I don’t wanna crossover between this genre, that genre. Between you and I is where I wanna crossover, cross the line. I just wanna go further between here and there grow wiser… together you and I, we can cross all borders, you and I – Utada Hikaru sings on her Interlude. It was the most repeated song as we toured 3 of Mainland SouthEast Asia’s countries – Vietnam-Cambodia-Thailand.
My girlfriend is a big fan of Thailand (mainly because of Mario Maurer’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love movie) so I was always eyeing for pisofare to Bangkok. I told her it is possible to go to other SouthEast Asian countries by land travel and we both decided to do this epic tour – excited and kinda scared at the same time.
|EXPENSES||2 PAX||PER PAX|
|Roundtrip Airfare with 20kg Baggage Allowance||5935||2967.5|
|Mekong Delta Tour – Vietnam||954.66||477.33|
|Accommodation – Vietnam||3070.14||1535.07|
|Accommodation – Phnom Penh Cambodia||885.99||442.995|
|Accommodation – Siem Reap Cambodia||1791.7||895.85|
|Accommodation – Bangkok||2390.71||1195.355|
Always flying on Pisofare, I grabbed this Manila – Ho Chi Minh – Bangkok – Manila airfare for only 5935 for two – P2967.5 roundtrip inclusive of 20kg baggage allowance. Thank you Cebu Pacific Air as always! Keep those low fares coming! 🙂
Ninoy Aquino International Airport
Tan Son Nhat International Airport
We arrived at NAIA around 730PM for our 1030PM flight. We just breezed through the bag drop as well as the immigration process. This was probably the shortest international flight – just an hour or so of flying and I can already see the ground lol I didn’t even get the chance to sleep.
It was a smooth touchdown at Tan Son Nhat International Airport. After clearing the airport procedure, we checked the money changers and looked for the best rates. We exchanged just 50 USD and had more than a million VND. Outside the airport, there are guys offering taxi deals but we found it ridiculously expensive. We used Grab instead using the free airport wifi and found it way cheaper than what the guys were offering.
We then boarded the Grab car and it was about 45mins ride to District 1, where our hotel La Felix Hotel is located. We checked in and went outside to get something to eat.
Mekong Delta Tour
Bui Vien Walking Street
We woke up very early for the 9AM Mekong Delta Tour. Our stay includes free breakfast buffet so we took advantage of that before heading to The Sinh Tourist.
We availed of the Mekong Delta Tour for 438,000 VND – roughly 954.66 pesos for two – which makes it 477.33 pesos per person! You can book directly from their website.
The Sinh Tourist is located just few steps from La Felix Hotel. The staff assisted us and we didn’t have any problems with our tour booking. We then followed the other guests to the tour bus. There are vendors selling souvenirs and they can be very pushy – I was able to buy some ref magnets.
The tour was from 9AM to 5PM and includes free lunch. Just a reminder, check your boat and tour-mates very carefully. We boarded the wrong boat and it was a shame cause the other tourists laughed at us lol.
We arrived back at District 1 around 5PM and went back to our hotel to freshen up. We then strolled around District 1 and found ourselves in Bui Vien Walking Street. It was a very busy street with tons of restaurants and street foods. We had dinner in one of the restaurants around here.
War Remnants Museum
Independence Palace (Reunification Palace)
Saigon Central Post Office
Departure for Phnom Penh
It was raining hard the next day. We wrapped up for our departure to Phnom Penh before having our buffet breakfast. It was nice meeting fellow Filipinos during the elevator ride and who were also headed for the breakfast. We talked about itineraries and they were surprised that it’s possible to go to Cambodia and Thailand just by land travel.
Originally, we were supposed to have the Saigon Walking Tour but it was raining hard. We headed outside for some iced coffee. We were running out of time so we didn’t get too far from the hotel. We checked out at 12PM for our 1PM ride to Phnom Penh. There are lots of tour operators near the hotel and we were offered transfer options, we picked the cheapest one to save a few dollars.
We reached Bavet, Cambodia in less than 2 hours of ride. We dropped off and queued for immigration process. We were asked to pay a few dollars but we told them Philippine Passport holders are visa-free in Cambodia. They stamped our passports and we walked our way to the exit. We waited for all other tourists and then continued the ride.
There are stop-overs during the ride for food and toilet break. Just in case you got a wrong timing, you can politely request the driver to pull over and he will stop at the next gas station.
We arrived at Cambodia’s capital around 6PM but we were greeted with heavy traffic that it took almost an hour to get to the drop point. We then boarded a tuktuk upon disembarking since it began raining again. We asked the driver to wait for us for a money changer and I had exchanged a few dollars for Cambodian Riel. We paid $3 for the tuktuk ride.
We checked in at Hotel Zing Phnom Penh and had our cold fried rice that we bought at the stop over as dinner. We weren’t able to go outside because the rain started pouring like there’s a storm.
Departure from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
Angkor Night Market
Another rainy day. We were supposed to go to the Royal Palace but the rain stopped us. We just walked around the area and found ourselves in the Central Market. Lots of stores are still closed and we just ate noodles and iced coffee for breakfast.
We were picked up by the bus at 9AM for our trip to Siem Reap which would take roughly 6 hours. There were only 8 tourists on the bus and it was very very spacious. We had some stop overs for lunch and souvenirs.
We arrived at Siem Reap around 3PM and we boarded a tuktuk to our hotel. The driver offered us the tour for Angkor Wat for $20 dollars (1k pesos – 500 pesos each). It was not a bad deal so I grabbed it. If we were on a group of 4, it would only cost us just 250 each. 😉
The staff at Day Day Inn explained gave us tourist map as well as offered us some tours and transfers thus we booked our bus to Bangkok. We saw fellow Filipinos at the hotel and we invited them to join us on Angkor Wat Tour but they said they have a different itinerary the next day. We just shared the tuktuk ride together to Pub Street.
We had food trip at Pub Street and Angkor Night Market. I totally loved the Fried Ice Cream here. If you’re brave enough, you can try their exotic foods like snakes and spiders. We grabbed some drinks and fried rice from the restaurant and headed back to Day Day Inn. The pool was very inviting so we had night swimming together with the foreigners. It was nice talking to Europeans and Americans who are loving the SouthEast Asia. I invited them to visit The Philippines and they told us it was part of their tour.
We woke up at 2AM for the 4AM call time. Our tuktuk driver arrived before 4AM and we then headed to Angkor Wat Tourism Office. There were so many tourist already lined up for the ticket. The ticket costs $37 each (1850 pesos) and then we headed to Angkor Wat. There are vendors before entering the temple and we bought some banh mi (not sure if it’s still called banh mi here in Cambodia hehe).
We were inside Angkor Wat just before the sunrise and it was priceless to see the sun shine the temple. All tourists flocked on the lake portion of the tower but we were already at the entrance lol. Their goal was get the post-card Angkor Wat picture. We explored every part of the temple and it felt like being thousands of years in the past.
We had lunch at one of the restaurants inside the Angkor Wat and it was funny because they are named from Hollywood. We ate at James Bond’s restaurant lol. There were also kids selling ref magnets and they can even speak Tagalog and they also accept the Philippine Peso. I bought some ref magnets and we also shopped for some Cambodian outfits.
We met our tuktuk driver waiting outside and we headed to the next temple called Ta Phrom. Angelina Jolie’s first Tomb Raider was filmed here. I totally loved the big trees here, it felt like being in Final Fantasy IX. We bought some softdrinks outside because the sun was scorching hot and then off to the next stop called Bayon Temple.
The tuktuk driver offered us some more tours for $10 but since it was very very hot that afternoon, we decided to just go back to the hotel to swim. We woke up around 6PM and went back to Pub Street for some shakes and fried ice cream.
Departure from Siem Reap to Bangkok
Khao San Road
The hotel staff booked us our bus ticket to Bangkok during our check in. We prepared early and then we had a lite breakfast as we waited for the bus. The bus arrived before 8AM and it was almost full. We were seated at the last row.
It took roughly 3 hours to reach Poipet where the border and immigration control is located. We got off the bus and went to the immigration process. We were not asked to pay anything and the immigration officer just stamped our passport.
We had lunch outside the building as we waited for other tourists. It was almost 2PM when we finally departed. There are some stop overs and I can’t help but eat the grilled pork again and again – it’s so good for just 10 baht.
We arrived around 7PM in Khao San Road – very busy tourist spot with lots of items and foods for sale. We looked for our hotel and checked in before heading back again to Khao San Road for dinner.
Bangkok City Tour
Our first stop is the Grand Palace, unfortunately, there seems to be a program and all of the students in Bangkok are there. My girlfriend was in a bad mood over this because this is her goal in Bangkok. We just walked around the city and found ourselves in Wat Mahathat.
A middle-aged guy offered to tour us around the temple and even took pictures of us (Thank you!). He told us that there’s free entrance at the Grand Palace at 2PM because it’s Buddha Day. Then he offered us a floating market boat which is 1000 baht one way and that would cost us 4000 baht (almost 8k pesos). He said it would be perfect to take the offer and we will be back right in time for the free entrance. It was an obvious scam and we told him we don’t have enough money because we already spent a lot in Vietnam and Cambodia. He got upset and sent us away from the temple.
We then crossed the Chao Phraya River which only costs 7 baht for two. We found ourselves in a new temple and then we feasted street foods and iced drinks.
Suvarnabhumi International Airport
Ninoy Aquino International Airport
Last day of this epic tour. I felt a bit sad and I wish we could extend.
We woke up very early since our flight is at 9AM, we should be at the airport at around 6AM. We booked a Grab to the airport since the bus is not yet scheduled to depart. We arrived with a very beautiful sunrise at the airport.
WOW, Suvarnabhumi International Airport is indeed the Pride of Thailand. I love this airport more than I love Narita and KIX (sorry Japan).
We boarded our scheduled flight and safely landed at NAIA Terminal 3.
It was such an amazing tour and I wish we could do it again, adding Laos on the itinerary. 🙂