Tips: Needles, Visas And Other Fun Stuff

Posted: October 25, 2013 in Round The World, Travel, Travel Tips
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Its early in the stages of the trip but I’ve already learned some valuable info. You’re welcome.


Needles are fun shit aren’t they? Especially when they protect from you from crap you only hear about in terrible Morgan Freeman flicks. Anyways, I’ve made an appointment at a travel clinic. Most physicians will suggest you do this as most physicians really aren’t knowledgeable on what vaccines you need for travel. Unfortunately most vaccines are not covered by provincial health insurance. I can’t speak to what options non-Canadians have. My initial consultation will cost $50 and includes the regular booster (tetanus, diphtheria and polio) which I’m due for anyways. The next one I need for sure is Hep A. The cost at the clinic I’m going to is $62 per injection. Two injections should be given six months apart for (most likely) lifelong immunity. Ain’t nobody got time for that! One injection will give immunity for several years. Typhoid, There is a needle version and an oral version which requires a prescription. The oral version also has some side effects. For the $44 I’ll probably do the needle which gives immunity for 2-3 years. Antimalarial drugs, I’m going to have ask questions on this. They have side effects and I’m going to need to use heavy doses of insect repellant anyways to protect myself from Dengue Fever. I’ll ask the doc and get my $50 worth. The last possibility I may need is Japanese Encephalitis, at $215 per shot at two injections, probably not happening. This disease is rare but if you’re in rural areas with swine or rice producing areas then it is something to consider. I would love to see some rice fields in the Mekong Delta area of Vietnam. The best advice is talk to a doctor.



Thailand – A 30 day visa is issued on arrival. Laos and Cambodia also issue visas on arrival. Vietnam requires a visa in advance. Now I could do this in Bangkok at the embassy but I live in Ottawa, might as well put it to use. I’ll get one in person before departing.

For Australia all visitors must have a visa unless you hold a Kiwi passport. The easiest is the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). Your airline or travel agency can do this for you or online.

Do the research beforehand and have your docs in order. Getting turned away at a border would suck I imagine.


Cheap Air

I plan to do most of my travels by land. There is lot to see and do between the main spots and flying 30000 feet over it all will bug me just a bit. I do however plan to fly from Siem Reap, Cambodia back into Thailand to take advantage of the 30 day visa that is issued when entering the Kingdom by air, it is only a 15 days visa when entering by land. If you are going to fly within SE Asia and other regions nearby then check out Air Asia. Beauty prices and the website has a great route map to see exactly where you can go and where from. One way flights from Siem Reap to BKK range from $60-$80 taxes in. In BKK they use the smaller Don Mueang Airport. The equipment they use is Airbus 319-100 and Airbus 320-200. Anyone who has flown with AC enough will feel right at home on these planes.


If you’re using points to fly then read up. Maximize your rewards with stopovers and open jaws, find out what is permitted and put your hard earned points to good use. If you are going to collect points then find an alliance for flights and stick to it. I suggest Star Alliance, they are the biggest and best alliance with the most airlines. Fly with AC or Lufthansa and collect points on your United Mileage Plus account or vice versa. If you’re doing chain hotels or renting cars then get the points, it costs you nothing and could help fund your next trip.

Getting Info

Search the web, read books and ask people who have been. Something as simple as setting up a Trip Advisor account can help answer questions. Ask a question and I guarantee within a few hours you get an email telling you someone has responded. If you’re the type that wants the book in your hand then I suggest Lonely Planet, Frommers or DK Eyewitness Travel. If you’re a CAA or AAA member they also have some pretty good travel guides. If you’re not into the DIY travel then go with a good tour operator. GAP Travel, Goway Travel and Intrepid are where I would start.

Follow these tips and nothing will ever go wrong. (I take no blame for when shit goes wrong)


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