he was anxious. It made me anxious too thinking I may have underestimated an almost 2-week travel. But the articles online comforted me that it is achievable with the right planning and mindset. I was done packing last Saturday. Thankfully, everything fits inside my small back pack.

Here’s how I did it:
1. Make a list of what to bring.
2. Decide at least a week-worth of clothing. – I brought 2 each of (short, leggings and skirt), 4 shirts, 2 blouses, a dress and a jump suit.
3. Do a dress rehearsal and make sure the clothes you bring can be mixed and matched.
4. Check if you can do laundry.
5. Bring only what you need.
6. Roll and compress. – Early this year Migo bought a compression/organizing bag, Gobi Hobo Roll. I was just amazed that it can contain all my clothing. The best part is that it only occupies the main compartment of my carry-on bag so I still have room for snacks and other stuffs in other compartments.
7. Choose the right bag. – Last year, I bought a 50L bag thinking it would be the perfect bag for this trip but since it was heavier and with more room, I’m afraid that I can easily exceed the carry-on limit if I used it. I choose my 40L Racini bag instead.

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Documents here! 🙂
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#OOTDs
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Packing in progress!
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Packed and ready to go!
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Pink stuffsssss!

Brought my belt bags as well for the important stuffs that needs to be guarded all the time. 😀

11 Days, 6 Cities, 4 Countries – The Wanderfull Life in IndoChina


Feeling artsy today so instead of putting it into words, I thought of making an info graphic. I’m rather pumped up with the detailed excel planning sheet too but will share it after the trip. 🙂

Here’s what’s inside our planning board:

  1. Plotted – You can see the sked in calendar type.
  2. Aug20_Aug24_CamVie – Detailed itinerary of Cambodia & Vietnam with the accommodation, transpo details and directions.  It’s basically our manual.
  3. Aug25_Aug28_Lao – Detailed itinerary of Laos (same template of #2).
  4. Aug29_Sep01_Tha – Detailed itinerary of Thailand  (same template of #2).
  5. Transpo – Plotted are the legs of our transpo and the amount per leg.
  6. Accommodation – All accommodation details are here.
  7. Reminders
  8. Preps&ToDos
  9. Clothes&Meals
  10. Checklist

What’s the best part of travel for me?

EVERYTHING. I love the planning and the execution but unlike before, I don’t obsess in following through everything. I have become flexible especially when it comes to travelling with the husband. I’m the researcher and the husband is the explorer. I have always wanted to travel alone but God wants me to do it with the husband instead. I couldn’t be more thankful because I’m SUPER BAD with directions.

So what makes us decide to travel to IndoChina?

Oh well, I have my own reasons, a whole lot of them. The husband is just game. He is the best husband in the whole universe so yeah, he just always supported me in everything that I wanted to do. 😀

So now, it’s 11 days to go. And I’ve been itching to pack my bags already. A countdown to travel and to your 30th birthday is an ultra amazing journey. Enjoying it everyday. =)

Plotted
This is the “Plotted” sheet.

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Booked: 14 Days To Go Before The Wander Full Life in IndoChina!


One more Friday and the next is the start of another adventure – leaving for our 10+ days of trip for IndoChina on the day of my 30th birthday. In 2011, while suffering from a quarter-life crisis and was utterly envious of peers getting engaged and having a baby, I created a dream – 3030dot5. It was a dream to travel to 30 places in Cebu (my hometown), 30 provinces in the Philippines (my home country) and to 5 countries. At that time, it was too ambitious for someone who barely had enough to buy a decent cellphone. But I was so down I needed something to hold on. I didn’t know how I would achieve it, I just knew that I wanted it.

From my countless blogs full of complains and angst (some are migrated in justkring but most were left forgotten), I decided to create another one. This time, it was for the 3030dot5 project. I started revisiting my pics and realized that compared to what I thought, I was actually not super “luoy” after all. By the time I started, I was down to 20.27.5. The 10 places in Cebu where mostly company outings and gatherings. The 3 places in PH where Migo-paid trips every year since we started in 2008. And of course, no countries.

Around May 2011, without really doing anything about my dream, I read about a peso sale in AirPhil. With no 2nd thoughts, I book not considering how I would raise the money to spend for the trip. The only thing that’s clear to me is that I had to be able to support myself. The trip was a blast. I was able to achieve my first triumph in wanders. It was both my first organized and paid trip since I started working in 2007. Then the rest was history. The last update of my now defunct blog was on “01/31/13” and I had been at “8.16.5”.

On April 2013, I was chosen as one of the 10 employees to travel to our company headquarters in Duluth,Georgia, USA. It was another God’s gift. From then on, God’s graces and blessings continued to pour in. And just this March, the husband and I had our 1st international trip to Hong Kong and Macau. I don’t know where I am now at my 3030dot5 dream but I felt an overwhelming accomplishment. Everyday I am grateful for that fateful day in 2011 that started everything. It was a wake up call to start seeing my life as a gift and not a nuisance. And instead of always looking at the other side of the fence, I started to nurture what’s in my fence. As a child, I was always envious because I had nothing then decided not to be because I am with beauty and brains and then envious again because everybody is settling down at 25 while I was still struggling. It all changed when I started to see things differently and stop looking at what others have. It all started when I realized that there’s just so much in life. That not going with the flow can also become a source of happiness.

Now at 29 and currently looking forward to our longest adventure and realization of a dream, I am much more confident of the things to come. But being confident doesn’t necessarily mean that you will stop planning and OC-ing everything. Haha! A while ago, I just polished all our IndoChina plans. And despite all the plannings that I’ve done especially our DIY wedding, I still get amazed at how a plan could make you feel empowered and inspired. 14 days to go and I’m just glad that the plans are in place now. All I have to do are my dress rehearsals and other stuffs. Hahaha! Need to focus on what to film on a go-pro. LOL

More updates of our IndoChina planning soon. Stay tuned!

Booked: The Wanderfull Life in IndoChina Soon!


25 days to go before IndoChina! Wew! I’m feeling the pressure of both excitement and fear. We just had our 1st International trip in Hongkong and Macau last March but this would be our longest travel EVER. Just thinking of what to pack inside a carry in luggage is crazy.

I might have underestimated it a little because I didn’t get a check-in baggage to the husband’s surprise. Haha! Oh well, we’ve always been unconventional, this trip wouldn’t be any different.

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Where We Plan To Go

As a researcher and crazy as I am, I have prepared an option of 6 itineraries but even that weren’t enough ’cause we settle with the 7th. Lol There’s just soooo mannnyyy things that I wanted to do. Good thing I had a reality checker. Hello husband! 😀

So where do we go? We’ll start in Siem Reap, Cambodia to visit the infamous Wats. We really don’t mind that it’s super popular just as long as we see it up close. Then leave on an overnight bus to do a city tour in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Our 4th night would be in Saigon or HCMC, Vietnam. From Saigon, that’s where most of our issues lie.

We just settled the final decision last week but I got so swamped I didn’t had the time to continue booking accommodations. Hopefully, I can continue this week.

Instead of going to Hanoi from Saigon via train then Hanoi to Luang Prabang which would cost us 36 hours for each leg, we opt to go back to Phnom Penh, arrive early at night, find a place to crash and ride the early bus to Ventiane. Do an overnight stay in Ventiane and then Vang Vieng – the land of my dreams!!! Haha! It’s brightside‘s fault why I really wanted to go. Weekend in Vang Vieng is a page in my dream book. I don’t want to miss it ever. 😀

After Vang Vieng, we will ride the bus again to Udonthani, Thailand. Why Udon? Because it has direct access to Vang Vieng. I don’t wanna go back to Ventiane anymore. Since we will be stopping by at Udon, might as well spend a night there. The last stop is Bangkok and it’s the longest too. We both agreed it that way since after jumping from city to city, we need to recuperate before going back home.

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Our itineraries will need some final touches. Can’t wait for the weekend to do that. But I do hope I’ll have time before the weekend though. Yay! IndoChina here we come!!! Weeeee!

the pauses between

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great life ahead:-)

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." - Proverbs 13:12 NCV

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