Category Archives: SE Asia

What changed in my thinking during our trip

All of this what I’ve written below is what I already thought and believed before our trip. But during this time some things in these areas just got much clearer and intensified. Here are some things to be brought out:

The World is a huge place

First and foremost I understood that the world is much bigger then it might seem during our everyday lives. Although people nowadays live quite a busy lifestyle traveling from one place to another during a week or even during a single day, we are still quite often limited to our so to say circle. Getting out of it is quite refreshing, especially if you go to a totally different environment. Of course it’s nothing new, I knew it before but actually living the experience is much different then seeing it through a screen.

The World is a tiny place

Contrary to the first point, from another perspective the world is quite small. And it’s mostly due to the different technologies we have developed lately (lately compared to the history of mankind). Within a reasonable amount of hours you can get from one side of the globe to the other, from a winter wonderland to a tropical forest. And thanks to the internet you are still connected to everyone within a matter of milliseconds, just like being back home. I think that sometimes we really forget to appreciate this opportunity to be able to connect with anyone instantly. Remember that next time when you don’t get an answer through a messenger within a minute 🙂

Culture and religion can vary hugely

Coming from Estonia, the least religious country in the world, it really takes some time to consider religion as a separate topic since in here it’s really not a topic at all. But in many and actually most of the places it is. It’s really interesting to see how the religion affects and forms societies in different parts of the world. And the cultural differences can be quite different also. Some things that are considered as totally normal may seem weird to us and vice versa. That is the case towards animals likewise and to be quite honest we really didn’t like how some people acted towards cats, dogs, monkeys, turtles and many other animals in some areas. I know that these kind of people are to be found everywhere but in some places the situation is truly awful!

We need to do something with all this garbage, especially plastics!

I’m proud to say that everything in Estonia is quite clean. Streets, alleys, forests, seas and so on. Especially after a very noteworthy cleaning project called Teeme Ära. It’s basically a once a year countrywide cleaning event. But the picture in SE Asia and many other parts of the world is quite different. There are just tons and tons of plastic waste and other debris in the ocean, littered on the streets and also everywhere in the nature. I know that in some places they are trying to clean it up but currently it’s being done in a much slower rate compared to how new waste is dumped to the oceans and nature. I really didn’t like how they were packing basically each individual item to a separate plastic bag in grocery stores and whenever possible we declined them. Recycle and reuse! It’s not that difficult once you get it to be a habit!

Chasing material things will bring no happiness

Many people in SE Asia don’t have much. But most of them seem really happy because they have learned how to value and appreciate what they do have and especially people around them. Family, friends, relatives and so on. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that you have to have some material things like a decent place to live, a method of getting around, proper clothes and so on. You don’t have to be a monk living in a monastery. But chasing material things itself won’t bring you happiness. I think that through some of those things you can get a moments of happiness but you mustn’t get into the loop of “wanting”. If you do that then you’ll just want another one or a new one or a bigger one and so on. It might not be bad since it thrives you onwards, makes you make an effort but if you forget to appreciate what you already have it only brings you frustration. So always set your goals for moving forwards but don’t forget to be grateful for what you already have! And share it with other people because in the end it doesn’t matter who has the most things but who has the most loving people around them and many magic moments through which they are connected!

If you really want it, you can get it!

In some sense I believe in the law of attraction, that everything is connected somehow. Because in the deepest level we are all made of the same stuff and energy. And if you truly want something and believe in it you will send out vibrations by which you will get what you want. You just have to be specific, get the ideas to your subconscious mind and have an effort towards them. “Learn from Yesterday, Live for Today, Hope for Tomorrow”


All the best!



Our SE Asia accommodations

Here’s a quick overview of all the places we stayed during our trip. Almost all of them were pre-booked through based mainly on location and price/feedback ratio. I think the place we liked most was Saiyuan Residence and the least Denay’s House. Generally I would recommend all of them except the latter.

  • Bangkok – D&N Hostel. Link
    • + Great location, reasonable prices, friendly staff
    • – Basic rooms and breakfast, no cleaning included
  • Chiang Mai – The Grace House. Link
    • + Good location, tasty breakfast, extremely comfortable bed, hamsters in the lobby
    • although mostly it was quiet the sound isolation was not the best
  • Phuket – Saiyuan Residence. Link
    • + Very beautiful and clean room, balcony, reasonable size pool and relaxation area, indoor parking for scooters, friendly and helpful staff, very good price
    • – no kitchen as such, only a toaster and similar, if you don’t have your own scooter the location can be a bit far away from beaches,
  • Langkawi – Zackry Guest House. Link
    • + Good location right near the beach, great vending machines for drinks and snacks with awesome prices, small but decently equipped kitchen area, small pool
    • – not very quiet, basic room, most of the staff were friendly but not all
  • Kuala Lumpur – 10 Downtown Condominium. Link
    • + big shared living area (between 3 rooms) with a balcony, huge kitchen, gym and a pool, washing machine, perfect location in the middle of most KL attractions
    • – big shared living area 🙂 if somebody decides to get too noisy
  • Singapore – Oxley Hotel. Link
    • + compared to other Singapore accommodations a reasonable price, location relatively near to downtown
    • – very basic and small room
  • Jakarta – Pasar Baru Mansion. Link
    • + very cosy room, big TV with numerous channels, huge pool, gym, daily cleaning if needed
    • – construction works going on in some places of the building
  • Bali – Denay’s House. Link
    • + ok room, nice architecture and swimming pool, opportunity to order food to your room
    • – VERY unprofessional staff, most of which don’t speak English, they’re keeping a monkey in a small cage, bad sound isolation. Generally wouldn’t recommend this place for anyone, if only for a couple days stay
  • Narita – Narita Gateway Hotel. Link
    • + a huge decent hotel with a separate restaurant and gym, very clean room, bath, good price compared to other nearby accommodations, good quality cleaning
    • – location a bit further away from Narita but a free bus rides every once or twice an hour

In addition there were some places we stayed during our Bali round trip. I described these briefly in this post.

Narita and Singapore were in a class of their own related to accommodation costs. Others were pretty much the same with Chiang Mai and Bali being probably the cheapest. If you have any additional questions just let me know!

All the best!


Our total SE Asia trip budget + Narita video

So how much did it cost for us to travel through SE Asia for 5 months? Here’s an overview of different expenses from equipment to air tickets, all for 2 people.

  • Equipment (backpacks, travel guides, shoes, phone etc) – most of the things in this category are not necessary or can already be found at home but we spent in total 521€ 
  • Visas, passports and travel insurance (Visas were needed for Thailand and Indonesia) – in total 670€
  • Plane tickets (We had all in all 13 flights, thanks to a great contact we managed to get all tickets for extremely reasonable prices!) – 1727€
  • Vaccinations – 147€
  • Accommodation – 2356€
  • Groceries, transport, eating out, entrance fees, shopping and other everyday expenses – 3729€

Everything summed up it comes to 9150€! And about 1830€ per month or 915€ per person per month. Which is actually really reasonable and you could definitely skip some costs if you leave out the equipment part and use less flights. In addition you can also save on everyday costs and still live quite nicely!

Of course you can also spend 2x or even 10x or 100x as much, it’s totally up to you but the fact is that living in SE Asia is relatively inexpensive compared to many parts of the world.

If to leave out Singapore and Japan the cost of living is very roughly the same everywhere in the places we visited. If you like I have a more specific Excel file on our budget that I’m more than happy to share!

I recommend this kind of trip to everyone who has the opportunity! There’s a huge world waiting to be discovered and in order to see some things you just have to spend a little more time in any location. Savor the moments, embrace the journey and just enjoy!

Tomorrow I’ll review briefly the places we stayed during our trip. Here’s the video of Narita to finish this post! Wish you all the best!

“If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet”

From 15° to -5° + Our Bali budget/what to do and see

We’re now back home in Estonia. We were welcomed by a beautiful winter wonderland but it definitely takes some time to get used to totally different temperatures. Luckily in here Spring is also peeking behind the corner and the sunshine is already really warming :).

Our flight back home went well and big thanks to Finnair who for some reason gave us seats with bigger legroom :)!

During this week I’ll write posts about our total travel budget, reviews of different accommodations we stayed and much more! Stay tuned!

But now to Bali. Here is our budget based on 45 days. As usual it’s daily averages for 2 people.

  • Groceries (different food items and all other similar things)  in Bali these were actually our biggest expenses since quite often we cooked home and bought different fruits in huge quantities (plus also other sweet snacks 🙂) – 137.000 rupiah.
  • Transport (in case of Bali it contains mostly scooter rental and gas + trips to/from airport. In total our scooter rent was 1.3 million rupiah and for gas I paid 530.000 rupiah. Our total mileage was about 2500km) – 43.600 rupiah
  • Eating out. (mostly local food mixed with pizzas and other similar) – 115.000 rupiah
  • Entrance fees (various temples, beaches, tourist attractions) – 15.800 rupiah
  • Shopping. (This time we bought a lot of souvenirs 🙂 but they are really inexpensive!)  – 37.800 rupiah 
  • Other (mobile internet, gym access, massage, scooter tickets, additional accommodations) – 56.900 rupiah

In total we spent 1100€ + accommodations costs 495€.

What to see (in no particular order):

  • Uluwatu temple
  • Tanah Lot temple
  • Melasti beach
  • Suluban Uluwatu beach
  • Gunung Payung beach
  • Nusa Dua area
  • Tegenungan waterfall
  • Ubud
  • Tegallalang rice terrace
  • Tukad Cepung waterfall
  • Amed region
  • Mountain roads at northern side of Bali
  • Mount Batur and Lake Batur
  • Air Panas Banjar hot springs
  • Pura Batu Kursi temple and hills
  • Pemuteran snorkeling
  • Menjangan island

All the best!


From 30° to 15°

15 degrees feels refreshing. Especially after 5 months of constant 30. It’s an early spring here in Japan and it reminds me quite much the spring back home in Estonia (of course at the moment we have about -10 degrees 🙂 ). But the weather today was beautiful and the prognosis for tomorrow is even better. Our last day before heading back home :).

Warmer clothes

Before leaving Bali we did a little clothes shopping since the warmest clothes we had were basically jeans and a T-shirt. Luckily finding some jackets in Bali was not very difficult, most of the stores and markets sell them since they are also very popular among local people. In the evenings when it’s only 25 degrees many people wear them. I can actually get that. But what I couldn’t understand was that quite often we could see people during midday, when the sun was scorching down furiously, wearing long trousers, warm socks, hooded jackets, almost like winter coats, scarfs and even warm gloves. I presume that one behind this is to keep the sunlight away but I really can’t imagine how hot it must have been for them. And warm woolen socks + flips-flops is quite an interesting combination :). Finding bigger sizes can be a bit more tricky but if you dig deep enough you’ll find proper clothes. And of course if you stay away of the high-end glamorous shopping malls the prices are also extremely reasonable.

Bali airport

Bali airport looks really beautiful with it’s inside temples, gardens and pathways, they have really done a marvellous job about the looks. But on the topic of handling the masses of tourists it’s a bit lacking. In no other airport during our journey or actually anywhere else it has taken so much time to get from the airport entrance to the correct gate. There is a first x-ray security check where you have to put all your belongings through. Then there’s a passport check, then the check-in queue. After that 2 more passport/boarding ticket checks. And when you finally reach the x-ray check for your hand luggage you think it’s now a smooth run to the finish but no, there’s a huge line waiting for you to get to the final passport check where they have a look on your visa status. All in all it took us nearly about an hour and a half to go through all this so be warned to take your time. Maybe we just got there at a bad time but since there are so many tourists visiting Bali I imagine it’s the same case most of the time.

Tokyo – Narita

Our original plan was to go and see Tokyo. But to be honest we didn’t do any background research before a few weeks heading to Japan. So when we discovered that it’s almost 70km to Tokyo from the airport and getting there is quite expensive + we already have 5 months of journeying behind us we decided to leave it for another time and instead look around in a small town called Narita right near the airport. Today we went to visit the beautiful Naritasan temple and we will definitely go back there tomorrow while looking around in the area. It’s really majestic, well-maintained, covers a huge area and the admittance is totally free. There will be clips of it in the video coming about Narita :). In addition we ate authentic Japanese food (which at first tasted a bit weird but was actually pretty good) and just strolled around between our hotel and the city.

Japan compared to SE Asia is of course really expensive and it takes some time to get used to. You could get a 6-7 night stay in Bali for the same price you’ll get 1 night here in Japan. Foods and groceries are also on another level but not too expensive compared to Estonia. Either way the overall calming and polite vibe of Japan and Japanese people is really nice :).

All the best!



7th and 8th video of Bali

Time is flying really fast and very soon we need to start thinking about packing and heading back home… It’s actually pretty hard to believe that it has been already 5 months! But time goes on and new adventures await! Before traveling back home we will have a 2-day stop in Japan where we plan to discover a small town called Narita. More about that later in the blog 🙂

Tomorrow I will post the last 2 videos of Bali.

Sending warmth and sunshine ;)!