Our pre-pat trip

I’ve previously alluded to the fact S and I will be taking a holiday between leaving this country and arriving in Australia to start our new lives as freshly minted expats. The purpose of this pre-pat trip is to a) give ourselves some mental separation and breathing space between the end of one phase and the start of another and b) have a rest, because we’re both exhausted. Plus we never have to think too hard about whether or not we want to travel. The answer is always yes.

With all that said, we had quite a task to choose our destinations. We are keen to go everywhere, so narrowing that down to an itinerary of 3-4 weeks was quite a challenge. We talked about going to Myanmar, Borneo, Penang, most of Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand – all we knew was that we’d be flying in to Bangkok at the very end of March. That destination was decided for us by BA 2 for 1 Amex reward voucher availability, by the way.

Anyway, after much deliberation, I’m pleased to present…

Our Pre-Pat Trip Itinerary

Bangkok ¦¦ The BA 2 for 1 voucher may have forced our hand on this one, but I’m looking forward to going back to Bangkok. I don’t think either of us knew what to make of it last time; it’s a pretty full on place. However, now we’ll be going back with the benefit of a tiny amount of knowledge and hopefully will get to see some of the things we missed out on last time. In particular, I’d like to go on a longboat tour of the old canals of the city, maybe go to a cooking class, and I’m hoping to get some shopping done too.

We probably won’t be visiting this guy again, the giant reclining Buddha at Wat Pho, because I didn’t really get it if I’m honest

Mae Sot ¦¦ We have some friends who have been working in this area of Thailand, which is near the border with Myanmar. They do amazing work with displaced Burmese people, especially children. We’ve been keen to go and support them in person for quite some time, so this seems the ideal opportunity to do so before they return to the UK later this year. We’ll be going out for a long weekend from Bangkok, during which we plan to spend time with them mostly, and maybe do some fun day trips too.

Yogyakarta ¦¦ Temple time! We’ll be spending a few days in a city known for being close to the amazing Borobudur and Prambanan temples, plus producing amazing batik, silverwork, and having a generally rich cultural heritage. We’ll be going to culture vulture out here, and at the very top of my wishlist is playing a gamelan. I don’t even know if that’s possible, so as a fallback plan I’ll happily go and listen to some actual professionals playing one [NB is gamelan singular or plural?!].

Borobudur – not my picture! Thanks Pixabay

Lombok ¦¦ And now to relax. Lombok is apparently the Bali of 20 years ago, so I’m looking forward to deserted beaches and local culture. And hopefully some good food. Basically I just want a sunlounger, a beach, and lots of good books for this bit.

Kuala Lumpur ¦¦ You can’t fly from Lombok directly to Sydney, so we’ll be going back via KL. We picked KL because we were quite keen to go there anyway, and there were cheap flights available that let us have a ~29h stopover in the city. I don’t imagine we’ll be able to see much, but I’m hoping it’ll give us a good taste of the city.

Clearly not my photo of KL. Man, stock photos make me realise how badly I need to up my photography game!

Accidental Singapore ¦¦ And here we have a learning moment. Don’t book a big trip all in one go, because you will get confused and/or jaded and end up doing something silly. Case in point, our flight from KL to Sydney is going… via Singapore. After we’ve just flown up from Lombok. Yeah, I know. We’ll be transitting through briefly and it’s not the end of the world, but it was a bit of a face palm moment for poor S when he realised what he’d done!

Sydney ¦¦ Our final arrival in to Sydney is scheduled for the end of April, visa willing. If not, I guess we’ll be hanging around in accidental Singapore for a bit longer than planned.

I’ll be sharing where we stayed after the event, so then I can tell you exactly what I thought of it.

I can’t wait!

So, have you been to any of these places? Any recommendations for me? Or, do you live there and would like to meet up!?


Happy to be back linking up with Van, Marcella, Lauren and Isabel for Wanderlust Wednesday. 



  1. 7th March 2017 / 16:39

    We are trying to sort out something similar although have no dates yet as have no job! No job = no travelling ☹️ So I am trying really really really hard to get a job!!!! We are planning HK -Vietnam – Cambodia – Thailand – KL – Singapore or if no job London to Bangkok to Australia.
    Have a great time!! Looks like a great itinerary!!

  2. Jen
    7th March 2017 / 23:23

    I want to go!! Haha! This sounds amazing!

  3. 7th March 2017 / 23:28

    I didn’t get the reclining Buddha either 😬. You should visit the elephant sanctuary we went to!

  4. 8th March 2017 / 00:23

    Sounds like an awesome trip!
    I’ve only been to KL and Singapore for work from your list, but I really liked both of them, and there’s bound to be delicious food everywhere!

  5. 8th March 2017 / 06:15

    Oh I’ve never been but I’d love to visit! I’ve only ever spent a night in Singapore and that was for sleeping before we hopped on a plan the next day. I do love the showers at Singapore airport though, heavenly after the plane flight! I’d love to go back there one day and explore it in daytime! Looking forward to hearing about your adventures and seeing your pictures. Don’t be hard on yourself, you take some awesome shots! 🙂

    Hope you are having a great week! Happy International Women’s Day! 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

  6. 8th March 2017 / 12:25

    This itinerary sounds amazing! What organization do your friends in Mae Sot work for? It sounds like they are doing amazing work, I can’t wait to read what you have to say about it!

  7. 8th March 2017 / 13:40

    omg what a fun pre-pat trip! i cant even imagine as i’ve never been to any of these destinations. i will be living through you!

    xoxo cheshire kat

  8. 8th March 2017 / 18:02

    Oh my gosh how exciting! (I feel that’s all I comment these days haha). I’ve not been to Asia yet, so no recommendations, but can’t wait to see some blog posts about it 😉 xx

  9. 8th March 2017 / 19:05

    I can’t wait to hear more about your trip! I think that after our next Europe trip Chris is going to be itching to visit Asia for a little bit, even if it’s just to eat so I know that I’ll find all of these places super interesting to read about! Plus y’all really do need a break between when your job officially starts and when you move!

  10. 9th March 2017 / 01:38

    Sounds like it’ll be a wonderful adventure! We loved visiting Trang in Thailand over Christmas break, and years ago I went to Chiang Mai, but we really haven’t done a lot of exploring in Thailand. I’ve only seen the Bangkok airport, ha! Singapore is really fun, so it’s not the worst place if you have to hang out for a bit, although it’s more expensive than Malaysia and other neighboring countries. I still think Singapore is cool.

  11. 10th March 2017 / 01:14

    I’ve never been to any of these places so I can’t wait to live vicariously through you! Every time Nick and I move, we take time to travel. It’s such a great way to decompress and it helps take out the sting of leaving a place and people we love. Plus, we always have enough time to go do all the things we want to do. Nick usually doesn’t get big chunks of time off, but when we are moving, he can usually take 30 days. I am so excited for you!

  12. 10th March 2017 / 03:54

    Ummmmmmm, can I come?!??!?!!

    It sounds like you’re going to have the most amazing time! And I can’t believe you’ll be in Sydney so soon!!!!!

  13. 10th March 2017 / 04:23

    OH WOW!!! What an amazing pre-pat trip!! I can’t wait to follow along… and hoping that those visa things work out perfectly!

  14. 11th March 2017 / 00:51

    Sounds like you have a great trip planned! I have to admit I did giggle a little at the “accidental Singapore”! (Sorry!)
    I’m sure you’ll make the most of it while you’re there at least!
    Good luck with the big move and enjoy your time off!
    Hopefully we’ll get to meet up in Sydney later in the year!

  15. 11th March 2017 / 04:14

    It all sounds amazing, but I am most intrigued by your trip to Mae Sot and the work your friends do there. Hope you are able to get the mental separation, relaxation, and rejuvenation that you need!

  16. 12th March 2017 / 01:43

    Your pre-pat trips sounds like it’s going to be awesome! What a fun way to celebrate the end of one thing and the start of another 🙂

  17. 12th March 2017 / 03:51

    How exciting!!! I went to Lombok for a 3-night getaway, and it is pretty much like you imagine. Very quiet beaches, quiet little town center, not much going on. I didn’t do much besides eat, laid on a beach for an afternoon, and laid by the hotel pool with a book everyday. It was perfect. And I really wish I could be in KL when you come, but I basically still have NO idea of my plans :(. And man, I need to get my photography game up too. I’m still trying to figure out *where* to get shots of the towers like in your stock photo. That must be taken by a drone or something!

  18. 12th March 2017 / 07:11

    It all sounds so exciting! So happy to see Yogyakarta and Lombok on the list because I’m sure you’ll enjoy your time there a lot. x

    Nerissa | hejnerissa.com

  19. 15th March 2017 / 01:36

    Fun, fun, fun!! Oh no, I did wonder briefly why you’d go to KL to then go to Singy. Ah well, 😉 Well, KL is fun and all – defo take the train into town as it’s much faster. Not sure how long you’re there for, but check out the Batu Caves and go eat at Opium. Really yummy food and cocktails and all the bars/restos are in that area as well. And go have sundowners at the Helipad where you’ll get gorgeous views of KL and hopefully an amazing sunset with it! The airport in Singer is ah-mazing – plenty to do there if you have a couple hours, or if you have more, head into the city. They do provide free bus into the main sights, after all, it’s not a big place. 20 mins or so you’re into the CBD from the airport. If you want more info on Singers, let me know as I’m currently living here. 🙂 I’ll be in Sydney next month for work! Have an amazing time, sorry for the novel!!

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