Day 64: Budgetarian Travel Series – Survive 5 Days in Krabi, Thailand for Less Than 200 USD / Php 10,000 + Some Travel Tips

So I haven’t updated my blog in a while. Many things have happened in a year as I’ve been focused more on my full time job and my side business. But all’s well that ends well.

Travel-wise, I’ve been to Bangkok, Siquijor, Cebu, Dumaguete, Palawan, and Thailand again early this year. Those who know me personally know that I’m in love with Thailand. If I could, I’d seriously move there in a heartbeat.

While booking my flight, I was torn between Krabi and Phuket. I ended up going to Krabi as I was not in a party mood that time. I longed to have some quiet time with some food and just a bottle of beer. Krabi exceeded my expectations as I was able to lounge the whole day in a beach with only a few people around me and to cap off the night with good food and beer.

If you’re on a limited budget, you can still enjoy your trip to Krabi without going broke. My total expenses for a week in Krabi is THB 5,230 / Php 8,513 / USD 167 with everything included except the airfare. Here’s the breakdown:

Accommodation:

I stayed in Tan Hostel x Cafe in Ao Nang area. I decided to stay in Ao Nang as I prefer to be near the beach but still have plenty of activities to choose from. Ao Nang Beach is just okay, but the sunset is really good. I prefer Nopparat Thara Beach for swimming, which is 20-30 mins away by foot from the hostel.

Food:

One of my major expenses when traveling is food and drinks. I love to eat good food, so I’m willing to pay a little bit more for the food. My food expenses could be lower if I have someone to share the food with or cook in my hostel instead. Seriously, solo traveling is more expensive than traveling with others when it comes to food. Lol

I splurged on my last day because I have so many TH Baht left and I had no time to look for a currency exchanger because of an early flight the next day. This meal cost me THB 430 / Php 713 / USD 14. My other meals are only around THB 150. Ouch!

Tour:

I found a good deal in Klook in which the 4 Island Tour using a longtail boat only cost THB 400 / Php 652 / USD 13. The normal rate is around THB 900, so I decided to book it with Klook. Hotel pick up and drop off in Ao Nang, lunch, and fruits as snack are included in the package. Totally worth it!

Just a side note, the THB 400 entrance to the national park is not included in the package.

Ko Kai aka Chicken Island

Other expenses:

Other expenses include the Tru Value tourist sim with data for 1 week and Thai milk tea I always buy whenever I’m in Thailand.

For transportation, I took the shared bus from the airport to Ao Nang as it is cheaper than taking a taxi. Rate is THB 150. On my departure day, I took the van shuttle to the airport as the bus leaves a little bit late (around 6 or 7am) and my flight was at 8am. Rate is also at THB 150, which is still cheaper than taking a taxi which would cost around THB 500.

*Rates are as of April 2019

Follow me in my IG account @kat_the_wanderer for more photos

Day 63: Sneak Peek: Port Barton in Palawan

Port Barton is a small coastal community in San Vicente, Palawan. It’s about 3 hours drive from Puerto Princesa, and about 4 hours away from El Nido.

To celebrate my 30th birthday, I decided to do the El Nido-Port Barton route as my first ever solo trip also happened in Palawan. I fell in love with this place as I’ve been craving for solitude for a few months now. Too bad I decided to stay longer in El Nido.

Mind you, this is not as developed when compared with El Nido, but it has its own rustic charm. This is the place you could go to when you just want to get away from it all. Or when you just want some peace and quiet you will definitely not get in El Nido.

Day 62: Reminiscing About My First Solo Trip in Seychelles

I didn’t expect that I would have my first solo international travel in 2016. Heck, I didn’t even expect it to be in a different continent. Flashback to 2015 when I didn’t have a stable job because I resigned from my job in Flight Operations due to too much stress. After a few months of doing some freelance work, my depression kicked in, but I could not force myself to go back to the corporate world. Just thinking about having to deal with a stressful work added with office politics gave me some chills. That’s why my dog, who was still a puppy then, and I had only enough money to live by. I could say that traveling was the farthest thing on my mind.

That was what happened until December 2015, when someone broke my heart, and I decided I had enough. I needed to have a new perspective and to move on, and I could not have these just by staying in the same place. Luckily, my sister, who was living in Dubai and was about to give birth, asked me if I wanted to stay with her for a few weeks until she had the baby. As she was working in an airline, she could help me book my ticket to another destination before I went home. So I sold some of my investments and decided to go to Seychelles for a few days.

Back to 2018 with 11 countries visited (with some I traveled solo), I could now say it was one of my best decisions. Seychelles would always be special because you can’t really just forget about your first. Traveling solo also taught me a lot of things and made me better in budgeting/Math (I took up Communications to avoid Math haha).

Another thing, if my heart gets broken again, I’d probably end up being a nomad. 😂

Day 61: Budgetarian Travel Series-Survived 5 Days/2 Cities in Myanmar with Less Than 200 USD

Because I have been asked many times how much I spent in my travels, I decided to have a Budgetarian Travel section. For those who are wondering, I normally set my budget to be at USD 200, except when I’m traveling to more expensive cities, like Singapore.

This time, I challenged myself to spend only USD 200 for our Myanmar trip. My friend and I spent 5 fantastic days touring around Bagan and Yangon. I would love to stay longer in Bagan, but my dust allergy was already acting up (note to self: don’t forget to bring antihistamine).

Myanmar’s local currency is Kyat (or MMK). My research shows that their lowest banknote denomination is K5, but what we experienced is that the locals round off the amount. But, like in Cambodia, USD is widely accepted. That’s why I’d list my expenses in Kyat and in USD:

Expenses in Kyat:

Expenses in USD:

Grand total: USD 195.03 (includes breakfast before departure) / approx Php 10,200.

Some budget tips:

– Because our Manila-Kuala Lumpur flight was on a Friday night, and our Kuala Lumpur-Yangon flight was on a Saturday morning, my friend and I decided to book a hostel before we left Yangon on Saturday night. However, we didn’t know that the Aung Mingalar bus station is near the airport area. We could have save some $$$ if we just booked a hostel in this area instead of staying in Downtown Yangon as we ended up sleeping the whole afternoon.

– Tourists only have to pay the Bagan entrance fee once. Ticket is valid for 5 days. Just don’t lose the ticket stub.

– My expenses already included souvenirs (a painting and some postcards). Pro tip: haggle

– Book your bus seat directly on their website (we booked directly with JJ Express). Based on other tourists, hotels charge a service fee if they are the ones to book it. They paid around USD 21-22 instead of USD 19.

– On our return trip from Bagan, we booked a hostel near the airport even though we had time to go around Yangon. JJ Bus Express provided a small bus to drop passengers in Downtown Yangon free of charge. This time, we could have save more if we stayed in Downtown Yangon as we could just walk around instead of taking a cab to/from the hostel.

More Bagan photos in this post.

Day 60: Sneak Peek – Bagan

I’m still having a hangover from my recent 5-day trip to Myanmar. Here are some shots of my trip highlight in Bagan:

More blog posts about this trip in the next few weeks. 😁

Follow my IG account @kat_the_wanderer

Day 59: Lakawon Island Daytrip + Taw Hai Floating Bar and Restaurant Budget Guide

“Saan ka dadalhin ng 10 Getgo points mo?” (Where will your 10 Cebu Pacific’s Getgo points bring you?)

My friend and I were one of the lucky ones who were able to avail of Cebu Pacific Airline’s fly for 10 Getgo points only. We were supposed to go to Islas de Gigantes via Roxas, but got rebooked to Iloilo because the Roxas flight got full. This gave us the opportunity to explore two cities instead. 

Because both of us were feeling beach-y, we decided to spend a day in Lakawon Island Resort. Most of our time was spent in Taw Hai Floating Bar and Restaurant. Who could say no to drinks and beach? Haha

If you’re traveling on a tight budget, the transportation alone from Bacolod city will eat up much of your budget.

The roundtrip boat ride to/from Lakawon Island is Php 300. There’s an additional fee of Php 250 if you’re going to Taw Hai. From the bus drop off point to the ferry, you’ll need to hail a tricycle that costs Php 120 for a special trip.

Here is our total expenses:

All in all, I would go back here and spend a night. We did not take photos of the resort as they’re still constructing some buildings, and it would not do the place some justice. I like how it’s not that crowded even though we went here during a kite surfing competition.

Credit: Photos without my watermark are taken by my friend.

Day 58: Solo Backpacking – Survive 5 Days in Macau and Hong Kong with Less Than Php 20,000 (or USD 400)

Ever wonder the cost of solo traveling in expensive cities like Hong Kong? Fret not as I’ll be posting here  my travel expenses plus some tips while being on a budget in Macau and Hong Kong.

Macau-Hong Kong Budget

My total expenses (excluding the souvenir expenses) = HKD 2809.40 or less than Php 18100 / USD 362 *Airfare/airport fees and taxes are not included as they are relative to where you’ll be coming from

Some money-saving travel tips:

  • Utilize the shuttle provided by hotels/casinos while in Macau

I stayed in Ka Meng Villa in Macau as it is walking distance from Senado Square and other spots. If my flight was not delayed for 30 minutes, I could board the Wynn Macau Shuttle from the airport and walk for about 15 minutes. The damage? 98 HKD

  • Stay in Hong Kong and have a 1-day trip to Macau instead

There’s no hostel in Macau. Compare if the cost of 1 night in a hostel in HK plus the ferry fare is cheaper than 1 night stay in Macau. Travel time is only for about 1 hour, and ferries leave every 30 minutes.

  • Befriend your neighborly convenience store

My meal and snack while in Disneyland already took half of my meal expenses for 5 days. Not good, dude.

My checklist when looking for a hostel:

  1. Proximity to bus stop/metro station
  2. Safety
  3. Neighboring buildings/communities
  4. Hotel reviews
  5. Proximity to restaurants
  6. Budget per meal for those restaurants
  7. Cheapaz option (aka alternative to restaurants)
  • Check the weather and bring appropriate clothes

Just when I thought my Asian body can handle 15 degrees Celsius, the Universe laughed at me and decided to further drop the temperature to 10 (and sometimes less than 10) degrees Celsius. Cost of defrosting my frozen fingers by drinking hot choco and coffee – HKD 95.00

  • Walk, walk, walk

Hong Kong has a good transportation system. They also have better sidewalks for walking. If you’re fit, having walking tours in Hong Kong and Macau will save you lots of moolah and keep your body fit. Two birds with one stone, right?

Preview of my trip here and here

Day 57: Sneak Peek – Solo Backpacking in Hong Kong

Here are some random shots during my solo backpacking trip in Hong Kong. I highly recommend this place for those who like to have their first solo travel abroad as everything is accessible, and directions are in English. 

By the way, you can follow me in Instagram @kat_the_wanderer for some real time (I try to, okay?) update on my travels. More HK-Macau blog posts to come! Cheers!

Day 56: Sneak Peek – Solo Backpacking in Macau

Here are some highlights from my solo Macau – Hong Kong trip. After a short travel hiatus to revive my comatose bank account, I’m finally back on traveling again. I’ll be posting more on my trip in the next few weeks.

Day 55: Seychelles – Visa for Philippine Passport

Applying for a visa is one of the challenges a traveler would face. Having a Philippine passport, I keep on looking for those countries I could go to without the hassle of visa application. Upon learning that Seychelles give visa upon arrival, I decided to pack my bag and spend a few days and *ahem* a few euros in this African country.

To enter Seychelles, all you need to present are the following:

– Passport with at least 6 months validity

– Outbound airline ticket

– Hotel voucher for the whole duration of your stay

The immigration officer will then put a stamp on your passport that indicates the duration of your stay based on the outbound ticket. And that’s it!

Travel date: January 2016

Note: It’s better to always check with the embassy for any changes. 

More of my Seychelles adventure here.