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
The first stop on my solo backpacking tour of Southeast Asia was a 10-day stint in Myanmar, historically known by the British as Burma. I’d heard amazing things from other travellers who had visited, especially of the stunning Bagan temples at sunset and lively Yangon.
I did a few double-takes at my guidebook, which was unfortunately five years out of date, as a lot has happened to the country in that time and is happening right now. I found lots of information online to help me out with budget and travel tips, but things are progressing so fast that I’m now adding my voice to the mix to help others prepare for their experiences in Myanmar on a backpacker’s budget. Read more
I left Hong Kong early in the morning, catching the A11 to the airport and waving goodbye to Rob out of the window. I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach again, like this trip was both a brilliant and terrible idea. Seven weeks in Southeast Asia alone, starting with 10 days in Myanmar? Was I insane?
Ideas of chickening out and jumping off the bus were tempting, but I managed to stay on until Terminal 2. I checked in, went through security and immigration, and messaged Rob and my family just before boarding.
On the shuttle to the plane I heard my name being called; it was a friend of a friend who happened to be on the same flight! Of course, the world is big but it is also small (and Hong Kong even smaller). I was thankful for a travel buddy for that first push over the edge. There was no turning back. Read more