Bangkok or Pattaya or Both?

As we will have 5 days (actually only 3 full days, as flying to and fro will take one days each, almost) in Bangkok, the major question that popping around is whether to spend all 5 days in Bangkok, or have a detour to Pattaya, a famous beach tourist resort, or according to many people, more appropriately as sex tourist heaven.
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5 Days 4 Nights Bangkok Trip Itinerary by Konsortium Express & Tours

While waiting for the bus to go back Alor Setar, I had a look at the tour package that been offered by Konsortium Express & Tours, which my parents and I will took its express coach to go back hometown. So after getting free air tickets to Bangkok, I had not done any planning on Bangkok trip at all due to earlier Australia trip. Just stepped down from Tiger Airways plan from Darwin this morning, and after getting enough rest, and before I going back to hometown for another long rest, I think it’s time to spend some time to plan for the trip to Bangkok. And existing tour itinerary offered by travel agent is good starting point.
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Free Cathay Pacific Air Ticket to Bangkok from UOB

Haven’t even yet start the journey to Darwin, Australia, I got another flight tickets, and hence another trip confirmed. This time the trip will bring me to Bangkok, Thailand. The air tickets on Cathay Pacific Airways are courtesy of UOB (United Overseas Bank) after I had the most lavish weekend in my life – spent a total sum of SGD $3,500 in the span of 3 days on UOB Visa Signature credit card.
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Arrived On Time but Train Delayed

I was lucky enough to be able to reach JB train station just on time – 11.20pm, helped by fast clearance at Singapore and Malaysia checkpoints and just-in-time bus arrival (if not I will have to run across the 1 km causeway). Everybody else i.e. Chung Khoon, Wei Heng, Jennifer and her husband have been waiting at the KTM station. As expected after rushing, I was sweating all the way.

Anyway the rushing was meaningless, as the train was delayed. It seemed like the train was stuck at Woodlands train checkpoint, even though at the time I reached the Singapore checkpoint for bus passengers, the train has arrived and the train passengers have alighted for custom clearance.
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Go Rushing to JB KTMB Train Station

I packed the bag quite late, and continued packing also today after work before departing to Johor Bahru to board the train to KL. As usual, although I have prepared to travel light, but I still worried about missing a few items. So I went out quite late, due to wrong estimation of time needed and availability of transports.

I initially plan to hop onto Singapore Johore Express at Queen Street to cross to Malaysia side of border. As I left home at around 9pm, I felt that its service might have stopped as it’s late now. I should have took MRT to Kranji and transfer to cross border bus, although it takes about an hour just to reach Kranji MRT station itself. But instead, I took SMRT bus 985 where I alighted at Upper Bukit Timah Road opposite Bukit Timah Plaza. From here I have to transfer to another bus 961 to get to Kranji where I can transfer to another border bounding bus or bus 170 to get to Woodlands custom.
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Last Minute Packing

I did last minute shopping before my trip to Vietnam. And this time, I did as what I did before going to Hong Kong, packed the bag at last minute and packed light. This time, it’s going to be even lighter than what I brought to Hong Kong. Other than usual travel necessities such as digital camera, clothes, personal care items, emergency medicine, passport and some food, there is practically nothing else. And the clothes is much less than usual too. I expect to buy most of them in Cambodia, as many people are saying a t-shirt is selling for USD 1 there.
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Accommodation Reservation Scare

I emailed Golden Temple Villa yesterday for room enquiry. However, I didn’t receive any reply from them by the night. So I called up the hotel to book the accommodation. It’s the owner of the guesthouse Mr Lee that picked up my call. Due to the expensive IDD call rate to Cambodia, I am using cheap VoIP IDD call by ZONE1511 to make the phone call to Cambodia. The call quality was fair, and he was in a very noisy place (or may be it’s due to bad call quality?) Whatsoever, I believed I managed to tell him that we need rooms for 11 persons, although he was having a hard time to copy down my name, and ended up telling me that he will write on the card “11 persons” together to whatever the name of mine he managed to get.
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Booking of Accommodation in Siem Reap

With much of my concentration on updating my technology blog, and couple with increase workload in my job, there is not much time left for me to plan for the trip to Cambodia, including looking for hotel and accomodation in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh of Cambodia, two cities where we would stay overnight. With 2 more day to departure date (I should have done better, I booked my Hong Kong’s hotel 5 days before departure, so this is another record), I guess it’s time now to book a guesthouse or hotel, especially since our group is not a small group of few people, and some guesthouses and hotels may not have enough rooms for so many of us. It’s especially troublesome and scary if all of us dragging the luggage and search for cheap sleep hotel from hotel.

I have decided that as we will go to Phnom Penh last, so the accomodation there will only be decided when we reach Cambodia. So my search now is mainly focused on Siem Reap, where we will be staying our first few nights in Cambodia. However, my search for accomodation for Siem Reap is made easy of several website such as Tales of Asia, which has a very detailed information on Siem Reap accomodation and guide for overland travel between Bangkok, Thailand and Siem Reap, Cambodia. The owner of Tales of Asia has now open its own guesthouse in Siem Reap named Two Dragons Guesthouse & Restaurant.
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Final Tally

Finally confirmed total number of people that will be going to Cambodia, and that’s 11, 1 less than the total number of Air Asia air tickets booked. The only one that misses the trip is Ciline who is unable to take leave due to changing to new job. This have already exceeded my expectation that initially only expect 8 people to go. Anyway, this is already the largest group I ever join since the trip to Taman Negara Malaysia where the group consisted of 24 persons about 6 years ago.
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