It’s one of my lifelong dreams to go on a cross-country trip in Southeast Asia. It seems pretty affordable (Americans say it’s freaking cheap; Filipinos, we just find it decently affordable), but personally I’d want at least a month traveling through these awesome countries! Join me as we take our pretend backpacks in pretend trains and pretend airplanes. This is my preferred route though, so nobody complains please.
Thailand: My main agenda is to eat authentic Thai food. I love Thai food made in Manila, I’d drop dead at the taste of it in Thailand!
- Bangkok: the most happening place in Thailand; the heartbeat of the country
- Ko Phi Phi: the famous beach where the film The Beach (clever right?) was filmed. Based on what I saw in photos, Boracay is ten times more beautiful. But I still need to see it because Leonardo di Caprio. Get that?
Laos: I’m clueless about the place; I’m excited about the surprises!
- Luang Prabang: one of the most flocked places in the country, this place shows the fusion of French and Indochinese details, from the food to the arts.
- Vang Vieng: where I will go “tubing” in the river and then buy for myself a souvenir shirt that indicates how successful I was in getting the task done. Everybody does this; why shouldn’t I?!
Vietnam: Seeing Saigon in person and visiting a country so significant in world history? 10 servings of Vietnam please!
- Ho Chi Minh: This is the Saigon that the musical Miss Saigon sang about. Obviously. It is a place rich with the history of the Vietnam War, and a great venue for exploring the local culture.
- Hoi An: It has a beach; it has bars where you and your friends can chill after a day of interacting with the locals. All in all, a very backpacker-friendly place.
Cambodia: I better pack a black tank top and cargo shorts, and then maybe my camera lenses can look like guns and ammo. Of course I’ll take my photo in Angkor Wat ala Tomb Raider! Angkor whuuut?!
- Siem Reap. For the Angkor Wat alone. This man-made marvel amazes all tourists with its intricate details and at its massive size.
- Pnom Penh: Cambodia’s Metro Manila, showing everything from poverty to holiness to culture and inequality. Prepare not only your mind but also your heart.
Malaysia: Aside from the famous Petronas Towers, what other exciting things can I expect in this country?
- Penang: for a nature trip, check out the beaches around. For local culture, go to the different religious sites and marketplaces. For some history tripping, go to the British influenced Georgetown. What you get is a complete and colorful trip in such a little place.
- Kuala Lumpur: For what else but the Petronas Towers and a souvenir photo?!
Singapore: Among all of the countries included in our cross-country trip, only Singapore has a check mark on my list. Because I’m a roller coaster junkie and also thanks to cheap flights to Singapore, I went to this exciting country a year ago with the main purpose of riding the Red and Blue Lines of the roller coaster ride called Battlestar Galactica. But of course, Singapore is more than just the Universal Studios!
- Orchard Road: After all the laid back sights and the grassroots culture in the last five countries, nothing else will make you feel more cosmo than Singapore’s Orchard Road. It’s basically a row of retail shops and other establishments.