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!?