Top 25 Travel Resolutions for Travelers 2010

3:00:00 PM Pinoy Boy Journals 8 Comments

Every time we travel, we come to realize a couple of things for ourselves: lessons learned along the way, things we don't want to happen again, and events that are sometimes funny or sad, some even traumatic.  It's best to use these experiences as learning tool for when the next trip comes along, that is why i came up with my Top 25 Travel Resolutions for Travelers this 2010. 

1. Save up. We always realize the advantage of saving up before we leave for a trip. More money equals more time spent traveling. So, hold on to your money when the shopping sale season comes, or when you're dreading to buy that pair of shoes, that awesome shirt you don't need. Remember that there's no better way to spend money than buying yourself a plane ticket to paradise.

2. Get fit. There's nothing worse than not being able to climb the steep steps of the Angkor Wat or long walks finding a good hostel to stay in during midday in Bangkok. When you're charged and amped, you would not opt for a tuk-tuk or a taxi, instead you'll just walk. You save money and you keep fit, plus you get to see more interesting stops along the way. It's like hitting three birds with one stone, you see. 

3. Be Clean. If you know what i mean, you don't want to be banged up abroad. It's about time. Time to look out for yourself.

4. Others would say pack less, i say pack more. Personally, i've experienced lack of shirts to use because i've used them all up and are straight to the laundry. Also, it works if you're really on a tight budget, you don't have to buy those shirts along Khao San road even if they're dirt cheap. Saves you money plus you don't wear the same shirt in all of your travel photos.

5. Invest in a good toiletry kit. I've experienced the worst - toothpaste in my soap, shampoo on my toothbrush. Not good at all, my friend. You're always out traveling anyway, so buy those really good fabric, water resistant toiletry kit that holds up your essentials. 

6. If you're feeling that tonight's going to be a good, good night, i mean drinking to the night, buy cheap rhum or whiskey and cola at the nearest 7-11 store and drink up at your hostel or guest house. Then, go out to grab a couple more drinks at the bar. You'll realize a couple of Bahts or Dongs or Reals will save you up for more important matters, like another bottle the next day.

7. Sometimes internet use is expensive in some places. Along Khao San, it's cheap around 20 Baht an hour, but when you get to Koh Phangan and Krabi or anywhere down south to the islands, that's where internet price is jacked up, around 60 Baht every 30 minutes, that's 120 Baht in one hour. Wheeew.

8. Always ask before you buy. You have to agree on a price first - be it in a tuk tuk ride going to your place, or upon entering those sleazy clubs in patpong, or even upon ordering a small glass of hot lemon tea.

9. Charge your camera battery. You will definitely regret going on a tour or to wherever you're going, finding a red blinking sign on your camera Toink! You need to charge your battery camera all the time. That's 1/2 of your life lost because you weren't able to take the gorgeous sunset of the Angkor Wat.

10. Try to research, and ask around. Sometimes, the place you're looking for is right on the next block and you regret taking a taxi for 30 minutes looking for that place which is just right around the corner. Add up to the confusion is a non-English speaking Chinese driver.

11. Don't drink water out of a faucet. You'll ruin your trip. Trust me.

12. Sometimes department store merchandise is cheaper than the ones sold at the night market. 

13. Don't drink and smoke in Singapore not because it's unlawful or you'll get caught but because it's unbelievably overpriced. Are you kiddin' me... P350 for a pack of Marlboro, and P150-P200 for a glass of tiger beer????

14. Don't avail of day tours. Walk and Do It Yourself. You will be surprised knowing that the most intimate experiences are when you just walk around, and take it all in. Be it sitting with the locals in Siem Reap, or helping out a lovely Vietnamese girl sell her freshly picked flowers in Hanoi.

15. Smile all the time. Remember you're not from there, it's always a good advice to be friendly. A smile will get you a free round of drinks, a smile will earn you friends, a smile will earn you a kiss.

16. Don't drink everyday and night even if the happy hour is so tempting. Or better yet, don't drink beer and coke everyday and every night. You don't want to be acidic when you get back home from the trip.

17. A few dollars less for a hostel or a guesthouse doesn't always mean you have to get it. A few dollars more will get you a very nice room with a great view of the ocean. So as the story was told in Sihanoukville.

18. When you are out and someone fights with you, walk away. Trouble is not what you want to be a part of when you're out in an unfamiliar territory. You don't want to be like the bleeding farang along Khao San who was beaten up by the locals because he offended them. 

19. Even if you travel in groups, it doesn't mean you have to go out together every time. Take a day off to explore the city or an island alone. When you come back, you have so many more stories to share.

20. Even if you're heading to a tropical country, alway bring with you a pair of trousers. You don't want to be left out by your friends while they party in Zouk while you go back home with your short pants and sandals like what happened to me in Kuala Lumpur.

21. Invest in a WiFi capable internet phone. It's cheaper to update people back home through Tweeter or Facebook status than sending them an SMS message or worse, calling them. 

22. Buy local art. Instead of those ashtrays, or displays you will find in almost every Asian City, buy Local art or furniture and have them shipped back home.

23. Learning a foreign language is not an easy task but learning how to say hello and thank you is very easy. Do it. 

24. Try to mingle with the locals. Talk to them, try to do what they're doing. Laugh when they're laughing. Small talks are really nice.They will appreciate it. You will be rewarded.

25. Don't feel bad when you're coming back home. Smile, for you will always come back. You'll see.


flipnomad said...

"Don't drink water out of a faucet."

i agree! though i tried it a couple of times, i woke up so thirsty and dehydrated in the middle of the night and found out there's no more drinking water... i went to the bathroom and drank a little tap water.

i was so lucky i didnt experience diarrhea... mas matibay yata sikmura ng pinoy!!!

hehehe but it's really not safe i think

but i wasn't lucky the last time in siem reap, i needed a drink and the convenience store was 5-10 minutes away. was too lazy to walk, drank tap water, the next day my stomach was on a revolution. haha.. the next days were spent not feeling really good. i vow never to do that again! never! hehe...

krystle said...

hi! i have another a plan. what if i'll do myanmar-cambodia-laos. I'll first go to thailand then where to go next? i plan to have 20 days to go around those 3 countries. is there a "famous" backpacking trail i can use? Thanks again.

hi krysle... is this your first time around south east asia? if so i really suggest you do thailand and cambodia first. these two countries have so much to explore with so little time. i think thailand alone you need more than a month to explore. it all depends on how you travel though. myanmar is out of the way to cambodia. from laos i think you have to pass by vietnam or you'll do the mekong river. i haven't been to myanmar nor laos so i couldn't explain further.

this is what is suggest you do with maximum travel on 20 days. Do Thailand and Cambodia.

fly to bangkok, head to the south and visit the islands koh tao, koh pha ngan, koh samui then maybe krabi and phi-phi islands.. spend there around 7-10 days, head back to bangkok and go to siem reap overland to visit the angkor wat. go back after three days. i just did 1 day tour of the angkor complex and it is enough. go back to thailand via bangkok same route.

from bangkok head north to ayuthaya for the old capital with magnificent temples. then straight to chiangmai and chiang rai and do the trekking/ rafting extreme stuff, squeeze in muay thai and thai cooking and visit heaps of out of the way provinces up north and north east if you still have time. then go back to bangkok and shop till you drop in chatuchak market for souvenirs then come back home.

i wanted to know are you dead set on doing myanmar, laos, cambodia? coz you're arriving in thailand anyway might as well explore the country.

Anonymous said...

hi again! my friends and i are planning to join a half marathon in Cambodia. what's the safest way to Cambodia from Bangkok? and how many hours and at what cost? Thanks! Any backpacking hotel you can recommend in Bangkok and Siem reap?

Hi! sorry for the very late reply, I've been very busy with work now. anyway, do you mean that you're just visiting cambodia half day? if so, i don't really recommend it as it takes quite some time to travel because of poor road conditions. yet, its been a while since i was last there. but if you're set on traveling from Bangkok to Cambodia, you can find heaps of tourist agencies along Khao San road. don't worry the prices are almost all the same, ask from 2-3 agencies, find the best deals.

I thought you should know, I've been reading a lot of awful stories how its not advised to travel from bangkok to cambodia, but to tell you its possible. Ask me again, if you have some more questions. I would be glad to help you now that i am already settled at work.

Anonymous said...

hi Pinoy boy!is it possible to travel ho chi mihn to siem reap in one day?sabi kc ng hotel hndi daw. hindi ba direct ang byahe ng mekong express from hcm to siem reap?i hve a very short holiday lang kasi eh bakit pa ako pupunta ng cambodia kung di ko lang makikita angkor wat di ba?

yes anon! kasi it takes about 10-12 hours to travel from saigon to siem reap with a stop-over in phnom penh. that goes also with mekong express like all buses, for fuel.

let's say you have four days, i suggest once you arrive in saigon, go straight to the bus station for siem reap, and just go back to saigon the day before your flight out to manila!

can you give me more details of your trip so i can help you out? i understand everyone when they say they really want to go to siem reap, its really beautiful!