Indochina – X

I had no travel insurance because at last minute I decided I could save the money for other things; if I die, I die.

Which led me to mantra I-do-not-have-a-travel-insurance every time I get into trouble or I felt that a bad decision could be the cause of my death.

It’s safe to travel solo in Cambodia – Vietnam – Laos – Thailand. There were no major drama and hassle apart from the usual scams. Maybe it pays to be a Southeast Asian girl – I look like a local.

How many times did I walk around at night?

1. When I knew there was KFC 10 steps away from my hostel at Phnom Penh.

2. The night I arrived at Ha Noi and was dropped off 10 blocks away from my hostel which happened to be in a small alley and walked around again to find food.

3. Walk back to hostel from afternoon stroll at Luang Prabang (includes night market).

4. Another walk from and to hostel to eat around the night market at Luang Prabang.

5. The night I arrived at Vientiane and the tuktuk driver forgot to drop me off at my hostel. He said “it’s just 5 minute walk” and grinned annoyingly. Thank God for working Google Maps, I was able to locate the hostel!

In all fairness, I felt safe but came to realize now that I could be found dead at any spot but I was not.

Later.

Indochina 2015

32 days from the day I left Manila to the day I left Kuala Lumpur for Manila. It’s been more than a month. I miss traveling. I miss the independence it taught me. The idea of being lost or almost being hit by a pick up van in Vientiane and feared for my life because I didn’t avail travel insurance.

No matter how planned and well-researched everything was, there were just things I wasn’t able to control. Let me tell you what were the most gruesome and wonderful experiences of my solo travel for three weeks from Cambodia – Vietnam – Laos to Thailand. But first, let me organize my thoughts.

Indochina: To Cambodia

We finally took off and flying for probably 30 minutes already. Departure was delayed.

Interesting:

• My sister gave me $100 to hire a tour guide for my Angkor Wat tour. She seemed to be very concerned I was gonna take a tuktuk alone and no one would take pictures of me.
• While waiting for the check in counters to open, I met a Pinay who’s traveling to Cambodia for a workshop. And guess what, that’s part of her studying archaeology. How cool is she?????????
• I wasn’t questioned much by my IO! Though I’d confess that when he ticked that ‘occupation’ part because I didn’t fill that out (duh unemployed), my heart skipped a beat.
• IO asked if it was my first travel outside the Philippines. When I said no, he asked if I brought my old passport. I showed it to him and viola, he stamped my passport. Baaaaaam!
• Only had about an hour to eat dinner. Counters opened quite late compared to my previous flights and the lines were too long!!!!
• I managed to eat dinner with P180 on hand from Tapa King. I had Tapa Flakes and it was the most expensive tapa meal I had in my life.
• I never saw Ms. Archeaologist again since I left her to run towards another check in counter. Medyo feel ko ang bastos ko when she just wanted to make friends, I guess?
• Going back to food, I no longer have peso… I’m hungry.
• I still need a proper meal.

Nap first.

When I arrived in the airport, I followed fellow Filipinos and took a Visa on Arrival slip. Wrong wrong wrong. I just wasted about 5 minutes of my time filling out the form. Tanga tanga lang.

Upon exiting, hindi ko agad na-spot si Kuya tuktuk driver because he was standing far from everyone else. “Is this your name?” he asked. I tried to talk and talk but no, he was just too quiet. The ride from airport to my hostel along Sivutha Boulevard took about 17 mins. There were good lighting within 5 minutes and next thing I knew, Kuya turned right on a very dark road. Oo, seryoso walang street lights at all. Meron ding part na wala talagang kabahay bahay and I feared for my life. 12 minutes din yon.

• Check in was smooth and everyone here in the hostel is very friendly.
• I just don’t like the amoy paa scent when you enter.
• I like my bed, bottom bunk and white sheets. Lockers are big enough I could fit my backpack.
• Rusty ng water. Pati yung hand towel near the sink has rust already!!! Kaya pag nagtu-toothbrush ako, mineral water pinangmumumog ko. 🙁
• The Japanese girl in my room snores loud.
• I was able to sleep well.