Filipino travelers! Isn’t it everyone’s dream to travel? Reality is, traveling means spending. But, it will make your sense of existence more meaningful and fulfilling.
I will share you some tips on how to maximize the worth of your money for traveling abroad. I have been traveling to Bangkok since 2014 as a solo backpacker. I normally book the flights at least 3 months in advance prior to travel date. Try to check for lower fares through Cebupacificair.com, AirAsia.com or Philippine airlines website. The airline options depend on which country you’re traveling from. The red eye or evening flights that will get you to the destination at 1 AM have the cheapest fares. If you’re lucky and was able to see a morning flight for a cheaper rate, go for it! Travel time is less than 4 hours. There is a time difference of 1 hour between Philippines and Thailand. Make sure that the passport is not expiring in less than 6 months from the date of your return just to make sure that you will not be refused entry at the immigration counter. Ready your travel tax of P1600 to be paid at the airport.
If you are traveling to Bangkok, there is no need for you to book in a fancy hotel. There are plenty of guesthouses at Khao San road. From the airport, you may take a taxi or train then ride a tuktuk going to Khao San road. Some tuktuk drivers are taking advantage especially for first timers and will give you high rates so try to haggle with fares or better take a cab. Along the streets are guesthouses, ask for their rates and decide where to stay. Room rates start at 200 baht. Of course, you decide whether the room is air conditioned or just with an electric fan. Decide with the budget you have. Once settled, if you plan to go to tourist destinations in Bangkok and its nearby provinces, I recommend you to book through a travel agency that sells tour packages for a good rate. Travel agencies are scattered in Khao San road so you got a handful of choices. Based on experience, they are substantially cheaper. On top of it, you will be traveling with a group of travelers all over the world. You get to gain new friends and acquaintances just in a day. At night, the place is so lively because there are restaurants and bars almost in every corner. There are battles of music in most neighboring bars.
Thai food is awesome! I just got so addicted with the spices on their food. Pad Thai is my first love. Their vegetable cuisines are so enticing and I cannot resist them. Lastly, be ready with your English and some sign languages you know. Just like with any other country, not all Thais speak or understand English so be patient and research a little bit. Go to their famous shopping malls and night market destinations. Shop, bring home some souvenirs, talk to the locals, make friends and create some unforgettable memories. If you run out of baht, there are money changers in almost every other few meters so you do not have to fret. Have fun and enjoy the trip!
Don’t be afraid to travel alone. I’m sure, you’ll not be lonely!
The first time I traveled alone, I went to Cambodia. I booked the round trip flight through Cebu Pacific airline. I researched a bit about the country and the province Siem Reap. I happen to be part of the Couchsurfing organization and I found a hostel owned by one of the Couchsurfing members for a cheaper rate and sent a request to stay there for a certain number of days. When I arrived at the airport, there were tuktuk drivers available who are waiting for passengers. I got a nice man who even contacted the owner of the hostel for free. Tuktuk ride from the airport to my hostel was $5. The driver understands and speaks English so I did not struggle to find my new home for a few days. The hostel owner made the arrangements for me to go to the tourist destinations in Siem Reap. They cooked nice food for me too. In the morning, as early as 5 AM, I had to leave along with one more traveler from Hungary to watch the sun rise at the Angkor Wat temple. Cambodian money is Riel and has very low value so the whole time I used dollar to pay for everything. We paid a total $20 for the Tuktuk whole day service and $20 each entrance fee for the Angkor Wat tour. Food prices ranges from $1.50 and up.
There are a lot of temples in Siem Reap. Angkor Wat is the most famous and is huge to explore, you will have to spend the whole day for it. Most temples look alike and are all amazingly built with carved story of the people’s life and culture in Cambodia. If you want more adventure, then I suggest you go to a travel agency for tour packages that suit your budget. There are a lot of them scattered in many corners. At night, you may visit The Night Market. It is famous with its variety of souvenir options starting with clothes, purses, food choices, accessories and many more. The Pub Street is liveliest at night. It is the place where you can hang out and party with friends, eat the best food offerings of Cambodia, hop from one bar to another and simply just have fun.
From Cambodia, decided to cross the border to Bangkok. I booked the Van ride through a travel agency for $10. At the first stop, they normally give out color coded stickers that you should not lose because it will identify you as part of the group traveling to Bangkok. The Van will drop you off at the Cambodian Immigration. Once your passport got a stamp, go out and look for those men who are arranging the rides going to Bangkok. Remember to check your sticker, that’s your identification or you will have to pay again your fare. On the way to Bangkok, there is one Van stop, that is for re-fueling. It could take up to 30 minutes so meanwhile freshen up a bit at the rest rooms available and buy some food at the 7 eleven store. They accept Baht, Riel and Dollar money. The Van’s last stop is at Khao San Road in Bangkok. From there, just walk along the streets and you’ll find a guesthouse to stay. Just a piece of advice, to enjoy more without taking too much from your budget, go to a travel agency and choose the tours you would like to take.
I hope this gives you an idea on your next travel plans to Cambodia. Leave your questions below.