[INDOCHINA] ► HELLO! WELCOME TO INDOCHINA!
Introduction: Traveling is Not a Race
I STARTED BACKPACKING AND RIDING A MOTORBIKE (long-distance travel) in 2010. I focused in traveling the Philippines for 5 years. Traveling abroad has always been added on my bucketlist but I didn't rush things. I wanted to prepare myself. I wanted to become a matured traveler first before I hit places outside my country.
[BATU FERRINGHI] ► THIS BEACH IS THE FIRST BEACH I VISITED OUTSIDE PH.
[KUALA LUMPUR] ► WITH THE ICONIC PETRONAS TOWER AT THE BACKGROUND.
. I've learned a lot. I understood the economics of tourism and traveling. I was exposed to many types of people in the travel industry from the marketing staff of a 5-star hotel to a souvenir vendor in the street. I learned to become a responsible tourist while mastering the art and science of travel fund management. Basically, these are just some of my weapons in this travel battle. When I've come to that point of convincing myself that I am already ready to go out my comfort zone—matured enough to discover the essence of traveling or backpacking as dictated by my own understanding—I pushed my first backpacking abroad. The harvest was ripe.
[TANJUNG BUNGAH] ► MARKET VENDORS IN TANJUNG BUNGAH TOWN: BEFORE I VISITED MALAYSIA, I THOUGHT EVERY MALAYSIAN IS A CORPORATE EMPLOYEE UNTIL I SAW THIS. THIS IS HUMBLING. TRAVELING TAUGHT ME TO APPRECIATE THE BLESSINGS I HAVE AS A FILIPINO.
How I Planned This Backpacking?
ASIDE FROM THE QUALITATIVE PREPARATIONS I MENTIONED above, this is the technical part of my travel planning. I booked a cheap flight to ▼ #KUALALUMPUR
from ▼ METRO MANILA
when the airline company offered a seat sale. I really didn't mind what should be the country I'm gonna visit first. My strategy that time was to book the cheapest flight, whatever the country is. This was not an impulsive booking. This was an opportunity to grab. Take note that I'm already emotionally prepared to travel abroad when I booked this flight. Randomly choosing a country I should visit first wasn't an irresponsible act. I know you should consider many factors first before traveling to another country but travel planning for several months can help you personalize the random country you're intending to visit. Anyway, the cheapest international flight that time was a return Manila-Kuala Lumpur flight So yes, it's ▼ MALAYSIA
—my first country outside the Philippines.
[GEORGETOWN] ► THIS IS MALAYSIA, THE FIRST COUNTRY I EXPLORED OUTSIDE PH.
[KUALA LUMPUR] ► Irsia BnB: Review of my First Accommodation Outside PH
TEASER ▬ I stayed in a dormitory-type room with bunk beds. There are other guests when I entered the room. They were all white travelers. I was the only Asian inside our room.
. I searched Google Map for the location of this hostel and obtained screenshots of the location, the way from the train station and some helpful landmarks. I also obtained screen shots of the location of all the train and bus stations I might use that time for commuting.
[KUALA LUMPUR] ► GOOGLE MAP SCREENSHOT OF BUKIT BINTANG I SAVED IN MY TABLET
SCREENSHOT OF MY MALAYSIA-THAILAND ITINERARY
SCREENSHOT OF MY MALAYSIA-THAILAND ITINERARY
[GEORGETOWN] ► A GOOGLE MAP SCREENSHOT OF MY PLANNED WALKING TOUR (RED EMPHASIS MINE)
SOUTH EAST ASIAsandwiched by the Indian subcontinent and the Sinosphere. This region is also influenced by both Indian and Chinese cultures. I managed to visit two of the countries that belong to this region geographically—Malaysia and Thailand.
Overland Traveling, Motorbike Riding and International Border Crossing
TRAVELING BY LAND ALWAYS HAS THIS MAGIC. Before this international backpacking, I've tried traveling from my hometown ▼ #VIGAN
up north to the city of Davao down south by land and sea. Although there are cheap flights to cover this route that is way more convenient, traveling from ▼ LUZON
, Visayas to Mindanao without riding an airplane is magical for me and no airplane can provide that travel magic. While it is possible to travel by land in the Philippines in long distance, the missing ingredient here is the lack of international land border because the Philippines is an island nation. However, inter-provincial land border crossing is my most favorite part in all my travels. I really love the shifting from one place to another.
[KUALA LUMPUR] ► EARLY BIRD MALAYSIANS GOING TO SCHOOL OR WORK
[KUALA LUMPUR] ► WAITING FOR MY BUS TO PENANG
Anyway, the change of culturescape was so abrupt and distinct. The palm-rich countrysides of Malaysia was replaced by a long line of trees on the Thailand side. Thai temples appeared. Just after I crossed the international gate, there's an abrupt change in language. The walls and the gate served not just a physical demarcation but also a cultural border. It's a single landmass separated by belief, culture and blood that cannot be reconciled as one nation. I felt so amazed.
[SAMNAK KHAM] ► SADAO IMMIGRATION CHECKPOINT
[HAT YAI] ► TOURING HAT YAI CITY AT NIGHT WITH A MALAYSIAN FRIEND I MET HERE
[BO YANG] ► THE OLD DISTRICT OF SONGKHLA CITY
[BO YANG] ► A VIBRANT STREET MARKET IN SONGKHLA CITY
[KHO HONG] ► GOLDEN BUDDHA IN HAT YAI MUNICIPAL PARK
[KHUAN LANG] ► A HUGE RECLINING BUDDHA IN WAT HAT YAI NAI
Watch out! | end |
[SOUTH EAST ASIA] ► Flying from Metro Manila to Kuala Lumpur with Drama in Between
TEASER ▬ I am shaking, quite speechless for outspoken words but the voice within me is speaking too much that it's so hard to handle...
| ▼ EPISODE 02
[SEPANG] ► Travel Drama in Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2)
TEASER ▬ My anxiety as a first-timer almost escalated to panic level. So there's no such thing as overacting because sticking to reality is the name of the game here.
| ▼ EPISODE 03
[MALAYSIA] ► KLIA2 to KL Sentral by Bus: My First Land Travel Outside PH
TEASER ▬ I was showing physical awestruck signs overtly while inside the bus because I was seeing different races. There are Malays, Indians, Chinese, black and white men. This country is so multicultural! This is my first bus ride in Malaysia!
| ▼ EPISODE 04
[KUALA LUMPUR] ► Reaching KL Sentral and How I Acted Dumb Stupid
TEASER ▬ You may not believe this but I felt so ignorant about this. There's no train station in our province so encountering a self-service machine like this in actual setting is new to me.
| ▼ EPISODE 05
[KUALA LUMPUR] ► KL Sentral to Bukit Bintang: My First Train Ride Outside PH
TEASER ▬ The monorail runs overground. I saw the city of Kuala Lumpur in a general perspective up close—the modern skyline, the lush parks, the mosques, the busy roads and the residential areas. I enjoyed it.
| ▼ EPISODE 06
[KUALA LUMPUR] ► Lorong 1/77a: Of Ending and First Times
TEASER ▬ This street was where I ended my first day in Malaysia but it served as the rendezvous of my many first-time experiences and encounters so it meant so much for me.
| ▼ EPISODE 07
COMING SOON! LIKE THE EDMARATION PAGE FOR UPDATES
SERIES TEASER: FIRST TIME TO TRAVEL OUTSIDE MY COUNTRY, THESE ARE STORIES OF FACING THE FEAR OF LEAVING A COMFORT ZONE. WILL THIS MAN RELATIVELY AFRAID OF BIG CITIES SURVIVE HIS FIRST DAY IN THE BIG FOREIGN CITY OF KUALA LUMPUR IN MALAYSIA? JOIN ME IN THIS BLOGSERYE AS I SHARE TO YOU MY STORIES OF TOWN EXPLORATIONS.
FEBRUARY 2016: MALAYSIA-THAILAND SOLO BACKPACKING
[INDOCHINA] ► HELLO! WELCOME TO INDOCHINA!
► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC
 This post was filed under the category "Experiences." This is a category here on my blog where I write my experiences, note down my insights and post photo essays about my memorable experiences from my travels. There is a section below where you can see other related posts from this category.
 All maps I used on this post are from Google.
 All photos are mine.
 The insights, condition and name of places or properties I mentioned here are based on the facts and situation on the day of my visit. Take note that you may have a different experience when you experience or see Indochina. Names of places and properties may also change by time so it's not my responsibility to update all the information on this blog because once published, I already consider it an archive and I won't update my narratives because I want them to become references of what have happened in the past. I'm very particular of the dates because I want my amazing readers to understand that I am writing stories based on my perspective and insights on the day of my visit. You can see dates almost everywhere on this blog. Exempted from this rule are my travel guide posts that need to be updated.
Map Showing the Location of Indochina
MORE POSTS FROM THIS CATEGORY: *EXPERIENCES*
[BAGUIO] ► Discovering More of Baguio the Amazing Race Way_________________
TEASER ▬ We've explored the city under time pressure yet we were awed by these destinations that are truly timeless.
[KABAYAN] ► Sitio Babalak: Picturesque High Village in Benguet_________________
TEASER ▬ The beautiful landscape just let me think of positive things... I was blinded by the beauty of the village—blinded to see the not-so-good side.
[BAGUIO] ► VIP Treatment Vacation the Azalea Way_________________
TEASER ▬ Inside the room, I felt like I'm a VIP again. This is probably one of the best rooms in Azalea. I felt privileged. This staycation kicks ass.
[DAGUPAN] ► 8-Ride Diary of How I Went Home After Eating Street Food_________________
TEASER ▬ Travel bloggers usually write articles describing how they enjoyed the place, the food, the people and the experience but not so many write about the not-so-comfy...
[TINGLAYAN] ► There was No Sunrise in Buscalan, Kalinga_________________
TEASER ▬ So the sun didn't shine that morning. However, I was able to understand the other side of the story.
[TINGLAYAN] ► The Day I Hiked Solo to Buscalan, Kalinga - Part 2/2_________________
TEASER ▬ So I thought the hike is over, but as I took a turn on that road, I saw the other side of the mountain and it doesn't look like I am getting any closer. It goes farther, and farther...
[TINGLAYAN] ► The Day I Hiked Solo to Buscalan, Kalinga - Part 1/2_________________
TEASER ▬ I am soliloquizing under the scorching strike of the sun that is adding more agony to my weary self. I hope I am not yet lost. But if ever I'm lost, at least I'm lost in a paradise.
[CORDILLERA] ► Bontoc-Tabuk Road: Mt. Province-Kalinga Border Crossing_________________
TEASER ▬ My blunt brain due to being deprived of sleep was instantly reset to sight-seeing mode after it hibernated for a while when I started seeing this...
[LICUAN-BAAY] ► Challengingly Sweet Journey to Licuan-Baay, Abra_________________
TEASER ▬ No complaints. I am loving it not that I want to do it so that I have something to write but because it activates my brain cells to think...
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Thank you for visiting my travel blog!EDMAR GUQUIB, Travel Blogger