Travelers Notes
South-East Asia

I: Travel Info.

M: Travelers Messages

O : Opinion

L: Travelogue

?: Questions

Source of information

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Own Experience

Reported

See also Hot info section
more updated info for SE Asia
Request from ITIS Travelers(itis@itisnet.com)
Are you travelling in SE Asia or planning to travel there soon? If so we would really appreciate it and it would be useful for other travelers if you sent us information from your trip or were willing to join our 'On The Road' team - sending emails while on the road. Please email us if you can help.


? 9 May, 98, ronald fokkema: rfokkema@worldonline.n
Laos Vientiane
Next july we want to travel from Vientian to Savannakeht by boat sailing Mekong. PLease tell us the possibilities of travelling that way. How can we get a boat taking us there, how long will it take, what about hotels etc.
From Savannakeht we want to go to Vietnam (lao bao) over land. What can you tell about that route. Where can we best obtain the Vietnam-visa? We start in Holland, flying to Bangkok, over land via Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia back to Bangkok.
Thank you very much
Ronald Netherlands
A Answer from Andy,ITIS
boat from Vientiane to Savannahkhet - no boat was running at the time of research. Regarding getting a Vietnam visa - take the visa info from hot info section for Savannahkhet and Vientiane. Cambodia visa is easy to get in Vientiane.

? 28 May, 98: Sheryn(cskjp@ozemail.com.au)
border crossing from Laos to Vietnam.
Am travelling overland through there and wanted to cross further north as I want to make my way in Vietnam from Hanoi down south to fly out of Saigon. Do you know anything about Kheo Nua Pass crossing? Thanks for your help.
A Answer from Uta, who traveled along this route.
She didn't recommend it as it took 3 days from Hanoi to Vientiane and transport is not well organised. Her trip was: train from Hanoi to Vinh about $30, bus is a lot cheaper. Accommodation options in Vinh are minimal,$6 after negotiating (that was the cheapest option). From Vinh there is supposed to be public transport running to the border(Cau treo) but Uta got dropped in the middle of nowhere and had to continue by bus and jeep. the border area is rainforest, stunning scenery, apparently a new species of deer has recently been discovered in this area. On the Lao side of the border there is no public transport but tuk-tuk's will run you to the nearest town for around $3. En route there are many traditional Lao villages so this sectionof the trip is interesting.

I 26 May,98 Peter (blume@manado.wasantara.net.id)
INDONESIA:
Watch out the exchange rate at banks Indonesia

The rate at banks are sometime very low.Try to exchange your foreign currency at moneychangers but better check out several ones. Generally you get better rates in the big cities and tourists centers. The more remote the location the worse the rate.
Price Increase? Accommodation and basic food items actually didn't go up that much, as a tourist you can live in Indonesia now a lot cheaper than one year ago. Other things like transportation, beer and imported goods are more than 100% more expensive than one year ago but this is more than
levelled with the improved exchange rate.
Stating prices in US$ wouldn't help you too much as you don't really know what will happen the nexy couple of weeks. Generally said you can get basic accommodation for about US$1-1.50 and starting from US$2 with three daily meals. A/c rooms are from about US$ 5-6.This depends of course on where in Indonesia you are,
there's a big difference between Sumatra and Irian Jaya.Happy Travels, Peter

I 25 May,98 tomoe&panu
Trip to Thailand on Weekend
If you are in Thailand and you want to take a trip
nearly,you can go Rahburee province about 2 hours from Bangkok. Rahburee has many interesting places.And one place I would advise you is "the River Market" or called "Tarard Num".It 's a local market and selling things from a boat.There are many kind of fruit there and the local goods.They are open from 5:00 till 24:00.If you want to go you must wake up early.And if you want more informations about Thailand you can go to this

? 26 May,98:Ward Vandecruys(vandecruys@club.innet.be)
Jakarta to Bali, Indoneisa
Visiting Java by 4X4 (with local driver-guide) from Jakarta to Bali from May 13 till May 26.Both,couple age +/- 50.Want to see people, authentic places, things happenings.
1. Is it safe out there ?
2. What not to forget to see ?
3. What no to forget to bring ?
Thanks for e-1-mail.
A One Answer
1)
Bali is safe and has been safe. You don't have to worry about it.
2) Many. It is very hard to say because it depends on your preference. Bali has everything.
Place to stay: Ubud.
Beaches: Padanbai(not Kuta, not Lovina).
Scenery: rice terraces. Ask at tourist office for the location.
Festivals: Ask at tourist office. You will see so many while you stay.
Cultural performances: Dances. Many in Ubud every night.
Temples: There are many good ones. very hard to choose. You don't disappoint for any big name.
Fruits: When you go to the center of Bali. It is a highland so you can see more different kinds of fruits.
Driving: car/moto bike/bicycle Driving the island is wonderful though you have to be careful. Drive safe
3) The copy of your passport numbers. The copy of your T/C receipts. The chances to be stolen are much less than in Java. But Indonesia is the one of the worst countries for stealing. Not from your room. While you are in a market, while you are riding a bicycle, etc. So expect you may be stolen something and prepare for it.

O 98.5.26, friend.
Applying Visas in general
ITIS,Your information on visas for Vietnam and Laos are still correct.
The visas (for Vietnam and Laos) can be obtained overnight if needed but the Visa become very expensive. It is worth noting that 3 days (4 days for Vietnam) means 3 full business days, though. So if you applied for a visa early on Wednesday it would certainly be worth asking if you'd have the visa in your hands by friday. They may not count the day that you apply
and certainly don't count weekend days so you very well could have to wait until Monday. The best advice is to apply as early in the week as possible and have the agent guarantee a day and time that you can pick the visa up.

? 26 May 98 Ward Vandecruys(vandecruys@club.innet.be)
Bali, Indonesia
Visiting Java by 4X4 (with local driver-guide) from Jakarta to Bali from May 13 till May 26.
Both (couple) age +/- 50.Want to see people, authentic places, things happenings.
1. Is it safe out there ?
2. What not to forget to see ?
3. What no to forget to bring ?

Thanks for e-1-mail.


Answer from Editorial
1)
Bali is safe and has been safe. You don't have to worry about it.
2) Many. It is very hard to say because it depends on your preference. Bali has everything.
Place to stay: Ubud.
Beaches: Padanbai(not Kuta, not Lovina).
Scenery: rice terraces. Ask at tourist office for the location.
Festivals: Ask at tourist office. You will see so many while you stay.
Cultural performances: Dances. Many in Ubud every night.
Temples: There are many good ones. very hard to choose. You will not be disappointed for famouse ones.
Fruits: When you go to the center of Bali. It is a highland so you can see more different kinds of fruits.
Driving: car/moto bike/bicycle Driving the island is wonderful though you have to be careful. Drive safe
3) The copy of your passport numbers. The copy of your T/C receipts. The chances to be stolen are much less than in Java. But Indonesia is the one
of the worst countries for stealing. Not from your room. While you are in a market, while you are ridding a bicycle, etc. So expect you may be stolen
something and prepare for it.

? 26 May 98 Ward Vandecruys(vandecruys@club.innet.be)
Bali, Indonesia
Visiting Java by 4X4 (with local driver-guide) from Jakarta to Bali from May 13 till May 26.
Both (couple) age +/- 50.Want to see people, authentic places, things happenings.
1. Is it safe out there ?
2. What not to forget to see ?
3. What no to forget to bring ?

Thanks for e-1-mail.


Answer from Editorial
1)
Bali is safe and has been safe. You don't have to worry about it.
2) Many. It is very hard to say because it depends on your preference. Bali has everything.
Place to stay: Ubud.
Beaches: Padanbai(not Kuta, not Lovina).
Scenery: rice terraces. Ask at tourist office for the location.
Festivals: Ask at tourist office. You will see so many while you stay.
Cultural performances: Dances. Many in Ubud every night.
Temples: There are many good ones. very hard to choose. You will not be disappointed for famouse ones.
Fruits: When you go to the center of Bali. It is a highland so you can see more different kinds of fruits.
Driving: car/moto bike/bicycle Driving the island is wonderful though you have to be careful. Drive safe
3) The copy of your passport numbers. The copy of your T/C receipts. The chances to be stolen are much less than in Java. But Indonesia is the one
of the worst countries for stealing. Not from your room. While you are in a market, while you are ridding a bicycle, etc. So expect you may be stolen
something and prepare for it.

23 May,98: xenia (xenial@ksts.seed.net.tw)
I JOBS!!!!! info in Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Foreigners are in demand to teach locals English. No experience is needed. VERY VERY VERY EASY TO GET A JOB! The schools will pay you from $13-18/hour, and provide work visas. Most cramming schools are for children, however there are some for adults. Most schools will give you housing/transportation, or help you settle in. However, you got to get here first! Then you just walk-in the schools or pick
up the local English newspaper and look in the want ad section. My schools do want a year of commitment which means you got to sign a contract. Most contracts used are ones where they will withold a fraction of your money till your year is up which they give it back to you.
I am an American here, teaching to fund my travels. I currently work for a local high school/kindergarten. They are looking for teachers.
We are in need of one Preschool teacher. M-F/every other Sat. 8-5:30 @ NT$50-60,000 (us$1,500-1,600)/MONTH.
Kindergarten teacher 14+hours @ NT$600(us$18)/hour.
Please email me for more info. or if you have any questions about work here.

I 19 May,98 Rob (robrtm@bigfoot.com)
List of Cyber cafe in the world.
For those of you who want to get/send e-1-mail while abroad, there is now a large database of over 1600 Net cafes in over 90 countries. It's perfect for those of you using a free web e-1-mail sevice like Hotmail, Netaddress, YahooMail, MailExcite, Juno, et. al.
Just go to http://www.netcafeguide.com

I 20 May,98: Vlad. (jizoo@brn.pvtnet.cz)
Myanmar-Thailand Border
Possible crossing the border Tachilek- Myanmar to Mae Sai Thailand. But you must fly from Heho (near Taunggyi) to Keng Tung or to Tachilek. On the road is prohibited. Fly tickets, $50- 60
But From Mae Sai to Tachilek, only a day entry is permitted.

I 98.5.19. jiro-san@nara mail to itis@itisnet.com
HK New Airport Info.
The opening for the new HK airport is just around the corner.(Jul 6,98). It is on Chek Lap kok Island,just N from Lantau island,26km from Central.
The new airport is not just a gateway which connects HK and the world. It is the gateway which connects the past and future, or HK & 21 century.
Access is excellent:
Airport Express:
Connects the airport & Central, 34Km with the speed 135Km/hr and 23min. (Kowloon-airport 19min.) 5:00-25:00, every 4-8min. It stops Airport,Taing Yi,Kowloon & Central. Seats are business style, very big and enough space for luggage.
Airport Buses: from Causeway Bay by 56min.
Giant Shopping Centre.
The new airport has a huge shopping mall which contains restaurants,banks, exchange,DFS, total is more than 140 facilities.
Easy Checking In with ITCI system
At Central and Kowloon station, when you buy Airport Express tickets, you can check in your luggage and can get a boarding pass.
FareFAirport Express
Central - HK$100, Kowloon - HK$80, Taing Yi- HK$40
Taxi, Wan Chai- HK$310, Yaumatei, Kowloon HK$255

? May 15,98 Glenn Brooks(gbrooks@ColoradoCollege.edu)
China, N.India, Vietnam
We are interested in an independent trip to China and northern India, perhaps with a stopo in Vietnam, in Sept-Oct, 98, at moderate expense. Specifically, we want to travel to Beijing, Xian, Kunming, Kathmandu, Delhi--and possibly return to Colorado Springs via Paris or London. This is still flexible. Cost is a consideration. Thanks

I May 15, 98, from HNK: mail to itis@itisnet.com
Rainy Season in SE Asia
According to the satellite photos, the rainy season in SE Asia had just started. It is about 10 days earlier than normal. Currently it covers Singapore and Malaysia and gradually is going to move to N.

I 12 May 98, click <click@indosat.net.id>
A cyber house in Jakarta, Indonesia
Most of travellers come to our house to surf
and look up their e-1-mail and also to ask us the question about the travel tips in Sumatra Java Bali and the rest of indonesia.
Any way we serve free soft drink and coffee freely.
Name 1 (first site): click cyber house
Add: Jl. Jaksa No.26 Kebon sirih Jakarta 10340 Ph: 021-9150919
Opening M-F 9.00-23.00,Sa9.00-21.00, Su11.00-17.00
Name 2 (second site) : Airport Internet Center
Add: Soekarno-Hatta Int. Airport. Int. Terminal Opening : Next week

Current situation in Indonesia
Concerning the travel in Indonesia, until now we do not have news about travellers injured. it is true that there is lot's of demonstration down here but the demonstrators did not and will not attack the tourist all the bad news you heard is just the exagerated and sometimes fake news
Bref, The travellers will not have any probleme while they are here, I am sure.

? 12 May, ann: ?96ao8240@eca.ac.uk?
BKK, KL or Singapore?
I am thinking of doing a stopover in either Bangkok Singapore or KL Before travelling on to Melbourne. Please could you give me advice on what to expect in these places. How much do you think I would need for two weeks stay in these places. I have heard that Singapore can be very expensive. Looking forward to hearing from you.
A Answer from Taka
I am assuming that you have never been in Asia and have to choose one from the 3 cities to stop over.
You have only 2 weeks.
I will recommend Bangkok among three cities. Singapore is like normal western cities.I think you need more "Asianess". Malaysia is not bad country but there is no strong charm point. It does not mean it is boring country. I personally don't know why but the long-term travelers love Malaysia as well as KL.
Thailand is very good country to start Asian experience. Easy travel, many attractions, etc. For 2 weeks you can definitely can enjoy the country.
Have a nice trip If you have any more questions, please send them to me anytime.

I 9 May,98 Mike (iceblink_@hotmail.com)
email in Ubud, Bali
For those looking for good email services in Ubud, they are hard to come by, but a really good, reliable place is at Prada Guesthouse, at 1 Jalan Kajeng. They're really quick and actually work, and the staff are really. Costs are 5000rp for every 15 minutes, or you can pay by block for unlimited use for 35 000 a day.

? 9 May, 98, ronald fokkema: rfokkema@worldonline.nl
Laos Vientiane
Next july we want to travel from Vientian to Savannakeht by boat sailing Mekong. PLease tell us the possibilities of travelling that way. How can we get a boat taking us there, how long will it take, what about hotels etc.
From Savannakeht we want to go to Vietnam (lao bao) over land. What can you tell about that route. Where can we best obtain the Vietnam-visa? We start in Holland, flying to Bangkok, over land via Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia back to Bangkok.
Thank you very much
Ronald Netherlands
A Answer from Andy,ITIS
boat from Vientiane to Savannahkhet - no boat was running at the time of research. Regarding getting a Vietnam visa - take the visa info from hot info section for Savannahkhet and Vientiane. Cambodia visa is easy to get in Vientiane.

I 3 May 98, click (jaksa@indosat.net.id)
Internet Cafe, Jakarta Indonesia.
the very heart of Jakarta, Jalan Jaksa:
We're TOURIST INFOCENTER and CLICK CYBER HOUSE is located in Jalan JAKSA no. 29. All staff is english speaking.

? 3 May 98, Michael Gabel, mgabel@gmu.edu
Question to ITIS Treavelers:
You say, you have postponed your trip to Indonesia. Why?

Are there problems there. We are planning to go to Sulawesia and Bali this July, and have become concerned about civil unrest. Comments?
Thanks.
A Answer from Editorial
Yes, we cancelled this year's research. At the same time we could have covered all 8 countries in Asia.There are a few reasons in Indonesia.
Reason One: we could not send anybody. One of our staff was preparing to go in Feb. Finally she, a young girl, would not go.
We could not blame her, simply because we cannot take any responsibility for her.
Reason 2: We thoght since the situation was very unstable,so our sesearch might be in vain. We will go when the situation has settled and we find a person to be sent. The problem is just a possibility for risk.
News media is reporting many anti-government activities in major cities, such as Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Medan, etc. Our Indonesia friend sent a letter saying many street children on streets due to the fact many lost their jobs.
I personally think it is still OK to travel, but you have to be careful for any new situations.
Taka

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