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The Banana Crepe Trail

Traveling through SE Asia by myself was much easier than I thought. Thank goodness I only had 1 case of explosive diarrhea (very bad timing though). Travelers refer to the heavily touristy overland journey across SE Asia (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam) as the Banana Pancake trail. I call it Banana Crepe trail. Nobody actually serves thick pancakes. It's all those thin little crepes. Also, their breakfast omelette is really just a folded up scrambled egg. Anyway, it felt really good to see & experience all the different cultures & personalities of the countries. Its easy to learn about places from books but it's much more fun to learn firsthand how they like their tea. Ya know what I mean?




Highlights: This is tough. What is the highlight of my whole trip to SE Asia? There's a lot of factors that affect my experience. For example- I probably would have enjoyed Halong Bay more if it wasn't covered in mist and I could actually see the place. That's one thing I love about traveling, it always offers each person unique experiences. I thought the whole country of Myanmar is the highlight of my trip.
Cast of Characters: I traveled by myself but met the loveliest folks along the way.  
Logistics/ Links: I was gonna make more detailed blog posts on the trips I've done but it's gonna take forever (& I'm supposed to have more important things to do). For now, do check the 'places' link list on the side bar. For travel reference, I mostly went by what Lonely Planet had to say. 
- 11 Favorite SE Asian experiences
When: 
Feb 1-7 in Thailand. It was warm and humid.
Feb 8-23 in Myanmar. It was warm in Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan. The morning boat ride at Inle was freezing. Going north from Mandalay (Pyin Oo Lwin/ Hsipaw) its cold too.
Feb 23-26 recovering (from Myanmar) in Thailand. Although neighbors, these 2 countries feel like they're worlds apart in terms of development.
Feb 27-March 2 in Cambodia. Short & sweet. Ugh, I think it would be too warm to bike around the temples when I went.
March 3-18 in Vietnam. Hanoi was very cold. Everywhere else was warm. I had to buy an overpriced jacket (grr).
Location: see map above for cities visited. Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam.
Cost: I spent $35/day average for all the countries I went to. This includes everything except for international flights. If you have a really long flight to some other continent, it would probably go up to $55/day.
More averages:
Food: about $3/meal. I ate cheap local food- like restaurants or street food for locals cheap. Some places like Siem Reap are set up for tourists so the food is a bit more. When I got to the Philippines after 6 weeks of travel, my stomach was already set up for the toughest bacteria out there.
Accommodation: $10/ night for my own room. I went to Inle, Myanmar without lodging reservation. We arrived at 4am. I shared a room with a fellow traveler & spent more than I would like. I recommend booking at least 1 day in advance in Myanmar. Aside from this incident, lodging elsewhere in SE Asia was easy & cheap. I noticed if accommodation is cheap, food will be expensive.
Trip Report: It was amazing. What was it like for solo Asian females to travel the region? It was actually easier than traveling the Philippines (no flights and all). It was totally fine. I never felt unsafe. Of course I dressed conservatively & was always careful with my belongings. I blended in everywhere. When it was obvious that I was a tourist because of my camera, everybody thought I was Thai. Looking local still did not spare me from getting tourist prices unfortunately. Everybody asks me why I'm by myself. I have to wait for the stars to align to get company on trips like this. Traveling solo opens you up to much more enriching experiences. I love Asia.






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