It was always my dream to travel the world. When I once went somewhere
I only wanted more and more. I’ve missed new places, different cultures and
I couldn’t think of anything else till I’ve booked another ticket, but
short holidays weren’t enough. I was looking for the option to travel more,
but I wasn’t brave enough to make, what I had in my head, happen… till
January 2018. I didn’t make the decision, it just came to me and I accepted
it. I felt something inside, something exciting something what gave me the
feeling that impossible doesn’t exist.
It took us 6 months of savings and planning. The idea was to visit the
Philippines, Bali, Thailand, Malaysia and then decide what next. Would you
like to know how many countries we visited during our 4 months trip? Come
on, read along, take this journey with me.
Place where not too many tourists decide to go and I can
really understand it. It’s basically on the other end of the world which
makes the journey very long and often expensive, country is very poor and
hygiene standards are way lower than what we are used to. From the other
hand, there is no other place, in the world, like Philippines. We spent 3
weeks there, which isn’t enough especially if that’s your first time in
Asia and you are ill half of the time; our European stomachs. We visited
the island of Palawan and Coron, which are amazing places. I never seen
such clear, blue water like when we went island hopping in El Nido and we
were kayaking in the Big Lagoon (I was pinching myself asking if it’s even
real!) and those beautiful sandy, wide and…completely empty beaches. You
can feel like your on a private beach while traveling on budget- only in
Philippines! Those two places were two big points from my travel bucket
list and you know what? I was scared (cultural shock) by what I saw but I
wasn’t disappointed. I left this country upset and I promised myself that
I’ll come back one day to explore more islands of this incredible country
and I know it will be amazing!
Our country number two was Indonesia and Bali. Everything that could
go bad happened to us during our trip, happened in Bali: I’ve spent my
first day in Bali in hospital, where we found out that I had salmonella; we
experienced our first earthquake there; my bank card had been eaten by the
cash machine and someone copied my boyfriend’s bank card and stole our
money while we were in Cambodia. Still, we both know this was the most
relaxing month of those four, when we were away. It’s easy to love Bali
with all those endless rice paddies, beautiful weather and the boho vibe,
which you can feel everywhere.
We based in Ubud and we traveled across the island on motorbikes. Sometimes
even two hours (one way) in the rain (we were there in July and weather
couldn’t decide if it should be dry or wet season) because we wanted to see
this one, particular temple or waterfall.
We would plan it differently now, we wouldn’t stay in one place but we
would choose a few different places( Ubud, Canggu, Lovina) to make it
slightly easier for us. But that is because we have the knowledge now,
which we didn’t have before.
Anyway, we have done so much: sunrise with dolphins in Lovina, we saw the
most amazing sunsets, Mat (my boyfriend) jumped from a waterfall, we
visited lots of temples and I have experienced my first white water
rafting…OMG it’s so many things to do in Bali that I could spend there a
few years and still feel the insufficiency.
Thailand was our third Asian country and I’ll be honest with you: I
never wanted to go there! I always thought it’s too crowded for me. Thank God,
Thailand was on Mat’s bucket list and I fell in love with this country!
Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Patong and Krabi- , are places we visited. I can tell you
that Patong wasn’t our cup of tea because we weren’t looking for parties,
but I can’t choose my favourite one. Really, everything about Thailand is
just phenomenal; architecture (have you seen the Grand Palace in Bangkok?),
street food (I never ate so much rice in so many different ways) which is
that cheap nobody is cooking at home, landscape of Krabi (I could never
have enough of biking around and sinking it in) and obviously, always
smiling people. Chiang Mai stole my heart by giving me an option to spent a
day with rescued elephants, this experience was by far one of the most
magical moment in my life and made me want more.
From Thailand we went to Malaysia, we also visited Singapore. I’m a
city girl but I wasn’t too impressed with the Kuala Lampur. I know Malaysia
has got beautiful seaside, unfortunately we didn’t included it in our plan
and that’s one of those things which I really regret. But Singapore! This
place is just perfect. So clean, so easy, so beautiful. We literally felt
that we could live there. We only visited Singapore twice, for a day each
time ( we stayed in Johor Bahru in Malaysia, which is just on the border
with Singapore so we could just walk between those two countries whenever
we wanted to visit Singapore). I loved the Gardens by the bay and science
museum, perfect place for light lovers. It’s a shame Singapore is so
expensive on it’s own but I can understand that the quality of living there
is much better too.
Cambodia & Vietnam
We heard so many times that we should visit Cambodia and Vietnam,
during those 3 months, that we decided to do it. We were slightly tight on
money so if we could plan the trip again we would visit those two countries
at the beginning, mainly because we had to pay for visas to get there where
you don’t have to anywhere else we visited. I know it’s not expensive, but
for someone traveling, already a few months, on a budget and who is
finishing a long trip all money is important.
Cambodia is a great place, but we definitely didn’t need to stay in
Siem Reap for almost two weeks as there nothing much more to see than
Angkor Wat, which is amazing. We hired two bicycles and we spent 13 hours
riding around this majestic temple. Ticket is pricey (almost twice as much
compared to last year) but this place is definitely worth any penny.
Vietnam…I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say that, but…there is no
other country which would disappoint me as much as Vietnam.
We already were experiencing the lack of money, which made us change our
plans but even then…nothing was easy for us. We wanted to to see the
famous Ha Long Bay and we tried to make it happen, but we only had 5 days
in Hanoi and, as I said, we couldn’t afford to take one of those organised
tours. We checked and it shouldn’t take more than 4 hours (one way) to get
there so we rented a bike and, after 5 hours on the road with another 100
km to go, we had to turn back because it was just impossible to make it. I
don’t know why but our GPS wasn’t very helpful this time. We were very
tired (8 hours on the bike killed our bums) but we decided to try again and
we bought two bus tickets. Unfortunately, we miss understood each other
with the guy who sold us the tickets because we only wanted to see the bay
from the beach or something like that, but people there are only interested
in seeing it from the boat so we had a ticket to the island where all boats
departed, the thing we couldn’t do. I’m not sure why but this Bay is like a
hidden treasure and nothing was ever so difficult for us like this one
task. To see the Ha Long Bay became to be impossible for us this time, I
would like to go back there one day and do it properly, but I’m not sure if
Mat won’t need a longer break before I’ll be even okay to mention it.
As you can see, traveling isn’t always easy and can sometimes put you in
the situation when you will have to make difficult decisions, what next,
what to skip, what is your priority, from the other side those 4 months,
which we spent away from home, thought me more than any school. Now I know
how to plan our next trips better, what I have to check and what is the
most important for us. Finally, I know what kind of traveling I like! What
By Klaudia from @klaudiaa.koch