The 24-hour Mui Ne Travel Guide

If you’re vacationing in Saigon and you have 24 hours to spare, you can explore a bit of the southern Vietnamese countryside by taking an overnight trip to Mui Ne.  In contrast to the busy streets and tall buildings of Saigon, Mui Ne’s seaside location offers a more laid back atmosphere for tourists looking to escape the city for a little relaxation and sightseeing. Continue reading

Vietnam-Cambodia Travel Tips

Just to wrap up this series so I can move on to blogging about more recent travels, I thought of consolidating information which I think would be useful to anyone who wants to travel to both Vietnam and Cambodia in one trip.  I already made a sample itinerary and itemized budget estimate for a 7-day trip so you can refer to those entries in addition to this. Continue reading

Vietnam-Cambodia, Day 6 – Mui Ne’s Natural Attractions

I’ve barely stretched my legs from the previous 5-hour bus ride from Saigon and now here I am again on the go, this time riding a motorcycle for an entire afternoon’s tour of the natural attractions of Mui Ne.  I must say though that “easy riding” at the back of Mr. Binh’s motorcycle was a much more comfortable experience because it had a back rest and firm footholds, allowing me the use of both my hands to take on-the-road videos with my BlackBerry.  Ironically, I also found the back of the motorcycle to be much less cramped than my seat in the Sinh Tourist Bus.  (At any rate, my legs were freer and thus there was less strain.) Continue reading

Vietnam-Cambodia, Day 5 & 6 – Two bus rides to Mui Ne

I woke up early the next day because I didn’t want a repeat of the rush I went through back in Saigon when I was almost left behind by the bus going to Siem Reap.  This time, I allotted enough time to pack my stuff and shower.  Since I already paid the guesthouse bill the night before, I actually still had time to have breakfast but I figured I’d save some money.  And besides, Mekong Express does serve snacks and bottled water in both the morning and afternoon legs of the trip.  I’ll just treat the morning snack as breakfast. Continue reading

Vietnam-Cambodia, Day 2 & 3 – A 13-hour bus ride, Angkor Wat at Dawn

In my desire not to be left behind by the Cambodia-bound bus, my body heeded the Blackberry’s alarm despite the fact that my room’s bed was so comfortable that I almost didn’t want to rise. So after taking a shower, I packed all my stuff and promptly went down to the canteen to have my free breakfast by 6 am.  The bus would pick me up at around 7:15 so I still had some time to take my eggs, baguette and tea at a leisurely pace. Continue reading

Vietnam-Cambodia, Day 1 – Arrival in Saigon, Cu Chi Tunnels, City Tour

This next series of blogs is a chronicle of my observations and reflections on the 7 full days I spent touring Vietnam and Cambodia (November 27 to December 3, 2011.)  I was really just interested in Cambodia, particularly because of Angkor Wat.  But since there were no direct flights from the Philippines to Cambodia back then, I had to fly to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) in Vietnam to be able to enter Cambodia, and had to return to Vietnam to be able to fly back to Manila. Continue reading

Budget Estimate for a 7-day Vietnam-Cambodia Tour

To get straight to the point, this entire post can be summarized in one figure: USD 400.

But predictably, you’d all want a breakdown of the expenses as a guide for making your own budget estimate, which necessitates a blog post.  Making this task confusing is that there were 4 different currencies involved when I traveled: Philippine pesos, U.S. dollars, Cambodian riels, and Vietnamese dongs [cue juvenile sniggering].  I’ve also committed the unforgivable sin of forgetfulness when I stopped listing down my expenses after the second day.  And so I’ll be doing a lot of recalling, guesstimating, and cross-referencing with some receipts I kept. Continue reading

Suggested 7-day Itinerary for Vietnam and Cambodia

So I’m finally starting on the Vietnam/Cambodia blogs.  I initially planned to create the suggested itinerary and budget estimate towards the tail end of the series but since I’m slowly beginning to forget details of the trip, I figured I’d do these two first before I forget a lot more.

My trip actually took 9 calendar days from start to finish, but it’s the 7 full days in the middle of it that involves the most activities.  This is just a suggested itinerary.  I intend to create a more comprehensive travel guide in the future with which you can cross-reference when reading this entry.  (Update: I already created the budget estimate.  Click here.) Continue reading

Preview: Contrasting Motorcycle Scenes in Vietnam

Since I still have to blog about another local trip, I thought I’d give a preview of my first international solo travel when I went to Vietnam and Cambodia (November 26 to December 4, 2011.)  The following clips are contrasting scenes involving motorcycles in Vietnam.

Motorcycle Madness in Saigon from Liquid Druid on Vimeo.

Try crossing the street through that!

Continue reading