Week 21: Making Plans

January 27, 2009 - Filed under Planning, Weekly Report

After spending an entire afternoon at the travel agent we finally have official plans for phase 2 of our crazy nomadic life. On Feb 24th we head to Kuala Lumpur, after spending 8 hours in the Manila airport. Apparently the later flight, which would leave us with only 5 hours in Manila would be cutting it too close, according to our travel agent. I know Cebu Pacific is notorious for late flights but I kinda thought 5 hours would be enough. I guess not. So if anyone has any suggestions on what to do in the Manila Airport for 8 hours we’d love to hear ’em.

We’ll be spending 4 days in Kuala Lumpur, before heading to Thailand. After much research detailing horrible experiences with the Thai Embassy in Manila, we decided to try our luck with the Thai Embassy in KL instead, as most people seemed to have pretty positive reports from there. We’ll be applying for a 60-day tourist visa, with an optional 30-day extension, which will give us 90-days in Thailand. If we decide we want to stay longer, we’ll have to leave the country and come back in. But for now we’re thinking 3 months will be a good start.

While we’re in KL we plan to check out the usual sights, the Petronas Towers, and China Town, as well as hopefully the Elephant Sanctuary. We’re both looking forward to the food, as we’ve heard a lot of good things, especially about the street food. So if anyone has any thoughts on where to go, what to do, or where to eat in KL, definitely fire us an email, or leave a suggestion in the comments section.

On March 1st we fly from KL to Phuket, where we’re thinking we’ll base ourselves for the 3 months. I’m sure a few of you are wondering why Phuket, as usually we’d opt for something a little less touristy, but there are actually a few reasons we’re thinking of basing ourselves there. First, our need for a decent internet connection. Traveling with our laptops and working while we do it has definitely changed the way we travel. It means we need somewhere with a little more infrastructure than we would typically need if we were just on a two week vacation. Phuket has a lot of hotels with free wifi, as well as quite a few monthly rentals with ADSL already installed. Second, we’re thinking that Phuket is a good base from which we can explore the many other great places in Thailand quite easily. We’re hoping to do a lot more traveling in Thailand than we’ve been able to do in the Philippines, due to the lack of internet in a lot places here. Third, we’ve both already been to the Gulf side of Thailand and thought it would be good to check out the other side. And lastly the diving. While I love Koh Tao, and the vibe of the whole island, the diving on the Andaman Sea side is suppose to be much better. Phuket is also the jump off point for live-aboard dive trips to the Similan Islands, which we definitely want to do while we’re there. We still have a bit more research to do but as with most places we wont really know until we get there.

While we were at the travel agent, we also changed the date for our return to Vancouver. The tickets we purchased to come to the Philippines expire if we don’t use them before Aug. 31st, so rather than let them go to waste, we figured we’d come back for a visit, before deciding where to head next. So for those of you in Vancouver mark your calendars, cause we’ll be back August 15th (just in time to celebrate Mike’s birthday on the 19th). So unless you decide to come visit us in Thailand, which we’d love, we’ll see you in August!

Posted by: Shim

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