IndoChina Solo Travel for 9 days – Vietnam-Cambodia-Thailand
Travelling is a thing for all of us but travelling alone is extraordinary. I’m always amazed to those people who have guts to do multi-country travel and the fact that they are doing it alone is just amazing! Lets all admit that travelling solo to an unknown place is scary as you don’t know what might or can happen but I realized I need to experience that, I need to know the feeling of being on my own and because of that I decided to do my first out of the country solo travel.
IndoChina is a term used for countries between India (in the west) and China (in the North) that consist of Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar but for this blog we will only do the IndoChina Trilogy (Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand).
why did I choose IndoChina? this is because I wanted to experience and see more about the culture, the variety of religion and the colorful architecture they offer and like my other travels, I always wanted to experience the famous tourist spot in the day and the night life in the evening. other factor that made me decided is the accessibility of this countries to each other, this countries are close to each other for about 7 hours away by land and 1 hour plus by air, this will help my dream of doing multi-country travel possible.
Where to Book a Flight
I’m a solo “Budgetarian” Traveler, I embrace low priced but quality travel so I always choose PROMO fares. I usually booked on Cebu Pacific, an airline here in the Philippines that offer low price fares. also, I learned about flight booking site that collects all airline schedules and fare that sort from cheapest to luxurious. one of this site is SkyScanner that I’m planning to use on my next journey 🙂
Where to Stay
I used HostelWorld App in booking for hostels and guesthouse, so for this travel I definitely used the app again. the app will allow you to book with just 5% down payment and the complete payment will be made in the hostel itself. here are the list of hostels that I booked. if you want to see more hostels and reviews visit booking site or hostel world.
Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh
Sigoong Hostel (Breakfast on rooftop) – This place is in front of the market but definitely clean and the staffs are accommodating. they were able to assist me on my request to book a cu chi tunnel tour at the same moment I arrive at the hostel. They also assist me to reserve a seat at the Giant IBIS bus going to Phnom Phen. What I also love about this hostel is their common area at the rooftop where you can have your free breakfast and other stuff like watching the city on the evening, their bathroom are shared for all but has 5 cubicles all equip with showers and toilet and it will make you feel like you on your own restroom.
- Email Address:
- Location:Contact #:
- HostelWorld: Click here direct link
REVIEWS: click this link for all reviews
Phnom Penh – Cambodia
19 Happy House Backpacker Hostel – My stay here is just okay, not really that great but is good for overnight stay. the place it really accessible and near the bus station and some of the temples, I was able to walk around Phnom Penh and visit temples. The common area is a bit noisy because it’s actually a restau-bar with billiards and loud music. My friends who visited the place told me that the place is a good party house but when during my stay theres no party just loud music. The bathroom are shared, spacious but need a little bit more cleaning, also there is no windows in the room making it look small and dirty but not sure with the other rooms. for me the real asset of the hostel is their staff, they are so friendly and accommodating, one of the staff even offered me a free tuktuk tour but I prefer to walk 🙂
- Email Address:
- Location:Contact #:
- HostelWorld: Click here direct link
REVIEWS: click this link for all reviews
Siem Ream – Cambodia\
Siem Reap Pub Hostel – I went to this place via tuktuk from the bus terminal. at first the driver had a hard time recognizing the place luckily after showing the booking confirmation, he was able to bring me to the place. This hostel is really great, the ambiance is on point, it is cozy, clean, it has its own restaubar (restaurant / bar), it has swimming pool and the beds in the dorm type room is big and it has lockers (that’s a plus for me). I ate my first dinner in the hostel and their food is really nice. the staffs are friendly and approachable and the best part is that for every booking you will get a free massage to their partner spa near pub street. the massage and fruits are superb.
Mile Map Hostel – This hostel is kinda far from the attractions but what makes it goods is that it is near the metro that can bring you to a lot of place in Bangkok. Also the interior of the hostel is very instagramable. The staffs are really friendly and helpful. they can also speak English clearly. the dorm type room is really big with less beds which is actually nice where you can move freely.
Navigation / Directions for Crossing Boarders
From Tan Son Nhat International Airport to your hostel.
- Airport Bus – there is an airport bus that can bring you to the ho chi min terminal but the catch is its always full and locals are not really English speakers but there are some who can and is good at it.
- Taxi – make sure to take the cheapest taxi, this is usually blue taxi. the drivers are again not really English speakers so you should be prepared for the address in their writings.
From Ho Chi Minh to Cambodia Phnom Penh.
- This can be done via bus, Giant IBIS Bus is the most recommended bus in Ho Chi Minh and is travelling from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh to Siam Reap and is found in near the party street of Pang Ngu Lao. If you find it hard to book by yourself, you can ask the staff in the hostel to help you with the booking, just like what I did. you can check out their schedule in their website. I will put the link below this blog. no night travel since you need to go down in the immigration at the boarder to get your passport stamped. Your bus driver will be collecting your passport and will bring it to the immigration. You will need to go down the bus and line up to the immigration. the officer will call your name with your passport stamp. NOTE! there is no payment and do not give you passport to any other officials aside from your driver. Since I follow the driver and other passenger, this process is smooth for me.
Travel Time: 6 to 7 hoursPhone: (+84) 12 089 02333
Address: #237, Pham Ngu Lao St. Dist. 1, HCM City, Vietnamstreet 90, behind National library
From Phnom Penh to Siam Reap
- This again can be done via Giant IBIS bus near the Phnom Penh Night Market. if you don’t like to stay in Phnom Penh for a night, don’t worry as there is already a night that will bring you to Siem Reap. I stayed here for one night just to see how life is in the largest city in Cambodia. I also went to temples. Giant IBIS Terminal is the only bus terminal I saw in this place.
Travel Time: 6 to 7 hoursAddress: Street 90, behind National library
From Siam Reap to Bangkok Thailand.
- It seems like Giant IBIS is being promoted a lot in this blog. Yes, for the third time I took Giant IBIS bus again to travel to Bangkok. it took us 4 hours to go to the boarder and get our visa and passport stamp.So again, you will have to go down your bus and get your Visa then transfer to the immigration to have your passport stamp. In this journey I and other Filipino travelers encounter corruption while getting our visa. The boarder officer ask us to pay 3 dollars each for unknown reason. I know 3 dollars is not really big money but the fact that you don’t have to pay is really irritating. Also, their system is not good, after getting visa we are not instructed on where we should go and there is no freaking signage or directions. We just went straight the streets until we reach the gate and from that we just used our own ability in asking the locals. Also it sadden me that there is this kind of doing specially for the tourist who just wanted to see and appreciate their country. Moving forward, after that experience we have to travel again from boarder to Bangkok and I’ll tell it took us 6 hours due to traffic. Well just the same as Manila 🙂
From Bangkok to Pattaya
- During my 3 day stay in Thailand, I decided to go to Pattaya where we cant find the Cartoon Network water park (sorry it’s just that I love waterparks). There are a lot of bus terminals in Bangkok but I took one of the largest in the city which can be found near the the largest market in Bangkok the Chatuchak Market. Since I don’t really have concrete Itinerary for Pattaya, I’m not able to reserve ticket for the bus so I took the van that took me 2 hours just to board the van. the terminal has a lot of passengers waiting and it is really exhausting. it took me 4 hours from bangkok to Pattaya. Unfortunately, I just enjoyed the waterpark for half a day.
From Pattaya to Bangkok.
- of course, I need to go back to Bangkok for my last day in Thailand and going back is easier than going to Pattaya. There is a bus Terminal in Pattaya, you just have to tell it to the Jeepney Driver. (its not really a jeepney but it has the same concept).
What to Do and See in IndoChina
Ho Chi Minh
- Cu Chi Tunnel – Ask your hostel staff as they usually have connections to travel tours for Cu Chi tunnel and I recommend getting tour instead of DIY because is kinda hard to speak with the locals and the bus is really crowded as per the hostel staff.
- Bar hopping – Night life is not a problem in Ho Chi Minh as it has a lot of drinking place from cheap to luxurious. my top 2 favorite are the Pang Ngu Lao Street that has a lot of bars and the other one is the Lush club that really look fancy.
- Notre Dame Cathedral – This is inspired in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris / Italy (i’m not sure :D) and this is because Ho Chi Minh was under European influence.
- Europe inspired Post Office
- War Remnants Museum – This museum is a tragic museum in my opinion. why? because you can see here all the pictures and items used in the War between North and South.
- Jade Emperor Pagoda
- Reunification Palace
- Sri Mariamman Temple
- Temples – only few temples got my eyes and they are “Golden Buddha in Wat Phnom
- Night Market – I personally like the night market as there are a lot of good food here
- Silver Pagoda
- Angkor Wat Park – This is the biggest park I’ve been for my entire life. it took me the whole to to somehow explorer the area but I’m sure there are a lot of part that I was not able to see. To go to Angkor Wat you have to pay 32 USD for the Passport to enter the park. I rented Tuktuk for 20 USD whole day to tour me to different temples. note the tuktuk will just wait outside the temples so you have to do the walking 🙂 Angkor Wat is amazing for those who appreciate history and beauty behind those ruins.
- Pub Street –
- Siem Reap Circus
- Chasing Temple – Reclining Buddha is just one of the many hindu temples that you will see in Bangkok, they have other temples too like the dragon temple that is unfortunately I wasn’t able to visit. The reclining buddha is just amazing.
- Markets – Thailand is known to have every items cheap so visiting market is a must and given the fact that the largest market in asia can be found in Thailand. It is the Chatuchak Market. I got tired while doing shopping. This market have everything you need. I just dont like one shop here that sell crocodile skin bag!
- Street Food – Thailand’s amaxing cuisin is not found in fancy restaurant it is in the heart of the streets from grilled pork to your favorite shakes.
- Pattaya – It is know to have different amusement park and attractions like the iceland and the cartoon network waterpark. I went to cartoon network and the experience is wonderful.
Tips and Guides
- In traveling solo you have to do a lot of advance research about the place, the dos and don’ts, culture and etc.
- Make sure to check for directions in advance just in case you got challenges with communication. it is always better to have a back up plan.
- If the country is a non english country and their writings is different, it is best to have a copy of the places and things you wanted to go and do so that if your asking a local you just need to show them the text.
- Be prepared and be physically stable when you get to this places
- Make new friends that can help you enjoy the travel
I hope this simple guide will help you with your journey 🙂
This is Rei leavig you with “Live Life The Xyraordinarei Way”.
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