It’s my first time to travel abroad and I’m very much excited to start this journey in a strange city at dawn.
I arrived passed 1am in Tan Son Nhat International Airport. It’s a 3-hour flight from Manila, Philippines.
Upon arrival, you will pass through the Vietnam Immigration Officer, they will stamp on your passport until when you are allowed to stay in Vietnam. Since my home country (Philippines) is an ASEAN member, no visa is required from us.
Upon heading to the airport’s exit, I’ve seen the car service booth and availed the fixed rate car service (I was suppose to take the bus but I need to walk for about 9mins to the bus stop loading station then walk another 8mins from bus stop unloading to hostel). I think fixed-rate car service is cheaper and safer than metered taxis.
On the way to the hostel, the driver misread the address and brought me to the wrong hostel. Fortunately, the driver was so good that he didn’t stop until we find the right one.
Upon arrival to the hostel, he didn’t even leave until I signaled him that it’s already the right one.👍
It’s strange in Ho Chi Minh, they write 24 hours reception service but when you came late at night, the doors were closed and all lights were off. But you just knock on the door and they’ll open the doors with big smiles. There is always someone who slept near the door.😁
I stayed in 3 La Hostel which I booked via Agoda.com. It’s hard to find, but it’s a nice place to stay.
That morning, I woke up early for the Mekong Delta river tour. The tour guide will pick me up at around 8am. While waiting, I had my breakfast, free on accommodation. 👏👏👏
At around 8:30am, the tour guide arrived – it’s time to start the tour.😉
Mekong Delta River Tour
The Mekong Delta tour package cost $25 which I pre-booked through viator.com.
From Ho Chi Minh City, it takes 2.5 hours to reach Mekong Delta. Here’s our itinerary for the day:
Vinh Trang Pagoda
Then we went to upper Mekong area. From the main road, we trek for around 15 minutes to reach the next stop.
Tasting of Honey tea and listening to traditional Vietnamese music.
From the farm, we walked on the way to the river where the hand-rowed sampan’s loading area is located.
After around 10 minutes of sampan ride along the narrow parts of the river filled with Nipa, we reached the unloading station and take few walk to our next destination.
Coconut Candy Making
Play for a while with there pet phyton.😁
And have a shot of cobra wine.😜
After the candy-making session, we walked going to the loading station of long-tail boat. From there, we will be heading to a local restaurant for lunch.
Lunch in Turtle Island
After a sumptuous lunch, we rode again to the long-tail boat going to the mainland where the bus is located.
After almost 3 hours, we reached the Ho Chi Minh City and I dropped-off in this famous market in the city.
Now, I still have few hours left to explore the city center.
Ben Tah Market
Great finds for anything and everything.👍
Notre Dame Cathedral
Food Trip at the Park
For the full details on itinerary and expenses of my 10-Day Backpacking Tour in South East Asia, you may check 👉 The 1st 10 Days of My Life at 30 (Backpacking HCM-REP-BKK-CNX-KUL for PhP30k).
Hoping for more travels and crazy adventures!😉
It’s my 30th birthday!
But instead of having a grand birthday party, I choose to have a grand celebration.😉
I choose to travel abroad for the first time and solo. I’m hopping on four countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Malaysia.
Backpacking Southeast Asia has been a dream…..and now, I’m on the way to achieving it!
This is it!👊
I took a flight from Cebu to Manila at around 1:55pm and arrived in NAIA Terminal 3 at around 3:30pm. My flight for Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is 10:55pm of the same day.
After I paid the travel tax, checked-in, and got the precious exit stamp by Immigration Officer, I proceed to the assigned gate of my flight.
It’s just around 7pm and have to wait for almost 4 hours for my flight.
Waiting is hard and tiring, but this time, it’s just happiness!💃💃💃
After almost 9 months of planning (yeah! 9 months), itinerary revisions to the nth time, hotel searching, reading reviews and travel tips, booking for accommodations and flights, promo fare waiting, and….doubts?!, here I am now👣👣👣🌎
Saying YES to new ADVENTURES! Crazy JANdventures😜😉
The 10-day Itinerary📜
Day 2: Border-Crossing: Vietnam to Cambodia via Moc Bai
Day 3: Siem Reap: Angkor Tour
Day 4: Border-Crossing: Cambodia to Thailand via Aranyaprathet
Day 5: Bangkok City Tour
Day 6: Kanchanaburri Tour
Day 7: Got Inked by A Monk (Sak Yant Tattoo in Wat Bang Phra Temple)
Day 8: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Day 9: Chiang Rai, Thailan
Day 10: Kuala Lumpur City Central
☕Breakfast are sometimes included on accommodations but are served on specific time range. Depending on your itinerary, decide wisely if you’ll include breakfast or not.
🍛Lunch is usually included on full day tours. It’s always sumptuous.
🍲For dinner, a lot of delicious street food in Southeast Asia at affordable prices.
The Planning Stage 😲😂
From scratch pad to reality…
Yes, we need careful planning when traveling but when you are there, don’t rely on it most of the time. Just get wonderfully lost. Enjoy each moment and be wowed in everything you will discover and experience!😜👣👣👣🌍
Hoping for more travels and crazy adventures!😉
Source: The Island Of Fire: Siquijor
I was invited by a friend to join her on there high school batch reunion to be held in Limasawa Island the following weekend. As soon as I arrived from an official business trip to Iloilo and Bacolod, I tried to plan for our trip and accommodations on Limasawa Island. In the midst of our planning and negotiation for the accommodation, we heard from the news that martial law was declared for the whole Mindanao. This was due to the war against international terrorist groups invading Marawi City, Maguindanao.
My friend’s batchmates consider to cancel the reunion because of the possible threat in Limasawa Island being one of the possible exit points of terrorist groups from Mindanao. The island was said to be strictly guarded by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Sadly, this is happening in the Philippines but is under control of the government. Blessed that the country is divided into islands, with this, the siege is contained in Mindanao only while Luzon and Visayas area continue to live a normal life.
Being in love to travel, I can’t just stay home on the day I was suppose to be somewhere. Well, the country has 7,107 islands so we can still go on nearby provinces.
We think of alternate destination that can be arranged immediately.
Since we’ve been wanting to go to this small but too beautiful and enchanted island named Siquijor but can’t find time, we agreed to go there instead. It seems that this is the perfect time and timing to be there.
The island was first sighted by the Spaniards in 1565 during Miguel López de Legazpi’s expedition. The Spaniards called the island Isla del Fuego or “Island of Fire”, because the island gave off an eerie glow, which came from the great swarms of fireflies that gathered in the numerous molave trees on the island.Wikipedia
How to reach this beautiful island?
There’s no airport in this island. This can be reached via ferry and fast craft from nearby provinces such as Cebu, Dumaguete, Bohol. You may check the ferry schedules and routes.
For us, since we are coming from Cebu, we took a bus in South Bus Terminal in Cebu City bound to Dumaguete City. Travel time is estimated to be three to four hours, but in actual we had five hours (from 7am to 12nn). The bus will ride a RORO in Liloan Port, Santander, Cebu to Sibulan Port, Dumaguete. Travel time is only 25 minutes. Upon arrival in Dumaguete City, we dropped-off in Dumaguete Port to purchase ticket for Siquijor. It’s already 3pm. Unfortunately, no more available tickets for 4pm ferry. Remaining tickets are for 6pm only. We suppose to have a day tour upon arrival in Siquijor but with the delay and estimated arrival time if we take the 6pm ferry, we can’t have the tour within this day anymore.
Think. Think. Think!
After few minutes of discussion on the options we could take, we decided to stay in Dumaguete City overnight and will proceed to Siquijor early morning the following day. We just purchased the earliest trip in advance, 7:20am.
We are not familiar with the province, it’s our first time to be there. Usually, last trips on public vehicles in the secluded provinces are so early like before 8pm. We booked an overnight accommodation in a resort almost 1 hour travel from Siquijor pier, so it won’t be a safe to proceed that night. We stayed in Dumaguete City instead.
The following morning, we took the 7:20am ferry and arrived at around 8:30am in Siquijor.
We negotiated for a motorcycle tour . There are tricycle, motorcycle, and multicab that you can choose to for your day tour around Siquijor depending on the number of person(s).
We went to Larena Public Market to buy food for lunch then proceed to visit tourist spots in the province. We negotiated with the motorcycle driver to start the tour on the farthest spot going to the nearthest (Larena-Maria-Lazi-San Juan-Siquijor Port). With this, we will be nearer on the port since we need to go back to Dumaguete via 4:40pm ferry.
Guiwanon Spring Park, Larena
Salagdoong Molave Man-made Forest
San Isidro Labrador Church
Century-old Balete Tree and Fish Spa
Capilay Spring Park
St. Francis of Assisi Church & Triangular Landmark
We had our last stop here then proceed to the port at around 4pm, just in time for the 4:40pm ferry bound to Dumaguete.
Hoping for more travels and crazy adventures!
A detour of detours….
With the delays on our departure for Siquijor, we decided to stay in Dumaguete City overnight.
We searched for an affordable hostel in Dumaguete City. Luckily, we found White Knights Dumaguete at Php650 per night for a standard air-conditioned room. It’s 5-minute away from the port and accessible via tricycle at Php10 fare.
After we checked-in, we relaxed for a while then went out for a leisurely walk to visit famous destinations nearby:
Dumaguete Cathedral and Belfry Tower
Rizal Boulevard at Night & Try the Street Food
Sweet Treat in Sans Rival
The following day, we woke-up 5am and head to the port at 6am but it’s too early that we took some pictures first of the morning view of Rizal Boulevard.
Actually, we went to the port at 7am and almost missed the ferry due to long ques in terminal fee payment and check-in counters.
Wherever our feet bring us, we find ways to have fun, create moment, and enjoy life. Love the detours!
Time to go to The Island of Fire: Siquijor!
Hoping for more travels and crazy adventures!