- Things To Know
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam is easily accessible from Siem Reap, Cambodia via two bus rides. You may choose to fly if you’re not a fan of long land travels, but it will definitely cost more. Since we were on a budget, we went with the bus option and only shelled out around PHP 1,800 per person when we travelled from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh via Giant Ibis last June.
WARNING: We wanted this guide to be as helpful as possible so please prepare yourself for a looong post ahead. ✌️ Indochina has always been on our bucket list, and to say that we’re happy we’ve finally fulfilled this dream is an understatement. We’re over the moon! The planning that came along with it was not easy but we embraced it nonetheless. For two weeks, we were able to travel to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. And we only spent a total of PhP 44,830.58 each — including airfare, shopping, tours, food and transportation costs.
Being the planning nerds that we are, another thing we personally look forward to when traveling (aside from making the itinerary) is actually planning and organizing the things we should bring 😅 However, we’ve never been in a trip longer than a week, so this 2-week Indochina backpacking trip was definitely a fun challenge, requiring us to travel light and fit two-week’s worth of things into a couple of carry-on bags. Below is a rundown of the things we did bring and how we organized them for an efficient and hassle-free commute.
Travelers from Bangkok mainly use the city of Vientiane as a jump-off point for their journey to the town of Vang Vieng. In our case, we came from Thanaleng via minivan (THB 150), and were dropped off at the Talat Sao Mall in Central Vientiane.
Travelling overland from Thailand to Laos is quite easy, especially if your country is a member of the ASEAN. Filipinos for example get to enter Laos visa-free, granted that the trip won’t exceed the 30 days. One of the major factors that make the mentioned overland border crossing relatively easy is the First Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge. It connects Thailand’s northernmost province, Nong Khai, to Laos’ Vientiane Prefecture, which are separated by the Mekong River.
A huge amount of meticulous planning and organization went into the making of this trip, and the most challenging part probably was managing the expenses. Since this was going to be a full two-week trip with four countries involved, we knew from the get-go that we would have to shell out quite a bit, but we also knew we wanted/needed to keep the expenses at bay.