Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Future Backpacking Trips

After backpack to Manado and Chiang Mai, I am figuring my next backpacking destination. I always wanted to explore the world heritage area declare by UNESCO which I believe it would be worth a visit.

Before any major planning, these 2 months (May & June) I would be visiting Malaysia World Heritage Site's Penang and famous dive island's Tioman for some local adventure. At the end of June, I will be joining KL marathon but I only running for 10km. But it is a good healthy exercise for me to boost up my energy in my future backpacking trip.

I am planning to visit Indonesia heritage sites and Vietnam heritage sites. My priority backpacking trip would be Indonesia Borobudur and Prambanan temple. I am planning a 9 days backpacking first flying to Jakarta for a night. Then taking a night train straight to Jogya and staying at Jogya for 3 days 2 nights visiting main attraction Borobudur and Prambanan temple following with a 2 days 1 night trip to Mount Bromo to enjoy a magnificent volcanic mountain scenery before ending my trip at Bali for 3 nights. I will be flying back to Kuala Lumpur from Bali and that make my Indonesia Java trip a complete itinerary.

My second planning is Vietnam, where I will be targeting the 3 world heritage sites located at central Vietnam. This trip will take 8 to 9 day as well where I will arrive at Ho Chi Minh for 2 nights and then taking a train to central Vietnam to visit Hoi An ancient town, Hue monuments and My Son Sanctuary. I will be staying at central Vietnam for 3 nights before departing to Hanoi for our last destination before flying back to KL.

This is an adventure itinerary that I always wanted to do for a intra country backpacking where I can cover few UNESCO world heritage area and also a mixture of mountain, beach and shopping altogether.

So this would be my future trip that I waiting for so long. Stay with me for the updates.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Backpacking @ Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai

My backpacking itinerary @ Northern Thailand :-

12th May – I am preparing for another backpacking trip to Thailand but this time it would be Northern Thailand that comprise of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Our actual flight suppose to be 8:20am but because of Air Asia cutting cost and they combine 2 flights into 1 flight. Air Asia fly only 1 time each day now. So we took the 10:40am flight and reach Chiang Mai at 12:20pm (local time). I reserved Thaphae Garden Guesthouse for my group and the staff picks us up for free from the airport to the guesthouse.

After reach Thapae garden Guesthouse, then my first day van rental and driver’s pong are there waiting for us. The van rental is around Baht1200 for half day excluding petrol. It would be cheap if you have a group of 6 to share the cost. So he drove us for a simple noodle soup for lunch before visiting Bo Sang and Doi Suthep.

Our first attraction at Chiang Mai would be the paper umbrella village's Bo Sang.

Then we visit the second attraction Wat Doi Suthep, a temple sitting on the mountain at 1676m.

Wat Doi Suthep is a beautiful temple and worth a visit.

Before going back to city, we visited a small Wat Jed Yod which is pretty small and nothing fancy. But the main highlight and attraction for the lady in the group would be the night bazaar shopping at Chiang Mai.

13th May – Everyone wake up at 6:30am to dress up and have our breakfast at the guesthouse. The guesthouse private van took us to the arcade bus station to Chiang Rai.

But the queues are so long and there are so many people going to Chiang Rai and we only manage to brought 10:20am bus ticket.

So we have to wait for almost 2 hour before departing. Luckily the journey isn’t long and it only took 2.5 hour to reach Chiang Rai. We took a tuk tuk for baht60 for 3 persons to go to Ben Guesthouse from the Chiang Rai bus station. The guesthouse only cost us baht400 for a room and it was so nice and cheap.

After a short 20min rest then our van rental and driver’s pok are here to bring us to our delicious khao soy (noodle soup),

then proceeding to golden triangle and

then visit the burma border town’s Mae Sai for some shopping again.

The trip ended and we ask the driver to drop us at Chiang Rai night bazaar for our dinner and shopping again. You see that’s the different when you go with some pretty girls and of cause they like shopping.

14th May – After a good rest at Ben Guesthouse then we continue our van rental and driver’s pok for the second day at Chiang Rai. We start at 8:20am.

We go straight to Wat Rong Khun, the white temple for breakfast and also visit the temple right after that.

Then we rush to doi tung and the journey took us 1.5 hour. It was raining when we reach doi tung royal villa and mah fah luang garden. But we still continue our visit during the rain because it was a long journey to reach. Doi tung is on the mountain and it has a beautiful garden and royal villa. It was unlucky that the whether is bad.

Then the driver drop us back to Ben Guesthouse to wait for the pick up to Akha Hill at 4:30pm. It was a adventure journey to Akha Hill with bumpy jeep to the mountain where the akha tribe village will be. It take 1 hour to reach Akha Hill.

We stay at a local wooden bungalow facing the mountain and it is something special to visit the Akha tribe village and get a feel of the mountain of Chiang Rai.

I guess it was a boring night for the ladies as there are no shopping at Akha Hill.

15th May – We wake up at 6:30am and trek to the huey kiew waterfall (15min a way). It was a simple trek and simple waterfall.

I visited the village tribe and took some photos with them but the villagers persuade us to buy something from them. So the ladies did some shopping again that actually helps the villager. Shopping is not a bad idea after all. We had our breakfast 9am. The free drop off send us back at 9:30am to Chiang Rai bus terminal. We brought a 11:45am 1st class bus for baht170 back to Chiang Mai. Reach Chiang Mai at 3pm.

This time we try a better Montri hotel with better room and also included nice breakfast and also free transport to airport that cost us baht800 per room.

At night we did our final shopping at night bazaar before ending our trip with a luxury northern thailand lanna food at riverside restaurant for a closing ceremony of our trip achievement.

16th May - Before leaving to the airport at 10:30am, we visited Chiang Mai Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phra Singh temple. We check in to our flight 12:50 back to Kuala Lumpur.

My Backpacking @ Northern Thailand highest achievement - spend only RM350/person (group of 6) for ground only e.g. accomodation, food, drink, transport, entrance fee, donation etc.


Malaysia ::
1. Gunung Mulu National Park (2000)
2. Kinabalu Park (2000)
3. Melaka and George Town, Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca (2008)

Thailand ::
1. Historic City of Ayutthaya (1991)
2. Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns (1991)
3. Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries (1991)
4 .Ban Chiang Archaeological Site (1992)
5. Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex (2005)

Indonesia ::
1. Borobudur Temple Compounds (1991)
2. Komodo National Park (1991)
3. Prambanan Temple Compounds (1991)
4. Ujung Kulon National Park (1991)
5. Sangiran Early Man Site (1996)
6. Lorentz National Park (1999)
7. Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (2004)

Philippines ::
1. Baroque Churches of the Philippines (1993)
2. Tubbataha Reef Marine Park (1993)
3. Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (1995)
4. Historic Town of Vigan (1999)
5. Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park (1999)

Cambodia ::
1. Angkor (1992)
2. Temple of Preah Vihear (2008)

Lao People's Democratic Republic ::
1. Town of Luang Prabang (1995)
2. Vat Phou and Associated Ancient Settlements within the Champasak Cultural Landscape (2001)

Vietnam ::
1.Complex of Hué Monuments (1993)
2. Ha Long Bay (1994, 2000)
3.Hoi An Ancient Town (1999)
4. My Son Sanctuary (1999)
5. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park (2003)