Month Four: Too Many Highs to Count, and Too Few Dollars to Spend


Our fourth month on the road may have been our best one yet! From discovering the street food in Vietnam and trekking the remote rice terraces of Sapa, to scuba diving with turtles and beach bumming with our first visitor, month four flew by, taking our budget with it!

TOTAL SPENT: $2149.97

$150 over budget, not bad considering our flight from Vietnam to the Philippines was over $400

AVERAGE SPEND/DAY: $69.35 (~$35 each)

While our spending this month was a bit higher than we would have wanted, it was well worth it. On our tight budget we managed to travel the length of Vietnam for an entire month and fly to the Philippines, probably the most expensive-to-reach destination in SE Asia. We also participated in tons of excursions/day trips, some organized, others DYI: crawling through the Cu Chi tunnels in Saigon; motorbiking the out-of-this-world sand dunes in Mui Ne; jumping feet first into the floating bar in Nha Trang; cycling the islands outside of Hoi An; cycling to decrepit Royal Tombs in Hue; checking out the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi; sailing and kayaking amidst the giant rock formations in Halong Bay; trekking rice terraces in Sapa with a private guide; motorbiking the far north of Vietnam; checking out Chocolate Hills, weird looking animals that resemble Gollum (tarsiers), and the underwater world of Bohol; soaking in the hot springs and cold springs of Camiguin; and cliff jumping in Siquijor.

No wonder we're tired!

Favorite experiences

  • Getting knee-deep in mud in Sapa's remote rice terraces—the "difficult" trek was definitely the way to go
    Lina helping some locals in Sapa pick rice
  • Sliding, running, jumping, and getting stuck in a sand storm at the crazy red and white sand dunes in Mui Ne, Vietnam
    Bringing my "sled" up a hill in the red sand dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam
  • Beach bumming around the Philippines—exactly what we needed after four months of travel!
    Lina cliff diving in Siquijor, Philippines

Ok... when we weren't cliff diving!

  • Escaping from corrupt motorbike cops in Vietnam, without paying a bribe
  • Continuing to eat my way through Vietnam's amazing street food, and having a meat-eating friend along for the ride who enjoyed it as much as I did (thanks, Dean!)
    Cao Lau... one of my favorite Vietnamese street food items! Found in Hoi An
  • Drinking bia hoi (street beer), for 10,000D (~50 cents) a bowl on a boat in Hoi An while listening to live music
    Drinking beer from huge bowls for 10,000 dong! Oh... on a boat, listening to live music. Love Hoi An
  • Discovering a giant green sea turtle staring into my goggles while scuba diving in Balicasag Island in the Philippines

Month five will take us further in the Philippines (though you'd need six months to do this country justice) and on to Borneo, where we'll climb the formidable Mt. Kinabalu, trek to spot wild orangatuns and proboscis monkeys, and finally end up in the islands of Java and Bali, for some more volcano watching and beach hopping. The best part of month five is that the majority of it will be spent with Lina's cousin and our maid-of-honor, Dina, who just got into med school at GW!

Enjoying the blog? Let us know by leaving comments, or better yet, join us on the road! We've extended our trip until October and will be hitting India and Nepal for about five weeks starting in early September. After that, it's off to New Zealand for top secret project prototyping. #stayTuned

-The Erohs