Southeast Asia -- It's happening!

Chiang Mai, Thailand. Photo creds to my pops.
Stumbled upon this cute little article (thanks to an oh-so-personal and close Facebook acquaintance) not 5 minutes after purchasing my summer roundtrip to the motherland and thereabouts.

This summer's escapades will look something like this:


and finally,

HNL -> Somewhere in Japan

My roundtrip flight from Honolulu to Manila was embarrassingly expensive. Seriously, I'm done thinking about how much I just dropped for that flight. I didn't have a choice though; up until about two weeks ago, I didn't know where life would take me come August 2012.

Turns out, life's path is headed to Japan for at least one year, at most five. 0_0

Along the way, I'm going to make a few pit stops and loop-dee-loops about Southeast Asia by way of Manila, Cebu, Bangkok, various parts of Cambodia, Saigon (which, it turns out, goes by Ho Chi Minh City...who knew? ...Not me...), back to Manila, and back, back to Honolulu again before embarking on the next chapter (maybe mini chapter) of my life in Japan.

Anyway, despite a pricey flight to and from S.E.A., once I'm there, I anticipate about $30 in daily expenditures. In preparation, I'll probably spend about $200 on a camera, $0-50 on luggage (perhaps I'll be able to scavenge around the house or friends' houses for used luggage), $0-50 in clothing, and $50 in pasalubong for family in the Philippines.

Food will cost about $3-$6/day. Transportation will be $1-$6 per day not including a $22 roundtrip flight from Manila to Cebu and a $50-$100 by-land-and-sea trip from Bangkok to Saigon via Cambodia. You're making you're "not bad" face right now, I'll bet. I'm making it right now, too.

My goal is to buy close to nothing in souvenirs and to take really good pictures and notes. Perhaps I should bring some of my some dinky souvenirs that I bought from Cuba on this trip to serve as a reminder of the crap that I unfailingly buy while I'm on vacation.

Well, OK, I love my earrings from Cuba. And my necklace of the goddess of love -- I love that, too. I still wear those a lot. The "Che" hat was kind of dumb, though. It makes for a comfy and useful traveling hat, but I'm hesitant to wear my social propaganda in other countries. OK, so maybe I'll just buy awesome jewelry from Thailand, Cambodia, and/or Vietnam. But nothing else.

I'll probably want to go to the spa and get my hair done in the Philippines... Hmmm...

Besides pre-travel purchases and pre-travel-determined goals and expense limits, I also need to:

  • research places to visit in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam
  • research cost-friendly lodging options
  • set up an account with Chase or someone who will let me access my money overseas
  • withdraw/exchange cash
  • talk to friends from T, C, and V.
  • get my immunization shots/booster shots/whatevskis
  • generally take advantage of my mother's health care insurance pre-leaving for my new life
  • learn survival phrases in Thai, Khmer, and Vietnamese
  • purchase traveller's insurance
  • research recommended modes of transportation 
  • speak Tagalog as much as possible at home so that I'll stop sounding like such a n00b (although I doubt that I'll be able to improve in two months what I haven't been able to improve in almost 24 years)
Please let me know if you have any more tips for me!

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