map of Southeast Asia

I will be out of the country starting tonight until April 21.

I’m embarking on my own personal “Amazing Race,” though thankfully, it isn’t really a race. I’m gonna go broaden my horizons and experience something new. I was bitten by the travel bug when I went to Hong Kong last year, and now I’m going on a much bigger trip covering a lot more places.

I’m also getting into the spirit of backpacking, which means I’ll be living off one bag for 21 days. It’s a great challenge to travel light, especially in light of the various weight restrictions (7kg is not a lot) as well as the rules on carrying liquids and stuff. My aim is not to check in my luggage at all to shave some time at the airport. Besides, if I need anything, it’s gonna be easy to purchase something on the fly, whether it’s a shirt or toiletries.

4- and 5-star hotels are also definitely out of the question. This trip isn’t going to be a cushy vacation; it’s pretty much just “roughing it.” I’ll be searching for the nicest, cheapest hostel in the area for most of the cities I’ll stay at. If I can survive not having an airconditioned room here in the Philippines, I’ll survive it elsewhere. I’ve also joined CouchSurfing, which means that in a couple of cities I’m visiting, I’ll be staying at someone’s house instead of paying for a hostel. Very cool.

I’m gonna try what the locals try, eating where they eat, going where they go. Of course I’ll also be going to the usual tourist haunts, but I won’t pressure myself into seeing too much without really absorbing anything. I am – generally – on my own time, so I can spend a little time off the beaten track.

So where am I going? Here’s my route info, complete with airline information whenever applicable.

from Manila, Philippines to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam via Cebu Pacific Flight 5J 751 departing Monday, March 30, 11:00pm arriving Tuesday, March 31, 12:30am

from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Phnom Penh, Cambodia via bus departing Friday, April 3

from Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Siem Reap (Angkor Wat), Cambodia via bus departing Sunday, April 5

from Siem Reap, Cambodia to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia via Malaysia Airlines Flight MH765 departing Thursday, April 9, 1:00pm arriving 5:25pm

from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Singapore via bus departing Saturday, April 11

from Singapore to Macau via Tiger Airways Flight TR902 departing Tuesday, April 14, 11:30am arriving 3:10pm

from Macau to Hong Kong via ferry departing Thursday, April 16

from Hong Kong to Manila, Philippines via Cebu Pacific Flight 5J 109 departing Tuesday, April 21, 8:25am arriving 10:25am

I’ll try to post frequent updates on my Plurk or Twitter accounts, and if I can manage, I may do an occassional post on my travel blog, SoNotLost.

I’ll see you all in three weeks!