So preety much what i was scared of is happening.... that i am unable to make concrete decisions..
so far i have booked a trip to Thailand for a month and a week, and i wanted to sync this with another program
that goes from bangkok-cambodia and finishes in vietnam....
however i am completely frozen with fear that i will...
get scammed while taking a taxi alone
not find the next tour group
get bitten by a masquito with malaria
get home sick
ugh can i come up with anymore excuses? is it really that bad that i have to worry about these things? have you ever had any of these problems? am i over thinking it ?
I wish i had the confidence you all have, it's so incredibly inspiring but at the same time depressing that i myself
cannot have the same courage and confidence.
Should i stick to going to thailand for a month and a week? or should i go for it and add on cambodia and vietnam ? here is my thinking.. I AM ALREADY THERE, why not go all the way and really travel
here is my con: i have to go through getting 3 different visas, more money, more things to worry about............
(thanks for your time lol ... i know this sounds like complaining, but its coming from a good place lol )
Hi Ofie, I reckon you really should go for it! Me and my two friends did the same route but the other way round earlier this year, we arrived in Bangkok on the second day of the red shirt protesting, had no problem whatsoever during the whole trip! All these three countries are lovely especially Cambodia. People are friendly, it's easy to travel around, and it's amazingly cheap too! I can send you the names and phone numbers of the guest houses we stayed at in these three countries if you want, they are all nice, safe and good value for money. I definitely had a wicked time, and I reckon you will too!
Read your post, I have similar fears as I am off on ym own in a month or so for the first time on my lonesome. If you could send me some recommendations of places to stay in Thai, cam, nam and laos that would be a great help!
yes that would be amazing!
have you heard of mcbay hotel at banthai beach? thats where the tour im on said we will end. and i have to get from there to bankok hotel center. which means i have to take an overnight bus and then a taxi . this is the only part that i am terrified off lol.
but! i was thinking well from Banthai beach to bangkok will have the people on the program going with me, and the only part i will be alone is taking the taxi from where ever that bus drops me off, im assuming downtown bangkok, to the hotel...... this shouldn't be too hard right?
I am going travelling again next month and it will be my first time travelling on my own too, so I completely understand your fears since I am having them myself now haha...
Sorry Ofie, I haven't been to the south of Thailand so I'm not too familiar with the hotels and beaches there, but I don't think a taxi from the bus station (I'm not sure where it is) to the city centre will be a problem at all. I've been to Bangkok a couple of times and never had a problem making myself understood by a taxi driver. The only problem is the traffic can be bad if you arrive in rush hour, but that's a problem all capital cities have I guess...
So, here's our route: Nanning - Hanoi - China Beach (Danang) - Saigon - Phnom Penh - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Bangkok. Here are the guest houses we/I stayed at (I think you can find them all in Lonely Planet):
Hanoi: Thu Giang Tel: +84 (4) 828 5734 well located
I stayed here both times I was in Hanoi. It's run by a really friendly Vietnamese family. Rooms are small but good enough, price is reasonable (about 10 - 12 us dollars for a twin room last time I was there, I remember). They arrange all kinds of tours and train/bus tickets for guests as well, the nice thing about them is, they recommend the good tours and warn you about the low quality ones but leave the decision all up to you. They are always fully occupied, so make a reservation in advance if you want to stay with them.
We didn't stay in the city but at Hoa's Place in China Beach, between Danang and Hoi An. Hoa's Place is definitely my favourate place on my last trip. Google it and you will see what I mean! Price was $10 for a twin room.
Hoa's Place Tel: +84 0511 969 216 very well located
To be honest there's not much to see or do in Saigon, we were there only to catch the bus to Phnom Penh. But this guest house we stayed at was a great value for money compare to Hanoi, me and one friend shared a twin room, it was nice and clean and big, and we had our own bathroom and a balcony, the room was $13 when we were there.
Minh Guest House Tel: +84 (8) 38 364 153 well located
Again, only reason we went there was to catch a bus to Sihanoukville, didn't see much (don'think there's much to see anyway). We stayed by the river. Don't think we saw any guest houses but only hotels. Ours was called Amari Hotel, nothing special about it. Price was about $24 for a twin room I remember.
Amari Hotel Tel: +855 023 223 449 well located
Didn't have a good impression really, beaches were alright (if not too packed), felt we were ripped off by our guest house for the bus tickets to Siem Reap. The room was $17 for a twin, which was alright. Don't think Sihanoukville is a necessary stop on your trip. Loved the seafood and fish there though!
Lucky Guest House Tel: +855 016 837 146 well located
Definitely a must in your itinerary. Ankor Wot was amazing, night life was interesting too. Oh and, if you are going to have a few long distance bus journeys, Siem Reap is good place to buy valim/diazepam. As far as I know, diazepam is banned in vietnam and Thailand. Every morning there were many tuk tuk drivers waiting in our guest house, at first I didn't think we could trust them, but my friends decided we would hire one since it was easier to get around in a tuk tuk, and it ended up a very pleasant experience! Shame I don't have his number anymore...
Garden Village Tel: +855 1221 7373 well located
I went to Bangkok only because I had a couple of friends to visit, and it was cheaper to fly back home from there, so didn't travel around, plus the traffic was bad and train station was shut cos of the red shirts. I stayed at New Siem not far from Kao San Road. It's just a typical big guest house, nothing special. I can't remember how much it was there, should be around $10 - 15 for a single room.
New Siem Tel: +66 (0) 2282 4554 well located
This looks a really long post , hope you find it useful I am now in a position of going to travel on my own for the first time, I have the same fears and I am desperate for information about the places I am going to, I know how important it is to build up your confidence with enough information before you set off, so any more question, feel free to ask
I think you really miss out on seeing the real SE Asia by only going to Thailand. Indochina is the real deal! You actually save money by going there because it's cheaper than Thailand. Your trip is not really long enough to see the entire area very well, so pick and choose wisely. I suggest not trying to see everything in all countries - less is really better. You can always return in years to come - I'm about to start my 4th trip to the area. This is my suggestion - go to Travelfish.org since they specialize in SE Asia and they have great suggestions on where to go and what to see and do.
Ofie, which company are you booked up with? I know the tour you mean (I did a very very similar one a couple of years ago, run by many of the same staff) and I am friends with a lot of the staff who run it. Don't worry, the whole group goes back together from Mac Bay (which is lovely) to Bangkok - the return to Bangkok is included in the trip, as is I believe a night in a hotel on Bangkok's Khaosan Road at the very end of the tour. And don't worry about travelling on after that - you'll have a taste for it by then, and you'll be fine! The staff are lovely too and will be able to give you all the help and advice you need, and chances are there will also be other people in your group going the same way, who you can hook up with.
You will have an awesome time - I'm in Thailand now, have been out here for 2 and a half months on this trip, but heading back very shortly - so very jealous that you have your first Thai experience ready to enjoy! When are you headed out?
First thing to do RELAX! I am currently living in Chiang Mai.....it's a wonderful place! I suggest you don"t try to do to much. Instead, maybe you spend a week here and then take a travel van up to PIA (in th mountains) for a couple of days. Return and catch an Air Asia flight to Bangkok and get a connecting flight to either HCMC or Hanoi. Don't try to cover all of Vietnam in two weeks...choose either the North or South as your base. Should y choose HCMC y can plan a side trip to Dalat (in the mountains) or Nha Trang (the beach); if Hanoi, Sappa (via overnight sleeper train) or Halong Bay (2-3) day cruise. I've done them all and y cannot go wrong! Skip Laos this trip unless you have a couple of months. VERY SAFE EVERYWHERE.....just travel smart ok! I'm on facebook if y have any questions or Skype. Planning a four month trek in November to the Phillipines, Indonesia & Malaysia but I can give y many places to stay along the way.....Good luck, stop worrying & HAVE A BALL!
just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone! it really helps to read all this especially because i am way too paranoid. And my whole point with travelling was that there was a lot of stuff i wanted to work on myself ... like over thinking things lol and being paranoid haha. i think this trip will do me good so far everything is booked and im waiting for my vietnamese visa to come in. Here is my plan:
thailand oct 20-nov 27
and the second one is a tour around cambodia - vietnam until dec 7 ... im hoping if im there that i can stay longer and change my plane ticket.
again thanks for all the suggestions and encouragement it really helps! if anyone wants to talk my email is otie_baby@hotmail ... i hope im allowed to post email lol. almost a month until i leave, cant wait!!
im really glad i chose to do vietnam and cambodia as well