If you have not had a chance to take a look the two previous postings regarding this mini-series of Quick Look of My Nomadic History and my expat life, you can find Part One here and Part Two clicking here.
Part Three of the Quick Look of My Nomadic History will wrap this series up by going through the recent events of my expat life.
Expat life continues in Krabi
So after we got back to Thailand, we took a night bus towards south from Bangkok. The destination was Krabi and our target was to relax on the beaches during the days and work with our laptops during the mornings and evenings. As we had heard from other travelers and researched online, Krabi turned out to be a massive tourist trap just like Phuket nearby. Luckily for us, we manage to find a quiet bungalow few kilometers from the main beaches so it wasn’t too bad to stay there for about two weeks.
The beaches looked absolutely gorgeous but turned out to be quite a rocky underwater so you should definitely pack your bags with some kind of swim shoes or socks when going to Krabi. Thereby you can protect your feet when sloshing on the beach or swim deeper to the ocean.
Before reaching to Singapore in the beginning of February, we decided to take a break from sitting in the bus at Kuala Lumpur where we had been before during our Southeast Asia trip on 2014.
Next destination Kuala Lumpur
Last time we were in Kuala Lumpur was the time during the Formula One Grand Prix in the early April on 2014. The weather was blazing hot, almost 40 degrees, no clouds at all, and there was no water station in the section we were watching the race. Somehow we manage to withstand the heat – just like the drivers in their 60 something degree race cars.
This time we spent only a couple of days in Kuala Lumpur. Petronas Twin Towers is a must see even if you have seen it before – it is still stunning experience every time.
The next step was to take a bus from KL to Johor Bahru. Johor Bahru is the border town when traveling from Malaysia to Singapore. Every day thousands and thousands of people are crossing the border both ways and getting their passports checked and stamped. The whole process takes about an hour – in one way – so if you’re coming back to Malaysia later the same day, it will be another hour.
Finally expat life in Singapore
In any event, it is vital to many people to travel Singapore from Johor Bahru. The cost level in the Malaysian side is significantly lower than in Singapore so lots of people will work in Singapore and live in Malaysia. We did our trip to Singapore that way too. It costs approximately one dollar to take the bus to Singapore and you can find a room for two people around $15 near the Johor Bahru bus station. If compare that price to room prices in Singapore, it is enormous – even amongst the dorm rooms. For a backpacker couple, Singapore might be too expensive if you don’t find the way to reduce the living costs.
Apart from the cost side, three whole days in Singapore was an unbelievable experience in our expat life. It is possible to see enough in 36 hours if you are wondering around the island 12 hours per day. Our schedule formed for those three days as the following:
Day 1: Whole day in downtown Singapore visiting the main sightseeings.
2 Day: Half day in Sentosa – amusement park island next to Singapore and half day in Chinatown and Little India.
Day 3: Rest of the city centrum before taking a night fly to Bangkok.
The next phase of our trip was to travel around Cambodia and South Vietnam together with four of our Finnish friends.
To Cambodia and Vietnam together with our friends
First, we took an early and an incredible cheap train from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet. The ride took about six hours and cost $1.60. Second, we took a tuk-tuk to the border village called Poipet. We crossed the border by walking and acquired a visa on arrival at the same time. Everything went quite a comfortable because this was already a second time for us. Don’t buy the visa from anywhere else than from the border station itself. There are people trying to suggest otherwise. Finally, after reaching to Cambodia, we took a bus towards Siem Reap. We waited for our friends to join us a couple of days in the town.
When we met in Siem Reap, we decided to celebrate a little. After a relaxing day, we decided to visit the Angkor Wat before sunrise. That was a long but rewarding day!
A wonderful beach city called Sihanoukville
Next destination was Sihanoukville in the Southern Cambodia with beautiful white sand beaches. You just didn’t notice how the week went by because of the relaxing atmosphere and great company. We stopped for few days to a picturesque city called Kampot before getting to Vietnam. Because our friends had only a few weeks to enjoy Southeast Asia, we switched places with a pace which isn’t the best thing to do surely.
In any case, we said temporary goodbyes in Saigon and flew to Phuket in order to do a reunion with the island first time since 2006 which was my first trip to Asia. I discussed that trip in Part One of this blog series. Phuket had changed pretty dramatically in 10 years, mainly because the tsunami was so recent in 2006. Luckily there hasn’t been anything like that terrible since so they have had time to rebuild everything. The beaches were as amazing as during the previous visit.
After five days in Phuket, we had been traveling four months in Asia and our trip was inevitably coming to its end.
Back to the expat life of Chiang Mai
Our last longer visit was in Chiang Mai again. As stated before, we kind of fell in love with the beautiful city and wanted to end our Southeast Asian trip there before flying back to Europe from Bangkok. During the few weeks, we took many wonderful Thai massages, bought some souvenirs to take with us to friends and relatives back in the home and basically, just enjoyed the company of each other. In mid-March, we took a night train back to Bangkok, chilled a couple of days and flew to Vienna via Abu Dhabi.
We had not found good priced flights straight to Helsinki to we decided to stay one day in Vienna before flying to Helsinki. In that way, we had one full day to see Vienna which neither of us hadn’t visited before. I have had been in Innsbruck, Austria during a road trip back in 2007 when I drove around the Europe together with four friends of mine. That’s pretty weird to remember this magnificent one-month road trip, not until this phase of the blog series, isn’t it?
Final days of our trip in Europe
Vienna is a full of European history so that was a significant change comparing to Asia. Another big difference was the weather. You can imagine how it feels to have only 5 degrees outside when we stepped outside to Vienna city centrum from an airport train before sunrise on cold March morning. Even though it was cold in the morning, the sun heated and raised the temperature little by little. Before noon was in our hands, had we already eaten tasty Wiener Schnitzel with a bottle of red wine. Life felt great again.
Our plane landed at Helsinki Airport after midnight on Thursday, March 24th. We were on the road 136 days altogether and still going strong. Now, you have reached the current point and know my history pretty comprehensively. Next step would be taking a further look what else my Flowing Firm – blog might have to offer for you?
Thank you for reading this Quick Look of My Nomadic History three part blog series!