Continuation from The Accidental Trip to Bangkok and Siem Reap in 2011
Travel Companions: Ed and Den, Debbie (colleagues at work and close friends) and Mel (Debbie’s close friend)
After the purchase of our plane fares for our trip to Bangkok last January 2011, I immediately started looking for cheap places to stay both in Bangkok and Siem Reap. I never got worried about the budget since I know that travelling to these places won’t cost us much. Although I would have preferred showing up both in Bangkok and Siem Reap without any hotel/guesthouse reservations, I also found it important to look for one and book for our accommodations since I have no clue if January is a peak season for travelers in these places.
scavenged for useful information from my previous trip on this shoebox
When I began searching for accommodations online, it dawned on me that it was no easy thing to do. I got drained from all those searching especially on the accommodations in Bangkok. There are a lot of things to consider in both places. In Siem Reap, the things I had to consider were the guesthouse’ proximity to the Old Market, the safety of our belongings, the cleanliness of the place and so on. For Bangkok, my choice of a guesthouse would be somewhere near Khao San Road – the backpacker’s mecca in Bangkok. So I had to consider safety, cleanliness, level of noise from Khao San and the security of our belongings.
I can no longer recall how many times I visited the Khao San Road website, where majority of all the guesthouses within Khao San are listed. In Siem Reap, I kept googling for cheap guest houses and also found the guesthouse where we last stayed. This was one of my choices. But after reading a bad review that involved security, I know I had to look for a different one. Then I stumbled upon Ron and Monette’s FlipTravels blog and immediately booked at the guesthouse where they stayed in Siem Reap since it was just a walking distance to the market.
As for the accommodations in Bangkok, since there are a lot of cheap hostels listed online without any contact information, I decided that it would be best to just look for one when we arrive in the city. I told my friends of this plan and they all agreed to the idea. Also because they had no clue what to expect in Bangkok, they allowed me to take care of the accommodations.
When my friend Debbie asked me how much would be our budget for our trip, an hour after, I sent them an email containing the estimated costs we will incur on the trip.
Debbie and her friend Mel were only going to Bangkok so I had to separate their travel expenses and created a separate budget for my trip to Siem Reap and Bangkok.
There was also a point where I already got irritated since I felt that I was doing all the research and they were doing nothing. They were asking questions like “Will there be hot water in the place where we’ll stay in Bangkok so that we can just bring noodles?”. “Uh, Bangkok is not like Hong Kong and I don’t have an idea since we agreed we’ll look for a place when we get there.” Then they’d ask me if how much it will cost us to go to this province to see some elephants. One was even hesitant in pushing through the trip to Siem Reap and would rather stay in Bangkok since they were concerned of the expenses no matter how many times I stressed that it is cheaper to stay in Siem Reap than in Bangkok. I couldn’t finalize the reservations on the guest house because of the fickle minds. *sigh* Sometimes, things like this irritate me. Situations like this are normally bound to happen when you will plan your own trip but don’t let this hinder you from pursuing your plans of travelling. This phase will just pass 😆
I guess it was also my fault not to delegate the task to them and kept telling them they have nothing to worry about the trip. I guess they were also confident enough to let me handle all the planning since they know I’ve been to the place before. Anyway, I simply stopped searching since I got tired from all of it and I got busy with work too.
So everything was set two weeks before our scheduled trip. It was decided that we’ll go to Siem Reap then meet up with Debbie and Mel in Bangkok and look for a place there. With no itineraries listed, all of us were excited that we’ll all travel to a foreign land together!
Then all of a sudden, I received a call from Ed. It’s about our friend Den who decided to join us on the trip at the last minute. She was supposed to leave for China but since her trip got postponed, she decided to do a detour to Bangkok and Siem Reap. So I immediately contacted the guesthouse that I made reservations and inquired about their Triple Room. I didn’t get any reply at all. And then all of a sudden, I found Chyng Reyes’ blog since I was looking for info about her experience with an Aspara show, which I planned to see too. I read in her blog about how big her room was at Bou Savy Guesthouse and how satisfied she was with their service. I immediately googled Bou Savy Guesthouse and found that they have package tours. I checked one of the packages and after computing how much we’d spent in Siem Reap with and without that package, I sent them an email to inquire about minor concerns I had. After getting a prompt response from them, I booked for their $72 – 2 DAYS 03 NIGHTS PACKAGE good for 3 persons. I no longer revised the budget since our expenses will be cheaper with three heads to divide the costs of transportation and food 😀
Also, thanks to Praline’s kindness, she allowed me to borrow her digital camera since all I got is a camera phone which could die any minute on me. Since we were to leave ahead of Debbie and Mel, Ed and I had our money exchanged in dollars too. The plan was to have our dollars exchanged to Baht in Bangkok. I still don’t know if it was the better choice since my brain cells are already tired computing.
Budget, check. Siem Reap guesthouse, check. Camera, check. Backpack, check. Laptop, check.
I was all set. I didn’t sleep the night before the trip since I was working and 2 hours before I had to leave my house for the airport, I took a nap.
To be continued…
This is a series of blog posts documenting my trip from Bangkok to Siem Reap and back in January of 2011. If you haven’t read the first posts, please check on the links below:
** Off to Bangkok and Siem Reap
#1 – The Accidental Trip to Bangkok and Siem Reap in 2011
#2 – You are reading this now 😉
#3 – How to Create Your Bangkok to Siem Reap Itinerary
#4 – Arriving 5 Minutes Late on our Connecting Flight to Bangkok
#5 – En Route: Clark to Bangkok
#6 – Touchdown Bangkok!
#7 – Suvarnabhumi Airport a.k.a. Bangkok International Airport
#8 – Bangkok Train Station: Waiting for our Train Ride to Aranyaprathet
#9 – My First Taste of Authentic Thai Food