Mr TravelNoobDude is still alive

Wow what happened here?

Well, a full-time job happened. A job that didn’t give me much time for a social life. I had a lot planned for this site but it all fell through. I blame myself. I had to shift my priorities. Only managed to share some interesting stuff on my twitter account time to time.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t find time to travel. I think since the last post, I’ve visited Vietnam twice. Thailand for a week and most recently, Amsterdam.

I am shifting my priorities again and will be devoting some time here. Stay tuned 🙂

canal amsterdam

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Plane Take-off & Landing – Delta Air Lines, Narita to Singapore

I love planes. The following video is one I took when I was on board Delta Air Lines. Take off from Narita International Airport (NRT) & landing at Singapore Changi Airport (SIN). I believe it was a Boeing 777-200ER.

EDIT: Thanks to youtube user, Wen Hao, I learnt that it was actually a Boeing 767-300ER.

Myanmar (Yangon) – Getting In

After days of finding for a place to travel to, I found a cheap flight with Jetstar to Yangon, Myanmar. If you think this is going to be some comprehensive guide, nah. I did not do any major research before heading there. Just spent my time reading information from internet without taking down much notes.

Myanmar Header

VISA
I am a Singaporean and the privilege of traveling to many countries without applying for visa is not applicable here. If you are a Singaporean, be warned, you need to go down to the Myanmar Embassy to apply for a visa. Click here for more information.

So imagine the panic I was in to apply for visa the day before I flew out. I was able to get it within a day.

FLIGHT
Landed in Yangon on 18 March 2014, 11AM-ish. Airport looked new. Head down the escalator to clear the immigration and you would be able to see families/friends waiting for their loved ones through the see-through glass. It was weird because they could follow and watch every step you take. They will be watching as you queue to clear immigration.

MONEY
There are money changers at the baggage claim area and out at the arrival-waiting area. I changed my Singapore Dollars to Burmese Kyat (At about 1SGD = 756MMK).

TAXI
You can book a taxi at the airport if you have not arranged for airport transfer with your hotel. It is hard to miss the big yellow sign which says “TAXI”.

After reading all the information online, the average rate is US$10.  If you want to get a taxi on your own by bargaining with the driver, you may get away with US$8 (It would be better if you could find others to share it with). I was quoted US$8 at the taxi counter. When I got to the destination, the driver asked for US$10. I wish I could just walk out giving him US$8 but I did not have smaller change so made it 9000 Kyat.

ACCOMMODATION
I had my first try of a hostel. A search on Agoda.com brought up this new place, Humble Footprints Hotel / Hostel. Whats good about it? Its new. Anything that is supposed to be white is really white. Click here to read my review on TripAdvisor.

I would not recommend the hostel if you want options on sight-seeing or food within walking distance.

RECOMMEND
One of the must-sees is the Shwedagon Pagoda or also known as the Golden Pagoda. It took me about 15-20 minutes to walk there. I did not need a map because I could see it from afar. It is one of the most sacred Buddhist pagodas and it literally covered in genuine gold plates. It was mid-afternoon when I got there and really wanted to see it at night after having heard about its light displays but time constraint denied me that chance. I am still grateful to have stepped foot there.

Golden Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda


 Next article would be about my experience at Ngwe Saung – Myanmar.

What You Should Not Do in a Foreign Land : Getting Drunk

I was a virgin. She was standing there in full glory. Her high heels were piercing every step she took. I did not know where to look. Staring at any part of her made me feel guilty while not looking seemed rude. And then it began…

“At first I was afraid, I was petrified, kept think..” the speakers blasted while Oak the flamboyant drag, started dancing on the floor, lip-syncing to Gloria Gaynor.

I was a virgin, no more. I had seen my first drag show. My friend and I sipped on our Vodka Redbull with a huge grin because we found seats by the bar in the crowded shoebox sized bar.

What I was really not expecting was to be barked at by the bartender to remove our drinks from the bar top. The rest happened very fast. Before we knew it, we were listening to Its Raining Men by the Weather Girls or in this case, Oak and her two male backup dancers on the bar top.

I blinked my eyes and Oak was on her back on the bar top with one guy humping on top of her (with clothes on). All these might not seem like a big deal to some but I was sort-of a conservative boy. (Note the “sort-of”)

At the end of the show, as the crowd was dispersing, something in me came alive. Before your pervy minds think what you think I might be thinking of, I will say it was the adrenaline. The sudden realisation that  my family was not around me. I did not have to be the goody boy. I had just seen a drag show which meant I have just seen the world! So I celebrated by ordering a cocktail. Then another and then a third. My friend, a seasoned drinker was warning me not to mix my drinks and he did try to stop me from ordering more drinks. But I had to have this moment. I was a grown-up!

Fast forward 1 hour later.

Yours truly was puking by a side of a road alone at midnight in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I was holding on to my handphone on one hand and using the other to prevent anybody reaching into my pockets to access the cash I had in there. I was practically an easy target with invisible neon signs inviting people to rob me.

And people did come. First a guy,  a woman and then another guy. My friend was a few steps away at a night stall waiting for his food to arrive. He assumed that I went to the toilet. He could not see me from where he was seated.

I was holding on to my phone for my dear life trying to control my vomit. I felt a hand on my back. That hand was patting me. Another hand gave me a tissue. I looked up at them. They had a look of concern and pity. When I felt like nothing else was left to crawl out of my mouth, I stood up and gave them a thumbs up sign. I got one in return with smiles. I staggered back to my friend who was happily eating.

I have learnt from this episode. I was lucky. I learnt to never do something God-Damned stupid like that again. Future travellers out there, never get drunk. If you insist, do it within four walls. Do it with a non-drinking buddy you trust.

I underestimated Cambodians. Given for a fact that you would get swamped by beggars or peddlers trying to sell you goods at every corner you headed to, these three individuals snapped me to reality (the next day that is). God knows if they had any malicious intent but they proved that one should not judge anyone. Thank you strangers.

Have a limit. Be the limit. (Terms and conditions apply)

DISCLAIMER:

I have travelled with my family to some countries till when I was about eighteen years old. Started doing trekking trips to Malaysia with school mates. Exploration trip began with Bangkok-Pattaya where I just did normal touristy stuff and then this Phnom Penh trip. Any trips after this did not involve me repeating the same mistakes again.