Thursday, October 25, 2012

The End?

I have decided to end my world trip by skipping the last continent-Africa. So is it the end? No more travelling? Get back into day to day 9 to 5 job? or perhaps I will take off again?

The first week in KL, I was working on my Nepal blog and photos, basically still in the post travel mood, then I don't remember when or how, my brother Thomas brought up about the Plain of Jars in Laos. Laos is the only South East Asia country that I have not been and I have been wanted to go. Hmmm...I started checking the flights, return flight cost around RM550, and guess what? hehe....The travel bug in me bite me again, if I don't go now then when? Plus my brother said he will only go if I go with him, that gives me another excuse to travel. As soon as he confirmed his leaves we booked the tickets, then my other brother Anthony also decided to come along. This is going to be fun! I have never travel with the 2 of them together and Thomas has never backpack before. This is going to be a trip to celebrate his 50th years. :-)

As Thomas was getting nervous about the trip, not knowing what we do, where to sleep, how we travel in Laos, what to bring, what bag to use so I did some research and planning and came up with a Travel Itinerary for him. Here is how it looks like :-

LAOS 27 Oct 2012 – 4 Nov 2012
Flight Details
Laos Flag
KL - Vientiane - KL
AK1412 Sat 27 Oct 2012, 0735-0910
AK1413 Sun 4 Nov 2012 0945-1330
Visa not required

Wet season - May-October temperature around 30°
Dry season - November to March temperature as low as 15°

RM1 – LAK 2,600

US$40/RM120 per day
Room US$40/3=US$13
Food US$10-15
Transport / entrance fees US$3-5
*Optional - Massage US$3-6/hour

Electric plug
Flat blade plug or Two round pins

What to bring
Passport, Credit Cards (3% interest charge) Driving License
Estimated Cash to bring – RM120/day X 8 = RM960
Travel pouch/money belt - to store all the above

Cloths :-
** Remember! No matter it is 3 days or 3 months or 1 year, you can survive with this list **
3+ t-shirts
3+ trousers/shorts
3+ pair of socks
3+ sets or undergarments
Long sleeve shirt/jacket/wind breaker or raincoat
lightweight towel
a pair of trekking boots or walking shoes
Flip-flops or sandal - you need to rest your feet after a long walking day in your boots or shoes

Toiletries :-
Soap, Shampoo and toothpaste (we can share these)

Insect repellent

Medical kit (I have) :-
Medicines for malaria, diarrhoea, fever, headache, couch and flu
Water Purifying tablets
Cream for insects bites
Bandages or plasters
Vitamins or necessary medications

Things to pack (Moderate) -things that you can buy along the way but good to have them when you travel
Padlock (I have) - to lock your luggage or locker in the hostel
Universal adapter (I have) - to charge your electrical devices in different countries
Mobile device or laptop or any devices that has WIFI features (I have) - most of the hostel has Internet facility, some has computer to share but you will have to queue for it.
Battery charger for the above
Head lamp or torch(I have)
Multipurpose tool/ Swiss Army knife(I have)
Nail clipper(I have)
Travel pillow and ear plug - for long bus ride and noise disturbance
Zip lock bag - to store all your cloths or none wet proof stuff in your backpack

Rough travel Guide (Flexible to change as we go)
27 Oct 2012
Arrive 0910 in Vientiane, half day to visit Vientiane
Overnight bus to Phonsavan 10-12 hours
28 Oct 2012
Rest and visit Phonsavan

29 Oct 2012
Full day to visit to Plains of Jar

30 Oct 2012
Phonsavan to Luang Prabang
Morning bus to Luang Prabang 8 hours

31 Oct 2012
Luang Prabang
Mekong River cruise/Visit to Kuang Si Waterfall/Rent a bike to go around

1 Sept 2012
Luang Prabang
2 Sept 2012
Luang Prabang to Vientiane
Full day in Luang Prabang
Overnight bus to Vientiane
3 Sept 2012
Full day to visit Vientiane
4 Sept 2012
Depart to KL 0945

That is good enough to get him started. :-)

Richie Ren
I didn't feel like doing much while I was back, I don't know if I was depress or what. I was just catching up with some movies and cooking a lot at home. On one weekend I went to Genting Highland to attend a concert as a photographer. My sister is a part time photographer for some media, she needed an extra hand so I went. Transport, accommodation and food was provided. We just need to shoot as much image as we can and submit some best photos. It's not easy I can tell you, we have to carry the heavy camera equipment (DSLR) not my little Olympus compact camera. We have to squad in front of the stage or move around during the show to take some good shots. Sometime even fighting with the fans to take a good shot. Then when everyone goes back to sleep, we have to work on the photos and send it to the media on the same night. It was a good experience.

The next 2 weeks I spent in Kuantan, with limited internet at home. I started to watch lots of movies, Taiwanese and Korean series with my mom....boring!! :-) I had lots of time to think....think about what I want to do next? and where I want to go? Even thought now the best option will be going back to Singapore. I am open for anything new and interesting! Going back to IT is the last option but again what choice do I have? To live in Singapore I need to survive in Singapore first!

Tanjong Api
Having spend lots of time with my mom at home means lots of GOOD food, lots of GOOD food means putting on weight! Yaiks! I started to run again, then I started to cycle as well with the old horse at home. First just to town only 1km from home then one day I decided to give the old horse a challenge, we went to Telok Cempedak, Kuantan's famous beach, about 7km from home. He was coughing quite hard on the way, lots of noise from everywhere. We made it over the hill and reach the destination in 40 minutes. :-) But on the way back, he started to have mild heart attack, the paddle started to jam! I have to take breaks multiple times, we took a bit longer but we made it back home.The old horse is still a tough horse! :-) 

It is almost time to leave for Laos, stay tune for the Journey of the 3 Lees. It is Not The End yet!
Tanjong Lumpur

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