So, yeah..... I have not been posting that much.
For good reason my friends.... if you have not caught on by now (though, in your defense, I am yet to explicitly say it), I am about to head off on a pretty large trip... and there will be a lot of posting done then. A lot. Too much. Waaaayyyy too much. So don't you worry once second.
I leave tomorrow at 7:30AM for the airport, but I have a couple of updates on things before I go.
I wrote a post on my experience applying for visas a couple of weeks ago. It details the basic timeline and requirements for each country. Check that out for more details of the process. Going into my trip I have the following:
- VIETNAM: Applied for visa 3 months in advance because I was paranoid about sending my passport away. However, I had my passport back in my hands within 2 weeks. This visa cost the most ($60 plus an extra $20 check they emailed me for and then never cashed)
- CAMBODIA: Will be getting at the border. Brought $40 cash and two passport photos
- LAOS: Will be getting at the border. Brought $40 cash and two passport photos
- THAILAND: No visa required because I plan on staying in the country less than a month (probably much less)
I wrote another post about vaccinations for trips to this region and what areas are at risk for what. I ended up playing it extremely safe and getting both the Japanese Encephalitis vaccination and Malaria prevention pills.
Getting the vaccination for Japanese Encephalitis is not common for backpackers in Southeast Asia. Truthfully, not many travelers are at risk because it is a agricultural disease and mostly found in areas travelers do not commonly go. Personally, it will also be the end of the peak season when I am visiting (ends in Sept, I arrive Oct.).... but.... I got it anyways.
Honestly, my parents really wanted me to get it, so I did. It was expensive - $350 per shot, and the vaccination requires two shots 3 weeks apart for full coverage. What swayed me? Peace of mind. Once infected with Japanese Encephalitis, there is no cure, 25% of cases result in death, and survivors usually experience extreme neurological damage.
So.... it really is a personal choice. If you do not get the vaccination, be sure to take extreme mosquito preventative measures: 30% deet (applied after sunscreen and reapplied when sunscreen is reapplied), loose clothing, covered skin, deet infused scarf, ect.
I also got Malaria prevention pills. Why? My saint of a mother discovered that enough pills for my entire trip would be $8 with our insurance. For the amount, why not, at the very least, get them? The lesson here is to call your insurance, even if everyone, including the travel health clinic, says it will not be covered (thanks for your persistence, Mom).
Personally, I did not want to have to be a slave to bug spray this trip, so I went ahead and got vaccinated.
One last thing - converters! The current in SE Asia is double that which comes out of the walls in the United States.
I am very paranoid about frying my laptop, and one of my biggest packing regrets on my last trip was not bringing a power strip.
So VOILA: I present the combined current converter power strip I will be bringing on my trip. This one should do it all, so here it goes.
I will be sure to post a review of it as I go.
Once again, I SHOULD GET some ZZZZZZZZZZZ...