Four cities, three countries for the solo traveller
April 12-17, 2017
Here is the itinerary for my Indochina travel. This is the second time I write a blog on my travel to Asia as a solo traveler. This is my detailed itinerary and suggested places for a budget travel. Please be informed that rates and prices I am posting here are based on what I took during my trip. Please don’t totally rely on for I might miss out on some expenses. Prices vary also from the point of origin. This is just a guide.
I actually spent a little over 20,000php all-in for this including food and pocket money.
For all of those solo travelers on budget.
This is my trip route: (you may opt to reverse)
My trip route was Davao>Manila>Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam)>Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Siem Reap (Cambodia)> Malaysia>back to Manila>Davao. You may opt to reverse the trip depending on the lowest fare airlines offer.
Booking for airline Tickets:
All of my travels abroad are promo fares. I always book ahead and plan my travel to save for airfares. I book my airline ticket via Cebupacific and Airasia for a budget airlines.
Location of your Hostel is vital when you are on budget.
Since this is a budget guide for solo traveler. Most of the times you just stay in a room to catch as sleep. As a solo traveler I suggest you to stay in a backpacker hostels located in an area near bus station and attractions not only you will save but also you will meet different people around the world and hear different travel stories. You are also making friends and that’s one of my best parts in traveling solo. Who knows you will meet your forever travel buddy by then. Backpacker hostel are relatively cheap in Vietnam and Cambodia. You can compare prices but I always book my accommodation in AGODA.
The best part of traveling is the local food (My favorite part too).
I will post only the local authentic food on my budget. I don’t normally spend lot of money on food when I travel but I would definitely love to try local cuisine on my budget. I will not dine in a fancy restaurant but I eat a local food stalls or street food. I enjoy how the local leave in each places I gone to. In Vietnam, there are Pho’s along the streets at a very affordable price. If you are not fan of local foods there are also barbeque on the streets and are relatively cheap and taste so good.
I eat street food in our country why not eat abroad. I even eat scorpion in Siem Reap Cambodia and it taste good like a potato chips.
I cross the border from Vietnam to Cambodia by land.
Considering the travel period I have since I only have few days vacation traveling by land is time consuming but you can take a sleeper bus from Vietnam to Cambodia in my case I took Mekong Bus to Phnom Penh Cambodia for 7 hour trip including immigration stamp in the borders. You will pass Moc bai and Bavet Border. 11usd for the bus or (550php) and 2usd(100php)for moc bai border fee and 50000 vnd for Bavet border fee or (110php) total of 760.00php. I don’t think it’s expensive considering the distance.
I don’t usually buy pasalubong on my travel because I always have a hand carry baggage to save time in the airport and in crossing border. I don’t usually bring lot of stuff. I always travel lite. I collect memories and photos in my travel.
Sample Itinerary and Expenses:
Arrive in Ho chi Minh, Vietnam 9:30pm local time
You can withdraw local currency via your atm in the airport. I took vinasun taxi since it’s already 10:00pm when I go outside the airport. Negotiate the driver for the fare. I paid 170,000vnd or ( 380.00php). Check in at Sigoong Hostel (located in a backpackers road with a rooftop dining and a bar on the ground floor.) 2 nights for 18usd including city tax and breakfast.
I book a half day Chu chi tunnel small group tour including hotel pick up and transfer and entrances and a guide for 18usd.
After Chu chi tunnel tour I ask the guide to drop me near the City Museum Fine arts. I visit first national museum, Saigon Central Post office, Ho Chi minh City Hall, Independence Palace and lastly the Saigon Notre dame Basilica. I never paid any entrances because I only have a glimpse outside and take photos. These is a walking tour so no fare included and also for me to have an exercise.
I’m starving never had my lunch yet. I eat a Pho in the street near my hotel around 6pm in the evening. I take a rest for a while then go out for a walk in a night life street in ho chi minh where bars and back packer hostel are located. I settle to have a bottle of beer in my hostel in Sigoong hostel bar.
After having a breakfast in the hostel I walk for about 15minute to Mekong bus express to take a bus to my trip to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The bus leave at 8am and arrive in Phnom Penh 3pm. I took tuktok (3usd) or (150php) to the hotel in Base Villa for 5usd per night ( 250php).
Base Villa is located nearby Independent Monument about 15 minute walk. I walk around the independent monument to city plaza and back in my hostel by 7pm. It was a wonderful walk around the city center.
I have my dinner at the hostel for 4usd including my drink (200php) and enjoy the pool.
After having a breakfast for 3 usd(150php). I took tuktuk for 5usd (250php) to Mekong Bus Express to ride a bus to Siem Reap, Cambodia ( 7 hour bus trip) 12usd or 600php. I arrive in Siem Reap around 3pm. I took a tuktuk for 3usd(150php) to the hostel. I book two nights for 12usd or (600php). I ask the hostel receptionist on how I can get to Angkor Wat temple. It was Khmer New Year when I travel to Siem Reap there was no tour in Angkor Wat. There were lot of people in the temple as they are celebrating Khmer New Year. I ride a motorbike for 5usd(250php to the temple) about 7 kilometer from the hostel. I didn’t know that there was a temple fee for whole day pass of 37usd. I never pay and I was not check by temple guard since I look like local (hahaha). I only knew that there was a fee when my American roommate told me about the pass. He told me he was check for about 10 times (hahaha).
At night I went to Pub Street about 5 minute walk from the hostel to celebrate New Year with the locals. It was fun and best street party I been in other country. (expect to get wet as part of there celebration)
I book in the hostel a local temple tour for 15 usd (Banteay Srei Temple tour (6temple). I recommend this temple tour for it will give you knowledge about the country. This time I already bought a pass of 37usd.
After a whole day tour I rest in the hostel for 3 hours. It was the last day of the Khmer New Year. I go on the night market I eat street food including scorpion. I had a 30 minute foot massage for 2usd.
After check out 6am I ride a tuktuk (5usd or 250php) to Siem Reap International Airport to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and have about 10 hour layover for my connecting flight back to Manila. I had a breakfast at the airport for 5usd(250php). Arrive in Kuala Lumpur International Airport by 11:15am local time. After clearing the immigration I took a bus to KL Sentral Station then a train to Kuala Lumpur Convention Center (Petronas Tower) about 1.5 hour travel (60MYR or 680php). I stayed for about 30 minutes to take photos. After taking photos I ride a taxi and deal with a taxi driver to take me to Batu Caves stay there for 1 hour and 30 minutes then he will send me back to the airport for (150MYR or 1700php). Take note that it is quite far from the airport and take you for about 1 hour and 20 minutes to the airport by taxi plus waiting time. I have a flight back 9pm to save me a time.
Summary Of Expenses
Davao to Manila round trip: 2,620.00
Manila to Ho Chi Minh: 1,580.00
Travel Tax: 1,620.00
Taxi to Hostel: 380.00 (170,000vnd)
SigoonHostel(2nights) 900.00 (18usd) including breakfast
Dinner 65.00 (30,000vnd)
Chu Chi tunnel Tour 900.00 (18usd)
Dinner 110.00 (50,000vnd)
Mekong Bus 550.00 (11usd) (includes snacks and bottled water)
Immigration fee 210.00 (2usd and 50000vnd)
Tuktok 150.00 (3usd)
Base Villa 250.00 (5usd for 1 night)
Dinner 200.00 (4usd)
Tuktuk 250.00 (5usd)
Mekong Bus 600.00 (12usd) includes snacks and bottled water
Tuktuk 150.00 (3usd)
The luxury Concept hostel 600.00 (12 usd for 2 nights)
Motorbike to Angkor wat 500.00 (round trip)
Dinner 187.50 (3.25usd)
Street food 100.00 (2usd)
Temple Tour and fee 2,600.00(52usd)
Water and lunch 500.00(10usd)
Key chain/ref magnet 250.00(5usd)
Siem Reap to kl to Manila 3,750.00(75usd)
Transportation ni Malaysia 2,720.00 (240MYR)
Meal in KL 115.00 (10MYR)
Total expenses of 22,157.50 or 23,000.00
Important Reminders: When traveling abroad always bring ball pen and a small notebook with you. When dealing with fare or fee always right the amount and show them to the driver to avoid miscommunication since they have different language. Be street smart there are scammers in Vietnam. Don’t deal with people on the street and offer you a tour. My roommate becomes a victim of these scammers. Always down load offline map to avoid asking people on the street for they will scam you if they got a chance. In dealing with fares always do bargain and as much as possible ask the hostel receptionist to look for a ride for you and ask the price first. Protect yourself always.