Asia Pacific in 88 Days (aka Oreo Adventures)

Last updated May 5, 2013


Between January 29 and April 27, 2013, I will be traveling traveled nearly 30,000 miles across Asia and Oceania (specifically, New Zealand). I carried a GPS tracker called BadElf that let me track exactly where I've been with very minimal effort, though it doesn't upload the details automatically. I offloaded these periodically here using a script I made. My estimated daily budget was $25. I carried a 30L Eagle Creek duffel bag and a Timbuktu messenger bag.

My BadElf GPS tracker by the window on the sleeper bus between Nha Trang and Dalat, Vietnam.

View GPS tracks by individual location (number of nights):

View by travel method: Flight | Train | Boat

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Below is the planned itinerary

Packing list

I was confident I could keep everything I needed to what I could fit into carry-on. Only one airline (Air Asia) gave me grief about the weight (it had to be less than 7kg) but all I did was take out my jacket and sweater and wear it, which brought down the weight, and once past security I just packed it all back in.

  1. Polo shirt and long-sleeved shirts
  2. 2 jeans, 1 short, 1 trainer for rainy days
  3. Thin shirts (4)
  4. Socks and underwear
  5. ES Cargo Eagle Creek duffle bag
  6. Canon 5D Mark II (810g), 24-70mm (803g) and 17-40mm lens (473g)
  7. iPad 3 (650g) and keyboard (333g) - for reservations and reading up on LonelyPlanet while in flight, backing up photos and the GPS tracks
  8. Gorillapod SLR Zoom tripod (241g)
  9. Bridgestone wire lock for a little piece of mind - useful when you have to check out early but you want to leave your luggage in a common storage room
  10. BadElf GPS Pro, car to usb charger, electrical tape, lock
  11. Raincoat used once
  12. Charger unit I ended up using the small extension cord and taping the 3 chargers I needed every day around it. The portable chargers were less useful.
  13. Travel poncho
  14. Heat Reflective Emergency Blanket - because I hate being cold, but I never ended up using it, and good thing too.
  15. Travel plug adapter useful, but it didn't have Hong Kong compatible plugs, which would have been nice at the airport
  16. Toileteries
  17. DryLite towel half the weight (145g) of a standard towel but dries ultra fast.
  18. Pillowcase
  19. Bandanna, handkerchief - Really useful for the dusty air in Aurangabad or the hot days where you could just soak it in water and wrap it around your neck

Not pictured

Things I ended up buying along the way

Mid-trip shipping

In Chiang Mai, Thailand, I shipped home 3.568kg of stuff for about 1000 THB, including the sweater, jeans, jacket. Traveling from a cold country (16cm of snow in Seoul when I started) to hot (a high of 37°C in Chiang Mai) was therefore a blessing, because I would rather not buy things to wear if I can help it, and I bundled a few souvenirs too.


I uploaded selected photos by connecting my 5D Mark II to my iPad. Before the trip was over, I selected 88 photos with the only caveat that they be photos that I've imported onto the iPad, and no more or less, and that they be the best photos I have to share my trip with. View all 88 pictures (high res | low res)

I started my trip with a brand new camera. By the end of the trip, I had 22,000 actuations (25,068 shutter presses and 3315 live views, which don't count as shutter presses per se).

CountryNumber of photos
Hong Kong1,686
New Zealand3,199

Flight information

AsianaNRT-ICN-NRT27,990 JPY1,526
JejuICN-HKG-ICN470,700 KRW2,580
Hong Kong AirlinesHKG-TPE-HKG294.20 USD966
New Zealand AirHKG-AKL-HKG1,341.50 USD11,360
JetstarAKL-CHC90 NZD463
Thai Air AsiaHKG-DMK-HKG1,997 HKD2,120
Vietnam AirlinesBKK-HAN-SGN-BKK7,175 THB1,521
Jet AirBKK-BOM-COK-BKK474.99 USD4,412
Total (approx)3,398 USD26,474
1 Miles calculated using WebFlyer

Hotels and hostels

Most of the places I stayed I reviewed on TripAdvisor. I've had to have one journal sent to the United States, so I cannot update the New Zealand section for a couple of weeks as I wrote my notes in there.

CityHotel/HostelCostCost/night (USD)NightsRating1Notes
SeoulSeoul International Youth Hostel112,200 KRW17.0464A tidy outfit
Hong KongYesInn Causeway Bay1018.3 HKD21.8764Fun, social scene in the middle of Causeway
TaipeiEight Elephants and Dreaming Dragons2475 TWD16.7855Relaxed and friendly, staffed by young and energetic folks
MacauSanVa Hotel480 MOP30.9322Thin walls, central location, poor staffing
BangkokNapPark550 THB18.5165Great staff, centrally located, social atmosphere
Chiang MaiDeejai450 THB5.0534A bit too touristy, slightly off center, dirt cheap
HanoiAtlantic209400 VND10.0014A decent stay north of the main areas
HanoiBodega125640.00 VND6.0015Upgraded to a single room, great staff and closer to the busy streets
HueJade14.00 USD14.0015Great staff, bike rentals available, right next to long-distance bus stop
Hoi AnVinh Huy40.00 USD20.0022Overpriced and bare rooms with just a fan. Had to move on the second day.
DalatVilla Pink House30.00 USD15.0025Wonderful secret tour, great staff, clean and bright room
Ho Chi Minh CityNgocThao Guesthouse214,200 VND10.2813Decent room, close to busy center
MumbaiWelcome Hotel3194 INR29.6824Staff works for tips, good location and breakfast
AurangabadPanchavati2332.77 INR21.6823Relatively close to railway station, spartan but clean room
PanajiVivenda Rebelo1992 INR36.7435Fantastic experience, great host
MadgaonHotel LaFlor800 INR14.8714Great location, close to railway tracks and center of town
HampiThilak Homestay2800 INR17.3533Great host, but suffered bed bugs and asked for one night free. Expensive.
MysoreComfort Inn800 INR14.8712Relatively unclean.
MunnarRheinberg Homestay2700 INR16.7334Good location, slightly unaccomodating and unwelcoming.
Ft. KochiGood Shepherd Homestay1500 INR9.2934Cheap, clean, slightly far from center of town.
SeoulBirdsnest Hostel17,000 KRW15.4915Cosy and homey feeling, with plenty of space and amenities
Average (USD)17.253.9
1 Rating system:

Why Oreo Adventures?

I collected Oreo wrappers and Oreo-lookalikes during my trip (hence the name, Oreo Adventures). I'm curious about comparing the ingredients with the ones made in the United States and Europe (I'll be in both within the next month).

  1. India. Note it has the Cadbury logo instead of the Kraft one, even though Cadbury owns Kraft. There's a green square stating it's a vegetarian snack on the back (or see #8) 120g and 25 rupees. Manufactured in Punjab, India.
  2. Thailand, Oreo, 137g, Kraft logo. Anywhere from 25-30 baht. Manufactured in Indonesia.
  3. Vietnam, Okie, 110g. 10,000~15,000 dong. Manufactured in Hanoi.
  4. South Korea, 50g. 700 KRW. Least tasty of the knock-offs.
  5. Hong Kong, 4HKD, 30g. Bought while at the Dialogue in the Dark store. Manufactured in Indonesia.
  6. Thailand, Cream-O, manufactured in Thailand by a company called Jack 'n Jill. 10 baht with 10% extra.
  7. Vietnam, Cream-O, manufactured in Vietnam, 93g. 15,000 dong.
  8. India, Treat-O. 75g, 12 rupees. Manufactured in Gwalior, India.
  9. India, 20g. 5 rupees and 2 cookies inside. Manufactured in Punjab, India.

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