Tuesday, April 21, 2009


1. This time next week Sunny and I would spend our first night on the road, possibly at Ipoh or Taiping in Perak, the start of our two months ASEAN on Wheels journey to the Indochina countries, i.e. we are 7 days to D day, 27 Apr 09. This week will be an intense week as we finish the preparation for the trip.

2. After 2 months of exploring and seeking various approvals, we had decided to scale back on our plan. We decided to drop the Southern China leg of Guangxi and Yunnan, as the cost of approvals and complying with current regulations is very high. Given that our theme is ASEAN on Wheels, we reckoned that the omission is no big loss. We also decided to drop Myanmar as approval (to self drive in Myanmar) is taking a long time. We felt that it may be better to leave it to another trip later.

3. The revised plan now calls for travel to Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, then back to Laos, Thailand etc. All in all, we would have an average of 2 weeks per country, for Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam; enough time to explore the country and not having to rush. Given its size, we plan to spend about 3 weeks in Vietnam. When done, we would have travelled about 10, 000 km.

4. As this is a free and easy journey to explore and experience the Indochina countries, we decided that as a rule we do not book in advance hotels and tours. We will look for hotel room when we arrive at city or town that we are planning to stay the night. The hunt is part of the fun. Our budget is S$100 per night, twin-sharing.

5. For reason of safety and to allow us to see as much of the country as possible, we decided that we will only drive in the day; no more than 5-6 hours each day split between two of us. A comfortable pace.

6. Will focus the next postings on seeking the necessary approvals, getting the vehicle ready, and procuring the necessary supplies for the trip. Look out for them.

7. Sunny has also set up a blog to share his thoughts and experiences during the trip - www.2free-n-easy.blogspot.com. Do visit it.