This will be an opening to a series of short story (I hope I could really make things short, without being too details, fingers crossed) of my first solo traveling journal, outside my country, Indonesia.
So, last year, I had an idea of traveling around South East Asia, due to some reasons, mainly because Indonesian passport holder doesn’t need a visa to visit other SEA countries. LOL. So practical. We have 30 days visa waiver in each country but Myanmar, we only got 14 days for that one. But still, the idea of only need to show your passport at immigration office was definitely not bad.
I skipped Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, as I have been there. Not discovering all the areas, but, still, I’ve been there. Whatever. And I also left Philippines and Brunei aside, as they are, well, geographically not in the loop. So, I love the idea of making a grand loop between some countries that are in the same island, which leave me with choices between Vietnam, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Cambodia. Possible routes may vary but my options were between Myanmar – Lao – Vietnam – Cambodia and Myanmar – Cambodia – Vietnam – Lao.
But why Myanmar? Because of Bagan! I put priority in each country I visited. Like, Bagan in Myanmar, Luang Prabang in Lao, Siem Reap in Cambodia, and Sapa in Vietnam.
By the time I departed, I wasn’t really sure. In fact, I could only feel sure of what I was doing, of where I was going, during that trip, normally exactly on the day, when I was already doing it, not even H-1.
Funny part was happened just right after I started the trip. I got denied boarding on the plane in KLIA2 airport, by on-ground staff because they were asking for my Myanmar visa, which I didn’t have because I didn’t need one, and after couple minutes of debating, I explained that Indonesian had visa waiver for Myanmar, for 14 days. It was a new regulation by that time, wasn’t sure if airlines noticed that, but I think they should, shouldn’t they?
The next thing, they were asking for my fly-out ticket from Myanmar, so they can be assured that I will leave the country after 14 days. But I mean, was that really their business? Wasn’t it supposed to be someone from immigration’s job? What if I will not fly but take the bus or train or whatever to get out of the country? Transportation that the ticket most likely can’t be booked online thus I will not be able to show it to them?
But that was, 15 minutes before flight, and I didn’t want to cause trouble to other passengers, so I bought fly-out ticket from Mandalay to Bangkok right there, at boarding lounge. And know what was their response? Where is Mandalay? Man, SERIOUSLY?
Long story short, I made it on board. But next time, I would love to try to argue even harder, probably harsher. LOL.
So, here was my final route in South East Asia, covering mostly the ‘north’ part: Jakarta (Indonesia) – Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) – Yangon (Myanmar) – Nyaungshwe (Myanmar) – Bagan (Myanmar) – Mandalay (Myanmar) – Bangkok (Thailand) – Vientiane (Laos) – Luang Prabang (Laos) – Hanoi (Vietnam) – Sapa (Vietnam) – Hanoi (Vietnam) – Hoi An (Vietnam) – Saigon (Vietnam) – Phnom Penh (Cambodia) – Siem Reap (Cambodia) – Bangkok (Thailand) – Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) – Yogyakarta (Indonesia).
And now, while sitting here, writing this post for #MaretMenulis project, I think to myself, I should’ve travel longer, shouldn’t I? Seriously.
*wait! kenapa ini postingan jadi bahasa Inggris?*