Where did we go?
Great question, I'll start from the very beginning. First of all I would like to do a HUGE shout out to Scott's Cheap Flights for making this trip possible. We scored a round trip ticket to Phnom Penh, Cambodia for an amazing price.
From Koh Samui we flew to Singapore. Unfortunately we had one day to explore Singapore but we definitely made the most out of it. We were able to see the Garden's by the Bay light show, the botanical gardens, the cloud forest, and go on the Singapore flyer. We walked around Singapore, explored got some yummy foods and saw cool street art before heading to our next destination.
After Jakarta we flew to Hanoi, Vietnam. Vietnam was my favorite part of the whole trip. Everything was gorgeous, and the food was yummy. Plus, the cities we were in (Hanoi and Ho Chi Mihn) seemed much smaller and less crazy than the Bangkok and Phnom Penh. My favorite part about Vietnam was the tour we did to Halong Bay, the views were breathtaking. We were able to kayak in the bay, hike through a huge cave and relax on a big boat that took us through the bay. I also loved walking around Hanoi and going through all the little shops and stopping at local restaurants and coffee shops.
Vietnam was our final stop before we headed back to Phnom Penh to fly back to Tokyo, then back to JFK and finally back home to Boston. It was a crazy and amazing 3 weeks and I am so happy that I was able to experience such an amazing place. I already know I will be planning another trip back to South East Asia.
South East Asia Tips and Tricks
Bring USD to Cambodia, thats the main currency they use.
Bring a debit card to take out money from ATMs in the local currency everywhere else. Almost no where (except in Singapore) accepts credit cards, including the hostels, so be prepared.
Be prepared to have a very different bathroom experience! A lot of places have holes in the ground toilets and no toilet paper!
Dress for 200% humidity all day, every day.
Get comfortable bartering. As a tourist most people will try and charge you way more than they should be, and bartering is part of their culture, so just go for it.
People in Vietnam (maybe other places too, but we didn't experience it) do not wait in line, so don't be offended if people cut you off for the bathroom or any other place with a line!
Be prepared to have your picture taken with a bunch of random people on the street.
If you want to take a picture of a local person, ASK! Just like you probably want to be asked before you have your picture taken.
Get ready to eat more rice and more noodles than you ever have before. After only 3 weeks there I never want to see another grain of rice again.
Eat the street food, its cheaper and basically the same food you will get in a fancier restaurant.
For more specific recommendations such as places to stay (hostels!), restaurants and different tours we used, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to share!