Hurrah! My #40days40blogs challenge meant I finally posted up all the details of my two months in Southeast Asia! Here’s a roundup of all the places I managed to squeeze into my two months solo and on a shoestring budget, including detailed itineraries, travel journal entries and more:
Two Months in Southeast Asia: Myanmar (Burma)
I started my two months in Southeast Asia with Myanmar, also known by its old colonial name, Burma (this confused some of the Brits back home so FYI).
This country is fascinating. I was intrigued by its history and the tragic stories of the governing military regime and the colonial wars.
Also, I personally found Burmese cities to be overwhelming, even for someone like me who had been living in Asia for five years. The traffic, the crowds, the business, the noise! It was chaotic, but beautiful. I really felt like I’d thrown myself into the deep end. Read more
From Yangon, Myanmar, I flew into Luang Prabang via Bangkok for one week in Laos. Laos was the second country I visited on my solo Southeast Asian backpacking trip and one I was really looking forward to.
Laos is somewhere that many people visit for the sake of it because it’s conveniently connected to Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
However, many people fall in love with Laos when they arrive and find it difficult to leave. I am definitely one of these people. Here is my travel diary from my one week in Laos, which – as emphasised in my previous posts on Laos – was not nearly enough time. Read more
After 10 days in Myanmar, which was a lot easier on my wallet than I thought it would be, the next stop on my solo Southeast Asia trip was a week backpacking around Laos. I had heard wonderful things about Laos and couldn’t wait to explore it myself.
What greeted me was one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited in my life, with Luang Prabang climbing high on my list of favourite cities in the world.
It’s a rite of passage for all backpackers country-hopping around the continent. Despite your best efforts, you will definitely have to take a few long bus journeys in Southeast Asia. Whether it’s from city to city or country to country, the prices are so much cheaper than flying (and arguably safer than the trains).
Of course, you won’t be travelling in luxury. The roads will not be safe. The driver will be grumpy, drunk or short-sighted. No one will speak English, including staff and your fellow passengers. But it’s all part of the experience, right? It’s character building!
What you need is a survival kit. Here are a few things I learnt from taking 10 long-haul bus journeys in Southeast Asia: Read more
Luang Prabang might be one of the most gorgeous places I have ever laid eyes on. From the sloping roofs of gold Buddhist temples to artfully plated French-influenced cuisine to the swirling coffee colours of the Mekong, I was utterly entranced. Partly by circumstance and partly my terrible planning on my part, I only had 24 hours to enjoy this city.
My flight had landed late so it was already dark when my pickup driver arrived (he was late, drunk and had tried to take someone else to my hostel by mistake so had had to turn around and come back to the airport). I was tired, sticky in my travel clothes and grumpy about my pickup-gone-wrong when the car started weaving through the streets. Read more