A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: sandnick

The Count down has started!!!

We leave on dec 16th!

205 DAYS LEFT

We now have exactly 205 days before we leave for Wellington, then off to Sydney and then finally start our backpacking tour of South East Asia!!!

IMG_4686.jpg

Posted by sandnick 14:18 Comments (0)

Travel Plans

The calendar of the trip..

sunny 28 °C

Part 1: Down Under

December 16: Leave Rarotonga
December 17: Wellington and the Marlborough region
December 23: Sydney
December 30: Leave for Kuala Lumpur

Part 2: Island Hopping

December 30: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
January 3: Palau Penang, Malaysia
January 5: Langkawi, Malaysia
January 7: Trang (only if can't reach Koh Ngai in one go), Thailand
January 8: Koh Ngai, Thailand
January 10: Koh Lanta, Thailand
January 12: Koh Phiphi, Thailand
January 15: Phuket, Thailand
January 18: Koh Samui, Koh Phang Nga and Koh Tao Islands, Thailand
January 24: Hua Hin (Calida's Parents House), Thailand
January 28: Leave for Part 3!

Part 3: From Bangkok to Bangkok

January 28: Bangkok, Thailand - 31.01: Chinese New Year
February 1: Lopburi, Thailand
February 2: Kamphaeng Phet, Thailand
February 3: Sukhothai, Thailand
February 5: Chiang Mai, Thailand
February 7: Chiang Rai, Thailand
February 9: Huay Xai, Laos
February 10: Luang Prabang, Laos
February 13: Vang Vieng, Laos
February 16: Vientiane, Laos
February 19: Hanoi, Vietnam
February 24: Hue, Vietnam
February 26: Hoi An, Vietnam
February 28: Nha Trang, Vietnam
March 3: Saigon, Vietnam
March 6: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
March 10: Siam Reap, Cambodia
March 13: Bangkok, Thailand
March 14: Leave for Part 3

Part 4: Indian and Nepalese Territories

March 14: Delhi, India - 16 March: Holy festival
March 19: Jaipur, India
March 21: Agra, India
March 24: Varanassi, India
March 27: Kathmandu, Nepal
April 1: Kakarbitta, Nepal
April 2: Darjeeling, India
April 6: Kolkatta, India
April 11: Hyderabad, India
April 15: Goa, India
April 23: Mumbai
April 25: LEAVE FOR CAPE TOWN

TOTAL: 130 DAYS

Posted by sandnick 20:20 Archived in Cook Islands Comments (0)

Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia

From Bangkok to Bangkok, Trip Itinerary and transport cost and options

We arrive in Bangkok from Koh Tao by train.

1. Bangkok - Lopburi
- Bus: 10$ 3h30, every 20 minutes
- Train: 5$, 3h, 3rd class seats N.AC

2. Lopburi - Kamphaeng phet
- Bus: h? $?
Seems to be a famous route but can't find info !!!
I am going to estimate, judging by distance, 6 hours, 15$

3. Kamphaeng phet - Sukhothai
- Bus: 1h30 every 40 minutes
. Ordinary: $3.2
. 2nd class: $5
. 1st class: $6

4. Sukhothai - Phitsanulok
- Bus: 1h every 30 minutes
. Ordinary: $2.5
. 2nd class: $3.5
. 1st class: $4.5

5. Phitsanulok - Chiang Mai
- Train: $40, 8h second class sleeper, several trains and departure times
- Bus: 5h30 $?

6. Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai
- Bus: 3h regular
. Ordinary: $8, 4h, 1 dept/day
. 2nd class: $11
. 1st class: $15

7. Chiang Rai - Luang Prabang (Laos)
2 days

+ Chiang Rai - Chiang Kong
- Bus: $5 2h
- take a Tuk Tuk to Pier $2.5 to Thai Immigration
- Take a boat accross the Mekong: $3 to Laos Immigration

+ Huang Xai - Luang Prabang
- Slow boat: 10hours to Pak Beng sleep there, 10 hours to LP. $112 seems very overpriced?!?!
- Speed Boat: $70 6 hours

8. Luang Prabang- Vang Vieng
- Bus: $40 6h to 8h dept 10am

9. Vang Vieng - Vientiane
- Bus $16 Dept: 5:30, 6, 6:30, 7, 12:30, 14:00 6h to 8h
- Mini Van: $24 quicker, dept 9am
Time??

10. Vientiane - Hanoi (Vietnam)
24 hours, $66
- Modern sleeper bus: Dept 18:30, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
- Older sleeper Bus (no on-board toilets): Dept 18:30, Wednesday, Friday Sunday

11. Hanoi - Haiphong:
- Train: $4 2h15, dept 6:00 AC Soft Seat

12. Haiphong - Cat Ba Island - Haiphong
- Ferry: 45 min, dept 8:50 & 9am, Returning 6:45, 15:00

13 Haiphong - Hanoi
- Train: $4 2h15, AC Soft Seat

14. Hanoi - Hue
- Train no SE1: $10, AC Soft Sleeper, dept 19:00, arr: 8:00 13h

15. Hue - Hoi AN
- Train: $1 2h AC Soft seat to Danang
- Bus: $super cheap, 1h

16. Danang - Nha Trang
- Train no SE2: $6 dept: 10:46, arr: 20:30 8h AC soft sleeper

17. Nha Trang - Saigon (HCMC)
- Train no SE2: $4 dept 20:30, arr: 04:10 8h AC Soft Sleeper

18. Saigon - Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
- Bus: $30, 6h30, several depatures, operators: Supaco, Mekong Express, Kubo Samco

19. Phnom Penh - Siam Reap
- Bus Mekong Express: $30 6h, several departures
- Speed boat: $80, Dept: 7:30, arr: 14:00, beautiful scenery

20. Siam Reap - Bangkok

+ Siam Reap - Poipet
- Private Car: $50 2h25
- Bus: $22, 3h, dept 7:50, incl. hotel pick up, AC

+ walk accross the border (7am to 8pm)
- Take Tuk tuk to Aranyapraphet: $8 6km

+ Aranyapraphet - Bangkok
- Train: $4, Dept 13:55 arr: 19:55 6h 3rd class

Total travel expenses: $450

Posted by sandnick 11:26 Comments (0)

Malaysia and Southern Thailand Island Hopping

Trip Itinerary and ways of transportations

semi-overcast 28 °C

We fly from Sydney straight to Kuala Lumpur KL

1. KL - Pulau Penang
- Bus: 20$ 4h10 several departures to Butterworth
- Ferry: 1$ very quick to George Town
- Bus around the island $4

2. Pulau Penang - Langkawi
- Ferry: 22$, 2h30

3. Langkawi - Satun (Thailand)
- Ferry: 11$ 1h15

4. Satun - Trang
- Bus: $3.2 1h30, eaves in front of the 7 eleven on TA Satun Thainee

5. Trang - Koh Ngai
- Seems to be possible, a few hours, no more info...

6. Koh Ngai - koh Lanta
- Boat: 28$, h? leaves at 3pm

7. Koh Lanta - Koh Phiphi
- Boat: 24$ 2h, leaves at 8am and 3pm

8. Koh Phiphi - Phuket
- Boat: 48$ 2h, leaves at 9, 2:30, 3

9. Phuket - Phang-Nga
- Bus: regular, cheap, quick

10. Phang-Nga - Ko Samui
- Bus: 2 hours, ?$ to Surathani
- Ferry from Surathani to Koh Samui: $64 2h, departs 9 and 2:30

11. Koh Samui - Koh Phangnam
- Ferry: $32 30 mins

12. Koh Phangnam - Koh Tao
- Ferry: $48 1h15

13. Koh Tao - Bangkok
- Ferry + train: 14h
1st class sleeper AC: $140
2nd class sleeper AC: $100

Total travelling expenses:
$500

Posted by sandnick 11:26 Archived in Cook Islands Tagged thailand malaysia island trip hopping itinerary Comments (0)

Indian and Nepalese Territory

Trip Itinerary

This entry is our Itinerary through India and Nepal. The whole trip should be one month long
All duration times and prices are averages. And as always for 2 pax in NZD.

Classes in Indian Trains:
AC1: Air Conditioned 1 st class sleeping, 2 or 4 berth
AC2: Air Conditioned 2 nd class sleeping, 4 berth
AC3: Air Conditioned 3 rd class sleeping, 4 berth
Sleeper: no AC, usually hard bed (up to 6 berth sometimes)
AC Chairs: Air conditioned soft chairs
Not looking at any lower classes....

We will arrive to New Dehli by plane from Bangkok.

1. New Dehli - Jaipur:
- Bus: $24, 5h30
- Train: $28, 4h30

2. Jaipur - Agra
- Train: $16 (Sleeper), 4h

3. Agra - Varanassi
- AC2: $80, 12h
- AC3: $56, 12h
- Sleeper: $20, 12h

4. Varanassi - Sunauli (for Nepal)
- Bus: $4, 9h

5. Sunauli - Kathmandu
- Bus: $3.2, 9-12h

OR Varanassi - Kathmandu:
- Tourist bus no AC: $35, H?
Contact Sankrit Tour Zone Head Office: C 21/4 A, Maldahiya Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh (India) Tel. +91-9648000010 or +91-542-240-1071

6. Kathamandu - Kakarvitta:
- Bus: $9, 13h

7. Siligari (india) - Darjeeling:
- Bus: $2.5, 3 hours

8. Darjeeling - New Jalpaiguri (NJP)
- The famous Toy train: $1 (2nd class) or $10 (1st class), 7h

9. NJP - Kolkata:
- AC2: $80, 11h
- AC3: $52, 11h
- Sleeper: $20, 11h

10. Kolkata - Hyderabad
- Plane: $180, Indigo, 2h

11. Hyderabad - Goa
- AC2: $100, 16h
- Sleeper: $24, 16h
- Sleeper bus: $50, 16h

12. Goa - Mumbai:
- AC2: $88, 13h
- AC3: $52, 13h

TOTAL $500 Expected (travelling AC3)

Keeping you posted,

Sandrine x

Posted by sandnick 13:15 Comments (1)

Money talk

Researching budget! how much do we need to save ?????

semi-overcast 26 °C

All prices in NZD

Change of plan

First of all, a major decision has been taken! I think we will have to cut down on Indonesia :(
The reasons for that are that we would like to leave Raro end of November and be in thailand for new years eve!
So the new time frame is now:
Month 1: Sydney - Kuala Lumpur - South Thailand
Month 2: Bangkok - North Thailand - Laos - Vietnam - Cambodia
Month 3: Cambodia - Bangkok - Dehli - Nepal - Kalkotta
2 weeks: Kalkotta - Mumbai - Cape Town
Month 4: Cape Town

Flights

The major part of our budget will be spent on the airline tickets. I came up today with $5000 in Total, breakdown (one way per person):
Raro - Sydney : Air NZ, 29 Nov, $510
Sydney - KL: Air asia, Mid dec, $340
Bangkok - Dehli: Indigo, Mid feb, $200
Kolkata - Hyderabad: Indigo, hours, $180
Mumbai - CT: Quatar, Mid March, $600
CT - MRU: SAA or Air MRU, Mid April, $800

Total: $5500 for 2 (with contingency)

Day to day budget

I found a fantastic website that has detailed info on how much you should expect to spend in the bigest cities of SEA (south east asia) per day...

These prices include:

  • One night in the cheapest bunk at the least expensive hostel with a good location and good reviews, or half the price of a double hotel room in places where there are no hostels
  • Two public transportation rides per day
  • One paid/famous attraction per day (Every city is loaded with free things to do for budget-conscious travelers, but here we take the average cost of a major attraction in each city for each day.)
  • Three “budget” meals per day (We took our minimum meal price and added 20% to make it more realistic for a longer trip.)
  • Three cheap, local beers (or two large beers) each day as an “entertainment fund.”

Below is what to expect to pay in these conditions for 2 people, starting for the least expensive city to the most expensive one...

1. Hanoi, Vietnam: $ 26
2. Hoi An, Vietnam: $ 33.5
3. Goa, India: $ 34
4. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam: $ 37
5. Vientiane, Laos: $ 38
6. Chiang Mai, Thailand: $ 43
7. Luang Prabang, Laos: $46
8. Phnom Penh, Cambodia: $ 47
9. Bangkok, Thailand: $ 51
10. Siam Reap, Cambodia: $ 56
11. Kathmandu, Nepal: $ 56
12. Phuket, Thailand: $ 58
13. Dehli, India: $ 61
14. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: $ 65.5
15. Mumbai, India: $ 71

In comparison, 1 day in Tokyo would have cost us $ 220

Now that is an average of $48.20 per day in SEA and India (excl. Sydney)
We are expecting to spend about 122 days backpacking so that means we need about $5580 to spend on:
- 122 cheap accommodation
- 122 attractions
- 488 city transports
- 732 budget meals
- 732 local beers

I would like to add a contingency of 10% to it... to then budget for $6200 day to day budget...

Visa costs

- Malaysia: French and SA passport do not require a visa for a period of less than 1 month, so we good!
- Thailand: Again we both won't need a visa, but as we will be arriving by land we will only get entry for 15 days so we will have to renew in Bangkok for another 15 days or 30 days. (renewal may cost THB1900 = $75(if we dont need a visa on arrival for 15 days, will we have to pay for a renewal, how does it work????))
- Laos: $35 30 days visa on arrival
- Vietnam: Online application for a 30 days stay, $25 + $45 (US) (= $53) to pay cash when entering for the stamp.
- Cambodia: Online application $30 but we HAVE to cross through Bavet (Svay Rieng) which is on the way from Ho chi Minh to Phnom Penh or our online visa won't be accepted and we could be asked to pay whatever the guards feel like...
- India: 180 days, online application, $15 for SA and Mauritius, can't find a fee for French, so might just have to use my Mauritian passport for the first time in my life....?
- Nepal: No fuss, $ US 30 (35) to pay direct on crossing the border

So that all comes to a total of $536 for both of us and about 12 ID photo each to carry with us...

Transportations

At the moment I can't give an estimate on our travel costs as that will require a fair amount of research...
SEA will be travelled mainly by buses and ferries but also trains and India mainly by train, including overnight trains where we would also save on accommodation...
A fantastic website for travel cost and info is:

Malaysia Transport: Bus and ferries: $103

Sydney

As we have accommodation in Sydney :) we only need to budget for:
- food and drinks
- attractions
- public transports
- Backpacking bag that we need to get there directly as our choices here in the cooks are extremely limited...

Backpacking bag: approx $ 160 + other equipments = $180
Total: $360 for 2

Attractions:
- Catamaran night cruise and dinner : $75
- Sydney and Bondi hop on bus: $50
- 5 in 1 attraction card: $ 160 includes: madame tussaud, sea life, opera house, tower eye, wildlife etc...
Total for 2: $ 570

Food and drinks:
$ 900 That is just me making that up.... hopefully no more!!!! Approximately $100/day for 2

Transport:
$ 100, public transport and the occasional taxis

Sydney budget: $1930

Total budget breakdown

Flights: 5500
Day to day: 6200 (seriously that cheap?!?)
Visas: 550
Sydney: 2000
India and Nepal travel: $500
Malaysia and Thailand Island Hopping: $500
Bangkok to Bangkok loop: $450
TOTAL: $15,700

Still to add is:
- Mainland transports for the bangkok to bangkok loop
- Shipping costs
- general extras: e.i. full moon party, day trips
- I would also like to calculate accommodation costs so that day to day can be used on food and general expenses per day rather.

  • ***Please Note*****

Us being able to save more would mean that we would be extending the trip to visit more and staying in some places longer rather upgrading hotels or putting it towards a Pension fund!!! ;)

Keeping you posted,

Sandrine x

Posted by sandnick 17:15 Archived in Cook Islands Tagged budget Comments (1)

Sydney, city of wonders

1st pit stop

rain 27 °C

Amazing Sydney...

"At the heart of Sydney - Australia's oldest, largest and most diverse city - is the outrageously good-looking Sydney Harbour. Like a psychedelic supermodel, the city curves and sways through this glamorous maze of sandstone headlands, lazy bays and legendary surf beaches." lonely planet

There we will be staying at Nick's brother, somewhere away from the city. Hopefully public transports will be easy and at least available... I am there to reconnect with some people. Lee should be there and Ramana might also be there.

After 14 or so months locked away in the Cooks there are a few things we will need to catch up on, like eating some fast foods, and driving faster than 50km/hour.... A Mc donald!!!

fat-kid-mc..9134-769471.jpg
YES Please!

or some Sushi time with Lee? won't be half price and delicious like good old times at Beluga but would still be sooooo good!!!
sushi.jpg

At this point the questions I am asking myself are: what should we see and do and Sydney? and how long should we stay? In my next post I will hopefully be coming up with these 'vital' answers ;)

Keeping you posted,

Sandrine x

Posted by sandnick 12:09 Archived in Cook Islands Comments (1)

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