It’s been ages since I’ve posted anything. Since returning from my 3-month-long Europe trip at the end of August, my life has been just like that Rihanna song: work work work work work.
Well… work and trip planning, that is! I’m heading out in just over a week to spend almost three months in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. As you can imagine, I’m pretty friggin’ excited!
In true Jodie style, I have my entire itinerary planned out in detail and all my hostels booked, weeks before my plane takes off, even though conventional backpacker wisdom says to wing it and figure out your route as you go. (As I’ve said before, I like to have peace of mind knowing that I will have a bed to sleep in, in the hostel that I want, when I arrive in a new city.)
Here’s my painstakingly planned-out itinerary:
Jan. 19: Fly from Toronto to Bangkok (arrive Jan. 20)
Jan. 20-27: Bangkok
Jan. 27: Take the train to Chiang Mai, Thailand
Jan. 27-Feb. 2: Chiang Mai
Feb. 2: Take a minivan or “sawng teeo” to Pai, Thailand
Feb. 2-8: Pai
Feb. 8: Take a minivan or sawng teeo back to Chiang Mai, then fly to Bangkok to spend the night
Feb. 9: Fly to Hanoi, Vietnam
Feb. 9-18: Hanoi (Feb. 14-16 spent on the Castaways Island Tour in Halong Bay)
Feb. 18: Take the overnight sleeper train to Da Nang, Vietnam
Feb. 19: Take the bus to Hoi An, Vietnam
Feb. 19-26: Hoi An
Feb. 26: Take a bus back to Da Nang, then take the train to Nha Trang, Vietnam
Feb. 26-Mar. 2: Nha Trang
Mar. 2: Take the train to Ho Chi Minh City (also known as Saigon), Vietnam
Mar. 2-8: Ho Chi Minh City
Mar. 8: Take the bus to Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Mar. 8-13: Phnom Penh
Mar. 13: Take the bus to Battambang, Cambodia
Mar. 13-17: Battambang
Mar. 17: Take the bus to Siem Reap, Cambodia
Mar. 17-23: Siem Reap
Mar. 23: Fly to Bangkok
Mar. 24: After arriving in Bangkok late at night, take the 6:00am bus from Khao San Road to Chumphon, Thailand, then take the ferry to the Thai island of Koh Tao
Mar. 24-28: Koh Tao
Mar. 28: Take the ferry to the nearby island of Koh Phangan
Mar. 28-Apr. 2: Koh Phangan (Full Moon Party on Mar. 31! Wooooooooo!)
Apr. 2: Take the ferry to the mainland, then take the bus to Ao Nang Beach in Krabi, Thailand
Apr. 2-6: Ao Nang
Apr. 6: Take the ferry to Koh Lanta
Apr. 6-11: Koh Lanta
Apr. 11: Take the ferry to Koh Phi Phi
Apr. 11-15: Koh Phi Phi
Apr. 15: Take the ferry to the island of Phuket
Apr. 15-19: Phuket
Apr. 19: Take a 14-hour bus ride back to Bangkok
Apr. 20: Catch my early-morning flight back to Toronto
Apr. 21: Touch down in T.O.
As for what I’m bringing with me, my packing list will be largely the same as the one I used for my Europe trip. The biggest difference is that I will be swapping out a few pairs of shorts in favour of long skirts and maxi dresses. One of the requirements for visiting temples and the like in Southeast Asia is to have your shoulders and knees covered. No way am I going to be one of those clueless tourists who turn up to Angkor Wat in a tank top and booty shorts!
I’m also excited to use the brand-new anti-theft bag that my mom gave me for Christmas. OK, so it’s not the most fashionable handbag ever, but it’s got slash-proof straps and body panels, as well as locking compartments. (If only I had had this bag when I was in Berlin last June, my passport wouldn’t have gotten stolen. Sigh.) It’s even got “RFID blocking slots” thrown in for good measure. I’m not sure exactly how those will come in handy for me, but hey! Cool!
If you’re interested in purchasing this bag, here it is on Amazon:
Travelon Anti-Theft Signature 3-Compartment Crossbody
Looks like Travelon has tons of other anti-theft bags with varying designs, too, so you have lots to choose from.
As for me, I’ve just got a few odds and ends to tie up before I take off. The next time you hear from me, I’ll be in Thailand!