I have a disease.
As I’m nearing the end of the Cambodia leg of this trip, I’ve started to look ahead to the next country I want to visit. What I’ve discovered is that I have no idea where I’m going next, and there are so many options that it’s difficult to decide. There are a few things that I do know, and I’m trying to work out a solution that satisfies them all.
- Crossing a land border into Thailand only gives you a 15 day visa; Flying in gives you a 30 day visa. This means that in order to do the island hopping I want to do, I need to fly into Thailand at some point.
- Getting to Laos is a pain in the ass. At best it involves a $120 (one way) ticket from Malaysia, and at worst it’s a 21 hour bus ride. There’s also an option for a 12 hour bus ride and a day long boat ride down the Mekong.
- The cheapest round trip ticket to The Philippines is from Malaysia (again) at roughly $225 to $250.
- The rainy season in Thailand is May.
- The rainy season in The Philippines is June.
- If I cross the land border into Thailand I can use my 15 days to spend 4 days in Bangkok, 4 in Chiang Mai, lose 2 days to travel, and another 4 on Pattaya (coastal city known for its beaches). At that point I have to be back in Bangkok on a flight to …somewhere, or heading for the Cambodian border to get a visa and then go right back into Thailand. Between the visas and transportation that could cost about $60. Alternatively, I’ve read about an actual Thai tourist visa that allows you to stay for 60 days, and I will look into that today.
Everything above is just about half of the things I’ve got to consider and plans I’ve put down on paper to think about. Typically I can write out everything and then ‘see’ the bigger picture, but at this point I am completely stuck in “analysis paralysis” mode. I suppose I’ll figure it all out at some point.