How to find work on the road whilst travelling

Travelling is fun, but being able to stand still if not just for a few weeks can be nice as well. To be honest I work on my laptop for my business so I don’t usually work for other people, but along the way I decided to try and lodge in a place and work in return for free accommodation and food. So far so good, you get to work a few hours a day and then you get time off to yourself to explore. Plus I get to save money as well.

I find that it is easier to get to the place you love, and then once you arrive you can go around and ask if they need any staff but there are other ways to do it as well that I have mentioned below. Happy hunting!

Facebook Groups

Depending on how big the city or even how small it is, it should have a Facebook page. For example Australian Backpackers. Many people post jobs on here directly so you can just contact them through this.

Old school way

Remembering walking to offices and retails stores physically handing in your resume? Well, in places like Asia where they don’t use the internet much this is a great way to get a job. You won’t have to show them your resume though, depending on what the job actually entails.

Look-out for signs

Sometimes restaurants will have signs around, I’ve even seen signs on poles on the streets. So just keep an eye out.

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Why you shouldn’t pre-book accommodation before travelling Asia

I know for people who like to be organised would freak out about not booking accommodation before arriving somewhere. But if you trust me, you won’t regret it.

Prices online can be so expensive and especially in Asia where you can bater your accommodation I found that it is just easier to just arrive and find your new home.

Another thing to consider is that there are not a lot of accommodation in Asia are online, so the home stays and the really sweet guesthouses won’t be on the internet. And to be honest they are the best places to stay at.

No surprises

If you do it this way you get to actually see what you’re going to get. Sometimes the photos online may seem better than it actually is in real life especially when you’ve forked out a bit.

Save money

Believe it or not you’ll be able to save money. If you go into a place and you fancy it, you can negotiate a better price. If you stay longer than you’ll be able to get a good deal. These things you just can’t do online.

Travelling around Laos

Laos is still so very untouched that I had such an amazing time here. I started by journey by getting the bus from Chiang Mai and crossed the border to Huy Xai. As soon as I saw what was on the other side I was instantly in love. It was so peaceful, no chaotic madness of Thailand and the people just left you alone.

However I did notice that travelling within Laos is quite difficult I mean it’s not that it is difficult it is just that there aren’t many options to get regular public transport. You’re better off just going with the organised tours that they provide because it ends up being cheaper.

You can book most of your tickets from your Guesthouse which I highly recommend. I did notice that the travel agencies took a little bit of commission but it would only be by a dollar. The good thing about the private minibuses and vans in Laos is that the cost of the ticket includes being picked up from your Guesthouse so you don’t have to flesh out any money for a tuk tuk.

Cost of Tuk Tuks

If you do need to get a yuk tuk, depending on how far you are travelling it should really cost you 10,000 KIP. However, if you’re at a border or somewhere where there aren’t a lot of transport around expect to pay a little bit more.

How to get from Pakse to 4000 Islands in Laos

I have just arrived in Don Det on the 4000 Islands here in Laos and already I can notice the backpackers. It is a touristy destination but you will not be disappointed with the views. There are two ways to get to the island, one that is organised by a tour or by yourself with local buses. If I am being honest with you, it’s both the same price. The only difference is the packaged one is a lot quicker!

Packaged tour

You can get to the 4000 Islands by an organised tour, it will cost you 60,000 and this includes pick up from your hotel/guesthouse. This will only take you up to 2 hours so I really recommend you do this.

Do-it-yourself

So we decided to go on our own because we were too late to book a morning tour. The tours only go in the morning. First off you have to get to the South Terminal in Pakse. If you get a yuk yuk it should cost you 10,000 kip. From there you take a local bus and it will cost you 40,000. It will drop you off at Ban Nakasong. When they drop you off do not get a yuk yuk to the pier, you can walk it. It’s only 5 minutes. You should turn left when you are on the main road and keep going all the way to the end and turn right. You can get a ticket from the counter and it should cost you 15,000 kip for the boat to Don Det.

10 Reasons Why Pai Will Help You Find Yourself Again

The hippy town of Northern Thailand Pai is a must-see if you’re sick of the island life of Thailand. It’s a perfect spot to chill out and centre yourself again.

In this town you’ll be able to meditate with monks, do some yoga and as cheesy as it sounds find yourself again.

1. Walking street markets

The town of Pai is relatively small, but the walking night street in centre is really a wonderful treat. You’ll be able to try so many delicious foods for really cheap.

2. Running in the mountains

Pai is a pretty active city, locals get on their bikes and go jogging with the backdrop of the mountains. The scenery is very picturesque.

3. Canyons

Watching the sunset at the canyons is a favourite past-time for travellers. It’s free and you’ll be able to walk all around them. Just be careful and walk around at your own risk.

3. Caves

There are so many caves to explore in Pai, my favourite one was the Lod Cave. It as huge and you could also do the bamboo raft through it. The ride up to the caves is pretty magical too.

4. Hot springs

If you miss the water you can head to one of many hot springs that Pai has. Just be warned that it is hot! So try and go on a cooler day.

5. Scooter up to the mountains

Beginner scooter drivers will feel confident in Pai. The roads are bigger and there aren’t many cars on the road. Take a ride up the mountains and just sit there, clarity will come to you and your mind will thank you in the end I promise.

6. Meditate with monks

For those who are on the spiritual side there are several of classes, or days that you can do meditation with monks.

7. Brush up on your yoga

There are loads of yoga classes in Pai that you can attend. If you’re staying at Circus Hostel in Pai they hold free yoga in the mornings.

8. Waterfalls

There are many waterfalls in Pai and they are free. Bring your swimmers and take a dip in the falls. Don’t forget to bring a towel to dry off.

9. Enjoy the quiet

While Pai is touristy you’ll be happy to know that no-one really hassles you like the rest of Thailand. The locals are super sweet and friendly and they tend to keep to themselves. Thai people from other regions also come to Pai as a holiday destinations so there is a mix of travellers and locals bonding between each other.

10. Stunning views

The roads in Pai are pretty good, so if you can ride a bike/scooter than you should. The views on top of the mountains are stunning. Just remember to take a breath.

Where to stay?

I stayed at Baan Aomsin Resort in Pai, relatively cheap private rooms and only a 10 minutes walk from the markets.

How to get there?

Depending on what direction you are coming from you can fly straight into Pai. If you’re coming from Chiang Mai you can get a mini bus for 150-80 baht. Alternatively you can rent a soccer and driver up there yourself.

Why your journey is different, but it’s OK

Travelling as a lifestyle has it’s ups and downs. Being able to explore different cities around the world is what keeps us going stronger everyday. In all honesty the ability to let go of life’s requirements seems to be pretty hard. I found myself happy in the moment, taking in all that life has to offer me, but then sometimes I see people who are living the traditional life and I wonder am I missing out on something?

I think it’s because it’s so distilled into us that working a proper job, getting a partner and settling down is part of the journey. And sure that is something that I do want, and I do get slightly envious of people that are in these situations but that slowly dissipates as I am sat here in Laos at a Couch Surfer’s place. Freedom. The ability do what I want, when I want. I’ve come to realise that everyone has their own journey in life, whether it makes them happy or sad, or perhaps it’s not the route they want but it’s their journey.

We owe it to ourselves to choose our own path. To be able change it and not feel judged for doing it. We are our own worst enemy. 

Who are we to pick right from wrong? To tell someone how to live their lives? Like so many before us, in the end we are just trying to stay afloat. Survive. Breathe. Do what feels good at the moment and take each day as it comes. Life comes in wonderful little patterns of ups and downs and when you feel that up, well it’s enough to keep you going.

Why Chiang Mai, Thailand is a good city to save money whilst backpacking

Travelling can be exhausting if you’re constantly on the move. I didn’t fall in love with Chiang Mai, but I found myself tired and wanted to find a place that was cheap and a relatively fun place to be if you need to rest and most of all save your funds.

There are so many affordable hostels around Chiang Mai, it actually has a big population of expats. So it is very touristy friendly. When I was in Chiang Mai I budgeted myself to spend 200 baht a day including my accommodation, so 100 baht on food and it was completely doable.

Food

Food is very good and very cheap. Street food especially, as well as the markets. You can eat for 35 to 40 baht for a soup or a pad thai.

Accommodation

Dorms are only 100 baht a night, my favourite place was 18 Terrace Guest House which is in the old town. They are located by the markets so eating out there was very cheap. You could also get single rooms for 200 baht a night.

Activities

Walking around and exploring the city can be really nice as well. If you can ride a scooter, you can scoot up to the mountains, the waterfalls or the canyon. It’s a very active city, so people are running, jogging, doing yoga and hanging out at the parks. There is always something on. You can even cycle around the city. It’s also a great place if you miss western culture as there are many western restaurants. 

How to get to Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang on your own by bus or slow boat

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So I was in Chiang Mai and noticed that the tours and packages to get to Luang Prabang was pretty expensive. I miss the days where I crossed borders on my own, so I did a bit of research and set on own to cross the border into Laos.

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Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai

I opted to get the bus from CM to CR, I know you can go straight to Chiang Khong but I decided to take separate buses. I just rocked up to the Arcade bus station, went up to Green bus counter and bought a ticket to the next available bus. Get there early, I managed to get the last seat for 9:30am. This bus ride is comfortable and it should cost you 129 baht, the journey takes up to 3-4 hours.

Chiang Rai to Chiang Khong

Once you hop off your bus at CR, there will be a man yelling ‘Chiang Khong’ next to a red bus. This bus will take you closet to the border for 65 baht.

Chiang Khong into Laos

The red bus driver will assume you want to go to Laos, or he’ll ask you anyway as like me I was the last one on the bus. He’ll drop you off with the tuk tuks and they will drop you off at the border, it’s 4km so pretty far to walk on your own. It’s 60 baht, but I am sure you can barter it lower. Once you go through Thai immigration you get a bus on the other side for 20 baht and it will take you to the border of Laos. Again it’s too far to walk, so better to take this shuttle.

Getting to Luang Prabang from the border

Going through customs is relatively easy, if you arrive after 4pm as I did there is a $1 fee if you’re doing your visa on arrival. It was pretty simple, you just have to fill out some forms, make sure you have a passport photo and they’ll do the rest. It cost me 1240 baht for the visa. Go through customs as usual and then you’ll be greeted by an overpriced tuk tuk. We had to pay 100 baht each, but I am sure you could go lower if you wanted to. I asked to get dropped off at the bus station in Huay Xai, if you want to get the slow boat asked to be dropped off in the centre. When you’re at the bus stop you can ask for a bus that is leaving that night, unfortunately it was booked out for me so I had to get the bus the following morning. It cost me 682 baht. I ended up spending a night in the centre which was pretty beautiful and it breaks up the trip a bit. The bus the following morning was a mini-van and it took 12 hours to get to LP.

Slow boat to Luand Prabang

If you want to book a slow boat, my advice would be to stay a night in the centre and book it from there.   

Summary

Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai – 129 Baht

Chiang Rai to Chiang Khong – 65 Baht

Tuk tuk to border – 60 Baht

Shuttle to Laos border – 20 Baht

Tuk tuk to bus station – 100 Baht

Bus to Luang Prabang – 682 Baht

Total = 1056 Baht