Travelers Notes
South-East Asia
Until Oct 98

I: Travel Info.

M: Travelers Messages

O : Opinion

L: Travelogue

?: Questions

Source of information

Other Media

Own Experience

Reported


I Oct 29,98, Frank
Vietnam
Transport from Airport - Hanoi:
If you are arriving in the Airport of Hanoi you don"t have to use the taxis only. You can ask for a ticket with a minibus to the city for US$4. You have to pay in Dollar Notes.There is a counter in the arriving hall near to where you pick up your luggage. I arrived there in June when I had a domestic flight.
In the city there is a meeting point for collecting people heading to the airport, but I didn't use it.
Accommodation: In the old city of Hanoi you can find a lot of hotels but small hotels.
Please be careful of the motorbike drivers because they get US$2 commission. It is better to go by your
self to the hotel or get of the bike near the near the hotel so you may get a better rate.
The cheapest hotel listed in the Lonely Planet is not open. Sorry I forget the name. But near this hotel in the same street you will find hotels for about US$20 per night.

I Henk and Anneke Diekema.
Vietnam: Recommendations
HCMC
is good for 4/5 days. Visit Cholon. Make trip to Mekong Delta 3 days. We booked in KIM CAFE (De ThamStreet) very well organized and cheap; but there are more. Visit CuChi tunnels and Cao Dai temple (1 day). Total 9 days will do.
Try to visit HoiAn (many tourists); fly to Danang; take car to HoiAN 30 km. Try visit Hanoi (old quarter!) ; and tour to Sapa/BacHa; we loved it. It is cheap to fly: HCMC-Danang ca. $50,-- pp. You can take the bus; is cheaper. The drive at night. Is very heavy.
Advice: HCMC+MekongDelta+Hanoi(Sapa/BacHA; in a weekend) fly home from Hanoi.
It is easy to travel in Vietnam. People are open and willing to help; speak good English. We visited Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia (Sulawesi and Kalimantan); Vietnam was easy.
Bargain for the price everywhere; ask for discount in hotels and better rates for money-change.
to email: Ask in big Post office (BUU DIEN) for TELTIC service. Ask them to fax email to your hotel when they receive email for you. Agree price.
Exchange: In small BUU DIEN people behind the counter change money for there own account and give good rates. Transport: Only take taxi with meter. Take airport-cab; do not take free drivers.
We flew from Hanoi to Hue, took car+driver to HoiAn (Danang); flew to NhaTrang and to HCMC. Locally we rented bikes and taxi and cyclo.
Write price on paper and let them see. People are quite honest; but are trying to earn a living; who can blame them. Do not get mad at the many children that CONSTANTLY try to sell you everything.
We loved best the contact with local people. My wife takes little things (toys, soaps) and clothes to give away. We like best to get off the beaten road; contact is very good.
Never say NO to a Vietnamese when they try to sell; they wont accept. Say: 'Maybe later'.
There is so much to tell. My wife has 400 fotos and I made 10 hrs video. The guide (Tranh Sanh; we have his address) was a sociable guy; relaxed and not the type that drags you around to the next stop where he wanted to hear his own story. (We dont like guides!)

I News in Thailand Nov 98
Thailand
According to this week's Bangkok Post....Police claimed they were cracking down on taxi drivers who
jigger their meters to cheat riders....
Events this week in Thailand:Nov 1-3 Loi Krathong, In honour of Goddess of Water Candles & flowers are floated in small model boats on river.Upcoming events in Thailand: Dec 3 Trooping of the Color at Royal Plaza near the Statue of King Chulalongkorn... Dec 5 King's Birthday - Illuminations at the Grand Palace..Dec 6 Asian Games opening ceremony...

I 98.10.30:6-chan(route66@mail.webnik.ne.jp)
Laos New Info
It is possible to enter Laos in the next day when you arrive at BKK in the evening. I arrived at BKK airport 21:15 and took a night train to Nong Khai(Train may be delayed). Go directly to the bridge don't go to the town of Nong Kai. I got a visa at BS tour for $70, but you can get a visa at the bridge for $51. You can enter Laos just after noon.
Exchange
Official rate: $1=4150kip(changed everyday)
market rate $1=4500kip(in Vientiane)
Price of goods(prices in Vientiane higher than in local cities)
pepsi700-1000kip, Pho(noodle in the morning)2000kip
beer Laos 2000kip, postcard 500-700kip
T-shirt 7000kip, drinking water 500kip
Transport
Bus:
Vientiane to Luang Pranbang(13000kip 10hrs)
Luang Prabang to Vientiane(16000kip,10hrs)
Vientiane to Pakxe(15000kip,18hrs)
Muang Khong to Pakxe(5000kip, 4.5hrs)
(buy a ticket on bus)
Boats:
Pakxe to Muang Khong(4000kip,8hrs)
Khone island tour include 2 water falls(35000kip,additional moter bike 10000kip)
Tuk-tuk
in cities 1000kip
From Luang Prabang to Tad Kouang waterfalls(30,000kip)
Muang Sean to Munag Khong(7,000kip)

I Travelers notes:Foremost GH, Trat Oct. 98
Border Crossing Thailand - Cambodia
Transport to Cambodia
Blue Songthaew to Klong Yai - 35B, From Kong Yai to Had Lek 20b, get exit stamp here. Must have a Cambodian visa to continue on to Koh Kong, CANNOT Get it at the border. (Not necessary to have a Thai visa coming the other way)
Boat to Koh Kong 50B (car 40B?) from Koh Kong boat to Kompong Som 500B, 5hrs (Apparently the boat in the opposite direction leaves at 10:30 costs 400B
or boat to Srey Albel 300B, 4hrs, can get to Phnom Penh from either of these places, route via Srey Ambel is cheaper and shorter, but it is a very quiet town.

I Brandon, Sept. 98
Bangkok's "World's Largest Restaurant" , Thailand
Heeding the Thailand guide's seemingly positive review of the two huge restaurants in Bangkok, some travel acquaintances and I headed to the Royal Dragon (AKA Mang Gorn Luang.) It is supposedly the largest restaurant in the world (I think) with servers on rollerskates, etc.
Just a warning to fellow readers: we thought it was extremely over-rated in both quality of food and service and spectacle. And we felt the staff were deceitful in charging us.
When we arrived for lunch we saw no more than five other customers as far as we could see in any direction and it was
12:00 noon. There were only a few disgruntled waiters in what really just seemed to be a huge plaza consisting of many different restaurants (perhaps each with the same menu thus the claim as the largest restaurant). As soon as we sat down we were offered wonderful frozen towels to wipe our hands and faces on a sweltering day. Later we would learn that they weren't an extra little touch of service. We were charged for them later.When two of us ordered a cola we were brought a bucket of colas and ice, all of which we were charged for even though we only ordered TWO colas.
Also, before we even had a chance to look at the menu a cart full of dim sum was offered knowing that we were hungry and had traveled a good way to get there we wouldn't be able to resist jacking up our bill a little more. (This is the most forgivable offense of the day)
At one point, when we were quite disppointed with and couldn't eat the Lonely Planet-recommended steamed curry seafood in a bamboo leaf, we decided to order one more side dish. We explicitly said "one" order of spring rolls and I clearly stated and indicated that two of us would share the order. The waitress brought us TWO orders and was very rude when we told her we only ordered and wanted one! She said "NO SHARING IS ALLOWED!"(in perfect English) but we told her that we had wanted to share one. For a while she refused my suggestion to put the second order on the dim sum cart and when she finally did she was quite rude about it. She and the other waiters standing nearby were looking at us and mumbling in disgust.
To top it off, when we received our check, it included the towels, the extra colas, and the second side dish, all of which we hadn't requested. My clever Australian companion quitely adjusted the bill with an ink pen and we paid what we felt we owed. It wasn't that much money we saved but it was the Principle.

I 28 Oct,1998, Pandos

Report on Myanmar
The trip to Burma was something out of the ordinary. A bit primitive in many respects but that's the attraction!
The changing of $300.00 into Kyats is not really a problem. We stayed for 2 weeks and spent 3 times that amount. I tell you, its good to have kyats because in remote places they don't accept anything else.
We flew from Bangkok to Yangon with Myanmar Airlines which must be one of best we travelled in, although we have used more than 50 airlines so far. Highly recommended.
The difference is space. Since they don't carry a lot of tourists they don't need to cram as many seats as possible in the cabin! The passenger to attendant ratio is about 9 to 1 which is the best yours truly has encountered so far. Given the friendliness of the Burmese it was like travelling first class.
As for transport don't worry. When you arrive at the airport they will find you.
Make sure that they have a tour operator badge. That means they are approved by the government but doesn't mean that your money goes to the government.
Once out of the airport they will offer you various trips but the best bet, if you are planning to see a lot of Burma, is to ask them for a car with driver. The going rate is $30.00 a day and the driver will take you anywhere you like. The price includes his petrol, accommodation and meals. At first you will be presented with a contract which includes a $50-60 government tax.
If you refuse to sign it that means they don't have to pay anything to the government!
One additional thing
I wanted to send is the name and address of our driver in case someone wants to contact him. He speaks a bit of English and a bit of Japanese and will take you anywhere, will wait for you as long as you like and will take you to the best value hotels and restaurants.
Driver/Guide recommendation
His name and address:

Than Chaung (a) Oo
No 869 10th Mile
Kyaung Street, Pay Road
Insein,YangonPhone: +95 - 1 - 660444
Fax: +95 - 1 - 224706

He will arrange to pick you up at the airport.


I 23 Oct,98: Andrea(itis@itisnet.com)
Latest news from Thailand Bangkok: Weather: Rainy,
The Khao San Rd, feels empty - low season.
The '20B/min telephone services' to anywhere in the world,seems to be no longer functioning. Promotion signs are still around but everywhere I asked I was told that it wasn't available.
Can hire bicycles on the Khao San, can't imagine that there is much demand in Bangkok, cyclists are a rare sight.
Swimming pool: - Buddies on Khao San Rd. 100B/day.
Accommodation:
New Merry V has renovated, at least it has painted its rooms. Prices remain the same, Shared bathroom single/double 100/140B. The Sawasdee Bangkok Chain has opened a new branch behind the temple, similar standards to the one in the Khao San Rd, all rooms furnished with cable TV, opening prices 300B with fan, permanently full so I couldn't check out the rooms. Guest Houses in the National Library area - Tavee, Shanti Lodge, Sawadee, etc: Prices are higher than the Khao San Road area - 150+B/single. People staying around there though are very happy, love being away from the main backpackers area.
Siam Centre area is an enormous building site at the moment.Probably not the best area to stay in while construction is going on. Transport in the area is congested. Walking is also difficult as there are a number of detours and it is dangerous to cross the road at certain junctions.
Sukhumvit: I stayed 1 night at the Atlanta, on Soi 2, 330B/single with fan, 440B/double. This hotel has lots of character, a colonial atmosphere, I felt like I was in a time warp. It has a lovely, landscaped garden and swimming pool, though you can't escape the noise from the expressway.
Food:
Shoshana's still serving great Israeli food - schnitzel, hummus, chips, salad 50B. Located N of the Khao San Rd, on the alley next to the petrol station.
Hemlock, one of the trendy Thai restaurants on Phra Athit Rd.near New Merry V., is popular with trendy young Thais, attractive arty interior and an interesting, wide-ranging, reasonably priced menu.
Internet:
It seems like internet facilities are available at every office along the Khao San, certainly many Guest Houses are now offering the facility. Everywhere in the Khao San Rd area is charging 2B/min. at the moment. Some places like Hello offer discounts for 1hr+ usage. Internet services along Sukhumvit Road and around the Siam Centre are more expensive 3-4B/min.

? Charles Gillis
Travel map website
I'm interested in travel maps and a sight for them . I'm am trying to right my own travel guide for a 2 year working travel trip and need all the help I can get. Thank you Charles Gillis

? Jean-Pierre,Verbeke

Border crossing LAOS-CHINA.
Hello fellow travellers!!
This is the first time I come with some questions to this site. For the past ten years now I mainly got my sources for all my SE Asia trips in the Lonely Planet guides and on Compuserve. But last I explored the ITIS site and followed the emails here for some days. It realy impressed me how well this whole site is made and I must say that I already got a lot of useful information about Cambodia and Laos where I will spend some 7 weeks in Jan/Feb next year.
When planning my trip to Laos after visiting Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and since I will visit the NW region of Louang Namtha I got the idea of maybe crossing the Laos-Chinese border and go to Jinghong in the Yunnan province.
A couple of questions arise immediately.
First, does someone know if the area of Jinghong is worth visiting. I see many red stars around Jinghong on my Nelles road map of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, indicating interresting places.
Is it possible to cross the Laos-Chinese border at Muang Sing? And can I reuse my 30 days Laos visa I will get in Bangkok to reenter Laos?
In what shape are the roads there and what about transport?
How is the climate there in mid Jan/Feb?
Finally I suppose that in the event I would decide to go for it I can get a Chinese visa in Bangkok? How long is the visa valid and how much does it costs?
Lots of question for a simple idea but I hope some people here can help me further. Thanks!!



Answer from Andrea

I was in Laos in May and met a few people who came from or were heading to China. They told me that it was very difficult to get a 3 month visa, the people I met had 2 month visas. However, information about the Chinese visa is very inconsistent, quite difficult to get from the embassies - I had lots of problems in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand often staff don't speak much English and are not always helpful. The information they give is also contradictory, policies seem to vary. We have some limited information under the embassy sections of the capitol cities sections.

Mohan(Chi)-Boten (L) - This was the border crossing that people were taking between China and Laos, I'm sorry but I don't have any information about any other possible crossing.

As for leaving Laos and re-entering on the same visa - I haven't heard about that option, though there have been some reports of people entering from China on transit visas/ getting 14 day visa at border. I know quite a lot of long term travelers living in Nong khai, go over into Laos regularly, however I think they have some special visa/business visa. There is a guy called Tom who runs a website called South East Asian Times, I'm afraid I don't have the address - it may be possible to find it by doing a search, he operates it from Nong Khai, he goes in and out of Laos all the time so he might know something.

Well, the roads, I don't know the condition of them in the area you mentioned but generally they are terrible although there is a lot of road building currently going on. Visit Lao year 1999, seems to be the big motivator, they're trying to improve the tourist infrastructure for that.
I'm sorry that I don't know more, it sounds a great trip, if you find out anything else please let us know.
Hope that has helped a little,


I 6 Oct,98: Graham (anchor_what@hotmail.com)

Cambodia, report
Hello all,
Just got back from Cambodia today so here's the latest info. I flew from BKK to Phnom Penh on 30 Sep and then on to Siem Reap on 2 Oct. Flew back from Siem Reap to BKK today via Phnom Penh.
Is it safe?
When I was in Phnom Penh, things were tense. I didn't feel unsafe as such but didn't stray too far at night either. When I spoke to foreign residents there, they said that things had got a lot quieter since the demonstrations. It seems that while Sam Rainsy and Prince Ranariddh are out of Cambodia, things will be quieter. However, King Sihanouk is planning to fly to Beijing sometime and there are fears this could kick things off again. It seems that the situation changes daily in Phnom Penh so all I can advise is to watch it carefully.
In Siem Reap, things felt a lot calmer. All the residents I spoke to there (foreign and Cambodian) said that there weren't any problems there and they didn't expect problems. The King was in Siem Reap when I arrived and while his villa was guarded,the guards weren't openly parading their guns. (This was the opposite to Phnom Penh - Hun Sen (I think) came into town so the Army closed the roads for him and guns were VERY visible!). It also felt safe to walk around Siem Reap at night (as safe as walking around in e.g. China or
London).
Overall, I'd advise anyone travelling to Cambodia to check the situation before going. If you are afraid to go, don't go; Angkor has been there for 1000 years so it will be there for a few more! Also remember that not all the information
reported outside (or inside) Cambodia is entirely objective. I found the Phnom Penh Post and Cambodia Daily newspapers to be good. The Phnom Penh Post also has a website with some stories from the paper (can't remember the URL now). While you're in Cambodia, it's a good idea to register with your embassy. It only took me 5 mins. in the British Embassy to fill in a form and then if the situation changes rapidly while you're there, they can contact you.
If you do decide to go, here's some more information...
Visas
On 30 Sep., I got a visa at Phnom Penh airport. When I looked today, the visa desk looked like it was still there and I spoke to other travellers who had got visas in the past few days. In the Royal Air Cambodge in-flight magazine for Oct-Dec 1998, they said that you can get visas at the
airport on arrival. The government may have said they will stop issuing them at the airport but I didn't see any sign of it. They also need tourist dollars and foreign investment dollars so I can't see why they would make it more difficult to get visas... Note that this only applies at Phnom Penh - there were no facilities for visas at Siem Reap airport (as far as I could see). Visas are US$20 for tourist and US$25 for business and need 1 photo.

Flights
I flew Thai into Phnom Penh (changed from Royal Air Cambodge without any problems) and Royal Air Cambodge for the other flights. They were OK but I'd advise you to reconfirm the flights. As there are very few travellers inside Cambodia at the moment, Royal Air Cambodge's Phnom Penh > Siem Reap schedules are not very accurate - they are combining 2/3 flights into 1 each day. If possible, check on the day of flying for your correct flight time. Also, their office in
Siem Reap has moved. It is now on Route 6 about 700m out of town towards the airport (opening times are as per the LP book).

Temples
As of 27 September (I think), the Cambodian government officially declared Banteay Srei safe for tourists. This means you don't need a special permit or armed guards to visit there. I went by moto and my driver had to pay US$3 in extra "fees" to the police for the area and the police for the temple itself. Still, at least it's less than the US$20 that the permit used to cost! I'd advise that you do visit Banteay Srei as the carving is very good there. However, it is about 40km from Siem Reap so if you combine it with other
temples, you'll probably do 100km+ on that day - on Cambodian roads, a moto can get quite uncomfortable over those distances!

Another thing I'd reccommend is Angkor Wat with a full moon. Last night was a full moon and it was very spectacular as it rose over the temple.

Money
There are now no banks open in Siem Reap on Sat morning. There are places near the market that will change money but nowhere for T/Cheques or Credit cards.
To be honest, you don't need to change money; just take lots of small US$. The Cambodian currency seems to be dollars and riel - if the change is less than 1 dollar, they'll give you riel in change but everyone uses dollars.

I thought Cambodia was very good and was very glad I went. It was starting to get busier with foreign tourists at the end of the week but the temples are still nowhere near as busy as they were in 1995/96 (apparently). This means that it is still possible to be the only person at a temple (particularly the temples outside the big 3).

This is some general info. If you have specific questions, please email me. I was a mid-range traveller so I can't give recommendations about cheap guesthouses or what the Grand Hotel d'Angkor is like! Graham


I 6 Oct,98: Christian, barre22@hotmail.com

Malaysian Holidays, 1999
Hello !
I'm going to visit Malaysia in January/ February 1999. Perhaps you might be able to help me with the exact dates of the following festivals
a) Thaipussam
b) Chinese New Year
c) End of Ramadan.

Otherwise you may know better than i where to inquire these dates...
Thanks in advance,
Yours Christian


I 6 Oct,98: Bruno and Marina (DUBARM@HOTMAIL.COM)
GOING TO LAOS ? GET YOUR VISA IN S'PORE
You can get a one month visa for Laos in Singapore.All it takes is 2 working days, S$60.00 and 2 photos.
LAOS embassy: 179b Goldhill Center, close to NOVENA MRT Station

I 29 Sep,98 Kevin(keviningram@bigfoot.com)
Thailand:
Telephone Rip-off in Kao San Rd.Bangkok

169 Kaoson road are opperating a policy of charging 20 baht per minute for international phone calls with a 100 baht initial deposite. They use mobile phones, they will phone for you and if it is enguaged they will say it's an "answer phone" They will hang up and will charge you a 20 baht fee.
DO NOT GO THERE. THERE HAVE BEEN MANY COMPLAINTS.

I A friend
Asia Circle ticket (6 cities in Asean countries) in Singapore is called Asean Fare.You have to know the name to find the tickets. Small travel agents are not dealing with this tickets. The price is S$840 It is expensive. It might be cheaper if you buy tickets for each sector. However there are certain advantages, one is - between Manila, Philippines and Brunei there is only one plane a week. With Asia circle you can fly Brunei to Manila via KL everyday.
There is a free telephone at Brunei airport.YMCA charge $50/room.

I Paula : pvillegas@arrakis.es

Mynmar Rangon
MONEY:
you will get the best change for your dollars in the black market(try near the railway station and also near the MTT and bargain hard!).
(09/August/98) the black market exchange rate was $1=375kyat. If you don't like changing at the black market, you can go to the MTT and, in spite of the 5 kyats per dollar shown on the board, they will give you about 330 kyat (ask first). The rate for FEC in the black market is slightly lower. It's better to change in Rangoon. because in other places they will give you less.

WEATHER: It was warm and rainy in Yangon and the southwest, sometimes cloudy and warm in Inle Lake, slightly cold and rainy in Kalow, hot and slightly rainy in Mandalay and cloudy and definately hot in Bagan.


I 2 Oct,98: Leon Raffles (leon-raffles@usa.net)
Diving in Sabah, Malaysia
If you are looking for a cheap but great place to go SCUBA diving or taking a PADI course, well I found a place that offers all this. I came thru at Tawau just recently and met this guys at their dive shop. Really good, all equipment new, the instructor Jerry speaks English, German and Spanish. We spent a few great days out at different islands and I did my Open Water for only RM695 incl. accommodation, lunch and a great dinner. Jerry also organized a trip to Sipadan and Tawau Hills Park for me way below the prices offered by other tour operators in Kota Kinabalu. If you want to go diving there or take your Open Water call them (010-8831388) once you are in Malaysia. They also have a Website: http://www.fortunecity.com/marina/paradise/132
All the best

I 29 Sept,98: Kevin (kmeadowcroft@hotmail.com)
A Stay in Cianjur, Indonesia
Hello All!
I recently returned from a stay of two months in Indonesia (Nusa Tengara, Bali, Java) and undoubtedly the highlight of which was ten days that I spent in Cianjur, West Java with the family of Yudi Sujana. For the last year or so he has allowed travellers to stay in his home in Cianjur which is a pleasant mid-size town with zero tourists (except you) and amazingly friendly people. The students at Yudi's English school are very keen and curious to meet foreigners. Activities include visitng the botanical gardens of Cipanas, a tea plantation, the local recycling plant.. A great way to see the real Java.Also, You'll eat tons of wonderful Sundanese food. So, I urge you to start you trip through the archipleago in Cianjur. I felt more "at home" than I usually do at home!
Yudi can be reached at yudi_sujana@hotmail.com.
Manga, Kevin

I 1 Oct,98: Bruno et Marina (DUBARM@HOTMAIL.COM)
GILI AIR : TAKE CARE, Indonesia
We are just coming back from a few days holidays in GILI AIR, on Lombok we would like to recommand any travellers heading that way :
1) Not to stay at LUCKY'S Homestay, located on the West side of the island. They attract you with very attractive prices but when comes the day you must settle your bill, price is not the same : 2 to 3 times higher. Then you become a F....G tourist and the staff get really mad trying to intimidate you and make you pay.
2) Most of the bungalows on this island have an "open air" bathroom (just a basic roof) connected to the main room. At night, some little creaps pass that way to enter your room and robb your from your valuables, during your sleep. So take good care and close absolutely any doors, while
sleeping or away.

I 1 Oct,98: Bruno et Marina (DUBARM@HOTMAIL.COM)
BROMO : AVOID PROBOLINGGO, Indonesia
We went from Surabaya, by express Bus, to Probolinggo, heading for Bromo. The bus stopped and left us in the middle of nowhere, just in front of a small office with a board :
"TOURIST INFORMATION CENTER".The guy running the office tried to sell us everything : shuttle to bromo and back, then bus to wherever we wanted to go, telling us what to do, how to do it, even the number of days we should spend in the various places suggested. Then comes the price : sometimes up to 5 if not 10 times higher than normal,and come 2 or 3 more indonesian in the office, intimidation ??You should just get of the bus at Probolinggo bus terminal and NOT BEFORE. From there, public transport take right to the rim for Rp 3000 only (1 and 1/2 hour trip). We have met a lot of people in Bromo who went through the same experience as we did, and who paid so much!! A disgrace, but unfortunately, there are some deals established between bus drivers and those non recommandable persons....so watch out.

I 1 Oct,98: Bruno et Marina (DUBARM@HOTMAIL.COM)
YOGYAKARTA:MERAPI, Indoensia
Do you want to hear a volcano ?
Do you want to see rolling lava ?
Do you want to see red lava at night, all night, without any effort ? Then go and see the Merapi, active volcano on the north of Yogyakarta. To do so, we strongly recommand the following :
From main terminal, head for Muntilan. From there, take a bemo to TALUM.In Talum, you are at 10 Km only from the BABADAN observatory center. We did charter our last bemo for Rp 7000 to the top.
You are just 4 km away from the crater and this is really impressive. You can stay overnight in a very basic accomodation let by the staff, and for around Rp 10000 for a night (you need to bargain)
One of the employee's wife is running a small shop from where you can buy food and drinks...very convienient. We met a lot of local tourists but not so many westener...shame From your bed, or so, you can see lava rolling down the hill, you can even hear it. Should you be unlucky and arrive
in a misty weather, do not worry : go to sleep and the staff will wake you up, should it become clear.Lonely planets recommand you go to Kaliurang, from where you can start a trekk at 3 am in the hope to see lava during an hour or so.....in babadan, you do not need to walk, just sit and relax !! More, the walk down to Talum, goes through rice fields and villages...very nice

I Oct 6,98: NHK
When you cross a border, Entry first, exist later?
Singapore to Malaysia
There is a border crossing where you get entry stamp first and exist stamp later. The location is from Singapore to Malaysia by train.
First you are going to enter Malaysia at the Singapore Terminal station, Tanjun Pagar, then at the border station from Singapore to Malaysia, you are going to exit Singapore.
Why? When Singapore became independent from Malaysia, the Malay train were left to Malaysia, therefore both immigration process had been proceeded at the terminal. But Singapore made a new station at the border started their immigration process. But still Malaysia is proceeding at the terminal.

? 3 Oct 98: takashi <route66@mail.webnik.ne.jp>
Laos:
I am planning to go to Laos for 2 weeks(as long as toursit visa allows.)from 10 of Oct.However there are not enough information for Laos, I have a few questuions.
Q1.I would like to take a boat from Luang Prabang to Vientiane or Pakse. Is it possible? If so, how much money or time do i need? I heard it is possble from the reliable source.
Q2.Do you have any information about the border crossing from Pakse to Ubon Thani(Thai)Is there any problem to cross there?
From Editorial:
There are no boats from Luang Prabang to Pakse. But there are some to Vientiane. I think you have to change a boat at leaset once. We don't have enough detailed information about it. I think this is not for tourists, but locals so it takes time(days)to travel.
There is no problem to cross the border, from Pakse to Ubon Thani. We have detailed reports in Hot info Andrea, Laos info, SE Asia and network page, Sudo's report.

? 3 oct 98 Pankaj Bhagat <bhagat@giasdla.vsnl.net.in>
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Planning a honey moon trip for somebody...Wanted info about Chang Mai, Interested in a hill station which is not much crowded and is very scenic as compared to hill stations in India.

? 2 Oct 98, aaron smith <lsmith@orc.ca>
Indonesia
please send me cost of living in bungaloes by the beach throughout
indonesia and aswell as fiji

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