My passport has finally arrived!
I haven't wasted £1200 on tickets to Asia that won't be used!
Now I can organise Visas and internal flights because I have once again been reduced to a number. Lovely.
*Real time - just had to go outside and check out a massive crash I just heard...crossing my fingers that it wouldn't be someone with 2 broken legs having tried to carry an airtable down the stairs single-handed. It was ok*
So ladies and gents. I can really get moving on this trip planning now! Things I need to sort out in the next couple of weeks (as well as packing to move home):
Cambodia Visa (can get at the border..but apparently overcharging is rife)
Flight from Luang Prabang to Hanoi
Flight from Siem Reap to Bali
I'm sure the list goes on and on, but I need to consult my mindmap!! I think I'm gonna be spending some serious money tonight...joyous joy.
Recently a few people have been asking me about my itinerary. I think if my dad could get away with it he'd actually inject me with some kind of nanoscopic GPS device. Here's a rough outline of my plans, they're not set in stone because to do so just invites stress when it all goes wrong! If I have enough time over the next few weeks I'll do one of my fabled google maps.
Apart from Thailand and Indonesia I'm planning on spending about 2 weeks in each SE Asian country, give or take. Thailand will be quick, and Indonesia will be 3-4 weeks:
5th April - Land in Bangkok and stay a coupla nights in the Shanti Lodge about 15 mins from Kho San Road. Stock up on bits and bobs.
7th April - Overnight train to Chiang Mai, stay a few nights in Chiang Mai Spicy Hostel
10th April stay over in Chiang Khong ready to cross into Laos and catch the 2 day slowboat to Luang Prabang at 8am.
12th April, land in Luang Prabang where I'll stay for about 12 days. Whilst I'm here I'll be doing some volunteering at Big Brother Mouse, some trekking near Luang Nam Tha, boat trips to waterfalls and caves. But best of all, I'll be there in time for Lao New Year, the biggest festival of the year. Waterfights, parades and alms giving will ensue, it's going to be fantastic!
24thish April - fly to Hanoi where I'll stay for maybe just under a week, taking a couple of days to visit Ha Long Bay and spend a night on a junk boat.
From here on in I have no specific dates!
Train Southbound through Vietnam and depending on the amount of time I have or don't have, I'd like to stop in Hoi An for a few days. It's a smaller city and would be a welcome change from Hanoi, and the bustle of Ho Chi Minh City which I'm about to hit.
I'll stay in Ho Chi Minh City long enough to visit a couple of museums that I'd like to see, but I think the madness might be a bit much for me, so I'll move swiftly onto Cambodia.
I'll enter Cambodia at the southernmost border crossing between Xa Xia and Prek Chek where I'll catch a moto to Kep on the coast. I'll recover from the madness of Vietnam on the beach eating crab and drinking beer....nom.
Bus from Kep, through Phnom Penh (again, if I have enough time I may stop for a night or two) and onto Siem Reap where I'll spend a weekish exploring Angkor Wat.
Fly to Bali! Bali Bali.....
Almost immediately I'll probably then fly to Lombok where I can embark upon a few days touring various islands and soak up the Hindu culture.
Back to Bali for a day or two before heading over to Java on the ferry.
I'll do the thing to do and visit Mount Bromo, getting there just in time to watch the sunrise over the incredible volcanic scenery, before I move onto Yogyakarta, the cultural and religious heart of Java. I intend on chilling out here for a while before I train/bus up to Jakarta in time for my flight to Sydney leaving on the 17th June. (Where did May go?)
Touch down in Sydney on the 18th June and spend a week getting drunk with Linda, Neil and possibly Wilf if he makes it out, chilling out, visiting superb places and generally having a good time.
Fly home on the 25th June.
I simply canny wait!