November Getaway 2013

Welcome to my second post in 2013! Mwahaha.

So. This post is going to be the first of a series of me babbling about my latest getaway, the November 2013 getaway! Tadaaa..

November Getaway 2013

The text in the travel book cover is NG2013 in summary: Bandung – Jakarta – Bangkok – Siem Reap – Saigon – Singapore – Bandung, 9 – 18 November 2013. This post will note the predeparture stories. Without further ado..

First: Tickets

This year I got long service leave (a whole month off yay) and I chose to take it in my special month, November.

I’ve always been that person who likes to plan something for own birthday. In high school I saved up my allowance to buy the complete series of Shoot manga. But when I bought Tigerair’ JKT-BKK ticket for Nov 9, it was not a special birthday plan, it was because the fare was the cheapest that day.

I actually wanted to avoid flying on my birthday because last time, the first time I ever travelled on the day, the airline pilot announced it and the crew congratulated me and gave me a birthday card signed by them. This happened up in the air so I couldn’t run away or pretend that I wasn’t the birthday girl.

Lucky last time I was with this guy so the awkward level could be toned down a bit I think. This time I will fly solo and if they don’t have any gift card to please me, please please don’t call my name I pray.

Anyway, on one July night I dreamt of going solo travelling that involves road trip abroad and before I knew it, I was browsing through budget airline websites and feeling this urge to get these 3 tickets:

  1. Tigerair Jakarta – Bangkok 9 Nov
  2. Tigerair Ho Chi Minh City – Singapore 17 Nov
  3. Airasia Singapore – Bandung 18 Nov

Tickets I bought and a happy girl I was. Then I’d just have to figure out how to get to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) from Bangkok. Oh the excitement!

Second: The Planning

I put Siem Reap as a stop between Bangkok and Saigon. I wanted to see the famous Angkor Wat. So my early searches was on how to do land trip Bangkok-Siem Reap and then Siem Reap-Saigon.

Siem Reap – Saigon was resolved almost immediately thanks to the lost wanderer who had taken bus trip Saigon – Siem Reap. For Bangkok – Siem Reap I meant to follow this guide.

Third: Changes to Plan

Before the trip even started there were already changes. First, I got a travel mate so it wouldn’t be a solo travelling anymore. This change was very much welcome. I was a bit scared going on a road trip alone.

The second change gave a dent to my budget plan. When my friend and I were going through the travel plan, I found out that the bus service that’s supposed to take us from Siem Reap to Saigon had announced on their web that they would not be operating on our travel dates due to the Bon Om Touk, one of the biggest national celebrations in Cambodia.

After considering several options (one of them was to take boat trip from Siem Reap to Pnom Penh to see the festival but how to get to Saigon?), we purchased flight tickets from Cambodian Angkor Air. You know what, the price of this one ticket one hour trip equals to about 80% of the sum of my other 3 tickets! Lalalala..

Fourth: All Set, sort of

On Nov 7 skype call with the travel mate, I believe we had covered about 60-70%-ish of our trip plan. I tried to create an hourly schedule but soon I got bored. At that time I might have felt there were still holes, like several how to get there etc, but I didn’t really want to do one more travel related googling. Just get me on the plane already!!

Money

I had in me 6500 THB, 500 USD, and 60 SGD (the travel mate had my 170 USD since I used my credit card for the Siem Reap – Saigon ticket). They didn’t sell VND here in Bandung.

Luggage

Oh the hell with travelling light haha.. Easy to say, difficult to execute. Next time I MUST bring fewer clothes. Just buy on destination or use the laundry service. I brought Eiger Lavost 5.1.2 50 L backpack, one shoulder bag, and one folded bag. I should really have to go on another trip if it’s only just to improve my packing and shopping skill alalalala..

The original schedule
9 Nov night – arrive in Bangkok 10 Nov – Chatuchak Weekend Market, malls at Siam Square, Siam Niramit show 11 Nov – Grand Palace, Wat Arum, Wat Pho, Cloud 47 12 Nov – land trip to Siem Reap 13 Nov – Angkor National MuseumPhare Circus 14 Nov – Angkor Complex 15 Nov – flight to Saigon, Golden Dragon Water Puppet 16 Nov – Chu Chi Tunnel half day tour, XO Night Tour 17 Nov – flight to Singapore, Bras Basah, Red Dot Design Museum, Orchard 18 Nov – flight to Bandung
Several things took different turns of course but let’s leave it for another posts~~ *hope I can finish this series, fingers crossed lalala~

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