Travel Plans: Southeast Asia

Embarrassing truth: I have never been out of the country.

If you know me well, then you might have known that one of my biggest frustrations is to actually travel out of the country. My family isn’t big on traveling — we’re pretty average and practical when it comes to our choices — so I never really got the chance to go to places back when I was still studying. However, after graduation, I was able to come up with my own money and use it to go around the country. I mostly travel on a budget, and some opportunities are actually from work, which was totally something that I was thankful for. For this year, I honestly hope that I’d be able to go and experience another country sometime soon. I’m not sure who I’ll go with, but there is a huge chance that I might go by myself. Since my resources are still pretty limited (I just quit my job and is currently living off through freelance work), I am targeting countries that are just nearby and would help me make the most out of what I have. I’m still doing a bunch of research about each place, and I’ll be sharing you whatever it is that I have gathered for now, hoping that this would actually help you out on your travel research as well.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap | Yogyakarta | Kota Kinabalu _
Siem Reap. Photo from

Why I would like to go:

There’s something about the idea of running around temples and indulging yourself in so much history that makes me want to pack my bags and explore the place. There is also something charming about how peaceful the place seems, so it’s definitely something that I’d like to see for myself.


Siem Reap | Yogyakarta | Kota Kinabalu _
Pub Street. Photo from

Things to do:

Experience a real life temple run; See the famous Angkor Wat yourself; Indulge yourself in Cambodian food and culture; Visit Kampong Phluk Floating Village; Party (apparently, they’re big on parties in the area)


Siem Reap | Yogyakarta | Kota Kinabalu _
Go around on a bike at Siem Reap. Photo from

Projected Budget:

Air fare (MNL-REP; REP-MNL): Starts at PHP 9,000 ($191) for round trip fare

Accommodation: Starts at PHP 500 ($10)/night on a hostel, and can even go as low as PHP 200 ($4)/night.

Going Around: Starts at PHP 3,000 ($64) for entrance fees and transportation. Moto romauk rentals are at around RM32-RM42, which is roughly PHP 300-PHP450 ($6-$9.50); Angkor Wat entrance is at RM64 or around PHP 700 ($15)

Food: Relatively cheap, you can buy meals for as low as PHP 100 ($2), drinks at PHP 50 ($1).


Siem Reap | Yogyakarta | Kota Kinabalu _
Photo from

Helpful Resources:

The Poor Traveler | South East Asia Backpacker | Indie Traveler | CN Traveller



Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Siem Reap | Yogyakarta | Kota Kinabalu _
Borobudur Temple. Photo by Marc Schmittbuhl

Why I would like to go:

I was researching about Indonesia and I found out that one of the best places to go there was Yogyakarta. Compared to Jakarta, there was definitely more to see in this area. If you’re into culture, temples, and getting a first hand experience of Indonesia, this seems like a promising place to be. (PS: I also seem to be in love with temples, so…)


Siem Reap | Yogyakarta | Kota Kinabalu _
Goa Pindul Cave Tubing. Photo from Trip Canvas.

Things to do:

Visit Timang Beach; Go to UNESCO Heritage Sites like the Borobudur temple and Prambanan temple; Watch the Ramayanan Ballet Show; Go gaga on shopping at Malioboro; Go on Underground Cave Tubing on Nature’s Lazy River


Siem Reap | Yogyakarta | Kota Kinabalu _
Mangunan Fruit Gardens. Photo by kelanakecil.

Projected Budget:

It’s really hard to find a complete and comprehensive guide to going around Yogyakarta, but here are some of the things that I’ve gathered from research.

Airfare (MNL-JOG; JOG-MNL): PHP 25,000 ($532) round trip fare, based on Skyscanner. You can also go to Jakarta as a start off point, which I think might be much cheaper, since round trip tickets starts at PHP 8,000 ($170). You can take the train from Jakarta to Yogyakarta, which will cost you around PHP 650 ($14).

Accommodation: Again, not much resources, but apparently there are hostels in the area, and you can get a room starting at PHP 600 ($13) on a room for sharing.

Going Around: There are a lot of Becak (cycle rickshaws) in the area, as well as taxis and motorbikes. Transportation will ultimately depend on where you want to go, what mode of transportation you’re getting, and would range from PHP 500 ($11) to PHP 2,000 ($42.50).

Food: You can get full meals for PHP 40 (less than $1) in Yogyakarta if you only know where to look. Say what!


Siem Reap | Yogyakarta | Kota Kinabalu _
Prambanan Temple. Photo from

Helpful Resources:

PS I’m On My Way | Walk Fly Pinoy | Trip Canvas | Lonely Planet | Titserysa



Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Siem Reap | Yogyakarta | Kota Kinabalu _
Masjid Bandaraya. Photo from

Why I would like to go:


Mostly known for the Mt. Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu has actually a lot to offer. Beautiful beaches (Manukan Island looks gorgeous!) and really interesting culture, Kota Kinabalu definitely belongs to my list of places to check out.


Siem Reap | Yogyakarta | Kota Kinabalu _
Photo from Lonely Planet

Things to do:

Visit the Mari Mari Cultural Village; Check out Manukan Island; Go island hopping; Snorkel and dive; Climb Mt. Kinabalu; Experience Kilas Wetland River Cruise


Siem Reap | Yogyakarta | Kota Kinabalu _
Mt. Kinabalu Peak. Photo from

Projected Budget:

Airfare (MNL-BKI; BKI-MNL): Round trip tickets are at PHP 8,000 ($170), but can go cheaper, should there be any available seat sales.

Accommodation: There are available hostels and you can book a room for as low as PHP 400 ($8) a night.

Going around: Island hopping rates are at PHP 1,600 ($34) per head. You can also go around the area by motorbikes and buses.

Food: Eat delicious Yee Fung Laksa for only PHP 65 ($1.50). Full meals can range from PHP 150 ($3) – PHP 300 ($6), depending on where you eat.


Siem Reap | Yogyakarta | Kota Kinabalu _
Manukan Island. Photo from


Helpful Resources

When in Manila | Biyahe ni Drew | I am Jose Manuel | Gypseachild

What about you? Have you been to another country? If so, what’s your favorite from all that you’ve visited? Share it down below so I could also check them out! If you liked this post and would want to see more, please put your suggestions on the comment box, so I can do some research about your dream destinations as well! Cheers!

20 thoughts on “Travel Plans: Southeast Asia

  1. Go for it! I suggest you travel to Vietnam and Laos when you are in Cambodia because they’re very close to each other. Let me know if you need some help planning!

    1. Thanks for the tip, Chel! I’ll definitely look into that. I still don’t know if I can fly out this year, but who knows! 🙂

  2. Hi, you might want to join the group Two Monkeys Travel Forum on Facebook. You can ask advice from fellow travelers there who have experienced the things you listed above.

  3. I’ve only been to Singapore and Thailand in Asia, and I highly recommend going there for starters. You just need to set and try to stay within budget while you’re there so you won’t come home broke!

  4. My colleagues kept on recommending Cambodia, so if ever I decide to travel abroad, it might be my first destination. But for now, PH muna ako, ayoko muna ng abroad eh haha

    Hope you’ll be able to visit all these countries this year! Gogogo! 🙂

  5. There’s nothing embarrassing about not having the chance to visit other countries outside the Philippines yet! As I was browsing the photos in your post, I realized na most of the places na may dagat/beach or bundok I can quickly think of a place in the Philippines na may ganon din and may I say, ours looks better pa nga and best of all mas madali puntahan at cheaper hahaha.

    Of course the likes of Masjid Bandaraya, Siam Reap, Angkor Wat, and other temples can’t be found anywhere else.. if only makapag travel uli ako without hassles, I’d choose to go there instead. Feeling ko mas sulit doon hehe. Pero di maitatanggi, there’s that thrill of going out of the country, discovering these beauties na hanggang tingin lang sa picture noon. I hope within the year mapuntahan mo itong mga to! As for me I’ve only been to cities in other countries and I haven’t been to much nature-y places outside the PH. :)) I love the city so much and the ease of getting around there kasi mas better ang trains.

    1. I would also LOVE to go to cities! 🙂 Most of the places here have temples, because apparently, I’m really attracted to it for some reason. Haha! I would really love to go to this places, pero mukhang mahirap pa esp because I’m still adjusting and shit. Thanks Anna! <3

  6. There’s nothing wrong or embarrassing if you haven’t been out of the country yet but you should really go and travel those places on your list!!!! I’m not a frequent traveler either mainly because of money too. If you’re really on a tight budget, aim to visit one place every year, at least you’ve got several months to save up.

    Among the places you’ve listed, I think the easiest one to plan and save up for (airfare + accommodation + pocket money) is Kota Kinabalu. For tickets, you should take advantage of the seat sales / promos. 🙂

  7. Did a Thailand-Cambodia trip last month, my airfare was just Php7000 roundtrip. And my stay in Cambodia costed US$120 for a 3 day stay, but this includes tours and even most of your meals. They arrange everything for you and are very friendly. Very convenient as well and the place is okay, near the Pub Street. Will blog about it soon. I hope you could make your plans happen as well Jhanz! 🙂
    Caffeine Rush

  8. Great list! I’ve only been to KL and Penang in Malaysia and I definitely recommend those for first-timers. If you’re into taking in different cultures, Malaysia definitely has so much of that; it’s sort of a melting pot for different Asian races. KL combines traditions and modernity so well so if you enjoy city life but like culture, too, then it’s a good choice. It’s easy to go around, there are even free shuttles that go around the city center. And everything’s relatively cheap, or at least around the same prices as we have here in PH. Happy travels! 🙂

    1. Hi Ahmad! Where are you coming from? There are a lot of considerations when it comes to choosing which ones you’d like! 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.