Two Tears in a Bucket. Phuket.

Sarah and I are resting today and we have spent most of the day preparing for our trip to Asia. We have decided to skip Australia because of time, money, and weather so we are going to fly directly from Auckland, NZ to Singapore on March 8th and begin bicycling through southeast Asia. We would like to avoid as much of the rainy season as possible in Asia and spending any time in Australia would guarantee that we completely miss the dry season there. Using the information on southeast Asia’s weather, we have decided our rough itinerary will be Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and then North Vietnam.

We have been trying to figure out which countries we need visas for and when/how/where to get them. The fact that we have to pay for internet access and that the embassy websites have limited information makes this a lot more difficult that it needs to be, so we have resorted to purchasing a calling card and phoning the US embassy in the countries directly. Getting our visas taken care of in the US may have been more convenient, but most visas are only valid for one to three months, so that was not an option for us. We’ll let you know how acquiring the visas this way turns out.

We have also been researching safety. The US State Department website does not recommend traveling in Malaysia or southern Thailand at this time due to various security issues. We have heard of and met several bicyclists who have traveled through these areas, so we called the respective embassies and their response was that the information on the website was up-to-date and official and that they could offer no other opinions. The official at the Thai embassy said that he was not allowed to give an opinion, but that we would be “taking a definite risk” by traveling through southern Thailand. The Malaysian official had the same stance on giving an opinion, but was a little more upbeat in characterizing it as “the same as traveling through Canada.”

So, we are considering flying directly from Singapore to Phuket to bypass the dangerous areas. A quick search on showed that there are tickets available for as little as $US50. Not a bad price for a little peace of mind! We are going to do a little more research and then make a final decision.

14 Responses to “Two Tears in a Bucket. Phuket.”

  1. John Erck Says:

    I won’t lie…I love waking up in the morning going to and reading the latest updates while sipping a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee. Yep yep. SE Asia will be interesting!

  2. John Erck Says:

    Hey…when are you guys going to post a map of NZ or better yet – the globe and display a visual depiction of the route you’ve traveled? I think it would be cool if you could show your “current location” so I could imagine exactly where you are on planet earth!!…Perhaps a flat map of the world with a line showing your entire route. The line would be yellow where you have already been, a red dot where you currently are, and a gray line showing where you plan to travel. Thoughts? Email me at Have fun!

  3. Brian Says:

    Let me know if you need any assistance getting information on the visas. This is of course since you already consider yourselves CA residents!

  4. Brian Says:

    Also, did you hear about that new zealander whose parachute failed him and he fell more than two miles from the sky and survived!? He landed in a tree and you can see the video

  5. erin Says:

    You are so random, Brian.

    Good luck acquiring the visas. We deal with people coming into the United States and there is a lot to wade through to get information. I do think, though, that you should be okay by going through the embassies in the respective countries. As far as I know, in my dealings with these things, that is the same as getting a visa in the US. I don’t know how the timing will work out, but I’m sure that it will be fine.

    Also $50 is well worth it for piece of mind.

  6. Jenny & Brandon Says:

    what’s this talk of CA residency from Brian? have you decided to move in with us when you get back!??!?! we’re moving into a place with an extra bedroom – well actually it’s a dining room, but it’s all yours.

  7. John Erck Says:

    Dude, I tried to view the skydiving video that Brian speaks of and it’s been erased from youtube for copyrights violations. It’s only 6:14am and my entire day has just been ruined.

  8. rusdan khalid Says:

    i stayed in the state of perlis in north malaysia.. the only dangerous place to cycle thru in southern thailand are the provinces of yala, narathiwat and pattani. it is perfectly safe to cycle thru the provinces of satun and trang. i would suggest that you still cycle from singapore thru the west coast of malaysia and entering thailand thru satun and cycle your way up to phuket and northwards. i would think that you don’t need a visa to enter singapore, malaysia and thailand. you can get at least 30-day entry in each country.

  9. Brian Says:

    I feel like I have let down many in this post.

  10. Brian Says:

    John – I will make it up to you

  11. Dad Says:

    Wow! Sarah and Jamie! James and I have been out of town for a few days. We just got home and guess what? I GOT A POSTCARD! Thank you. The postcard is absolutely THE most beautiful postcard in my collection. I can’t believe you guys got to go hiking by such a beautiful scene. The stamp is really cool too. Kind of expensive though, huh? The postcard was postmarked via Hong Kong. Thanks again. Keep up the great work on your website. It keeps getting and better.
    Peace & Love,

  12. John Erck Says:

    Brian! The second video you posted inspired me to find this one! You’ll love it.

  13. Kristina Says:

    Hey Strangers!

    Hope all is well. When you are booking airfare from Singapore, definitely check out Just got back from a trip using them…looks like they fly to Phuket for around 14 US dollars.

    Have so much fun! I was just in Singapore and Vietnam last week. It was amazing, you’ll love it. :)

  14. James and Sarah Says:

    So…three years later and my advice to anyone wanting to bicycle in SE Asia is that it is way better to bike during the rainy season that during the hot season. Be warned!

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