Crossing Borders: Backpacking with a Senior and Indochina Itinerary

Crossing border: Cambodia to Thailand

I have always wanted to travel to Indochina by means of backpacking, it's cheap, there's more freedom plus it's more adventurous than getting a typical tour package from a travel agency. I have pictured doing this together with friends while carrying each of our own backpacks. But strikingly, one Piso Fare promo had me traveling with people more than twice my age!

Backpacking with seniors

Crossing from Vietnam to Cambodia then to Thailand was another goal ticked off my bucket list. Considering the physical demand of backpacking, I was actually planning to travel with friends, those who are more of my age or younger. Travel buddies who can endure the long waiting and seating hours and can carry their backpacks without any help extended. Never did I imagine that I will be doing cross borders with my relatives, much more with a senior citizen in tow!

Carrying their own backpacks, my aunt and cousin at Bangkok airport

my 2 uncles while crossing border from Cambodia to Thailand 

Yes, I did travel with my 60++ year old aunt and 50+ year old uncles, my mom's malakwatsang brothers and sister who all managed to survive the load of our travel itinerary. Auntie Bing managed to walk the streets of Ho Chi Minh from morning to midnight for 2 straight days and even carry her own backpack as we cross bordered.

My senior citizen aunt and 50+ year old uncle who just came out from one of the underground tunnels in Vietnam
Auntie Bing and Lakwatsarah strolling the sidewalks of Vietnam  

exploring Angkor Wat with relatives

action packed road trip. jamming 6 inside a tuktuk in Thailand

She surprised her younger brothers, my uncles, showing agility and patience like a real traveler. I wasn’t that surprised, her feet too, has always been restless, always traveling. But what I admire more about Auntie Bing when traveling is her strong faith and innate goodness, the kind of energy you want to be with when you're out of your comfort zone. I already saw her how she managed to trek Cebu’s highest peak and continued on with overflowing positivity despite being lost in the cold foggy mountains. I remember finding ourselves in desperate situation as we go down a steep, difficult and risky descent - which reminds me to share that life moving story in this blog.

Moving on, our 10 day trip was very unforgettable. It made me realize how I miss traveling and how I desperately look forward to an out of the country trip experience with my family, my mom especially. Here’s an overview of what we did.

Vietnam - Cambodia - Thailand Itinerary

Day 0
12 mn: Arrival in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Read: Vietnam Itinerary Day 1
AM: Walking tour of the city covering Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Post Office, Benh Than Market and parks
NN: Sidewalk lunch
PM: War Remnants Museum
Night: Shopping at Saigon Square

Read: Vietnam Itinerary Day 2
AM: Cu Chi Tunnel Tour
NN: Streetside lunch
PM: Back to hotel, rest
Night: Back to shopping

Day 3
Cross border from Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap

Day 4
Read: Cambodia Itinerary Day 2
AM to PM: Angkor Wat
Night: Pub Street

Day 5
AM to PM: Cambodian Cultural Village
Night: Buffet dinner with cultural show

Day 6
Cross border from Siem Reap to Bangkok

Day 7
AM: Chao praya river tour
NN: Lunch back to Feung Nakorn Balcony (our accommodation)      
PM: Wat pho
Night: Khao San Road

Day 8
AM: Floating Market
NN: Lunch at Floating restaurant    
PM: Elephant and Crocodile Show
Night: Stroll around Grand Palace

Day 9
Flight back to the Philippines

My Indochina travel buddies

Planning the trip, I tried to make it more subtle and didn’t include all the must-see places. Kahit alam kong "game" palagi ang mga kasama ko, I didn’t intend to make it an Amazing Race of sort. There should a "breather" in between tours.

Travel Tip: Don't just copy an itinerary. Make a plan that should fit in according to the essentials and preference of your group.


I realized that traveling in Indochina is generally cheap, more so if you do your research. It can be more rewarding too, if you plan according to your group’s needs and wants.

Read: How Much Should You Save For An Awe-Inspiring Asian Trip?

If I were to do it all over again, I would make Thailand our first stop, then Cambodia and then Vietnam. Why you ask? SHOPPING!

Senior shopaholics!

Vietnam could easily be every shopaholics haven. You’re basically skipping the middle man here and getting the items directly from the country where most popular retail brands like Adidas, Nike, Timberland, Reebok, Clarks, Puma, Fila, Diadora, New Balance, Nine West are being manufactured. I say, allow yourself to give in to temptation and shop til you drop but still feel good about it.


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