Hey everybody, So as you may or may now already know my flight to Tokyo was delayed so I missed my connection to Bangkok. United Airlines put me up in a very nice hotel in Tokyo and I had got a food voucher for 1,500 (Yen, that is). Even though I was full I forced myself to eat at least one meal while in Tokyo, so I got went to a restaurant and had a nice genuine Japanese meal. I think I like how the Americans do it (to be completely honest). But I digress, on to Bangkok...oh and one more thing, Singapore Air is the finest and best airline I've EVER been on. Can we say over 100 movies and over 200 TV shows ON DEMAND, WOW!
I got to Bangkok and met up with my group with only a handful of problems and issue as to be expected. In my group there are 15 total and 1 trip leader, who's name is impossible to pronounce so we call him AJ. The people are as follows (I'll spare you the names), including myself there are 2 of us from the US, 3 from Canada, 4 from Germany, 1 from England, 1 form Holland, One couple from Finland, One couple from Australia, and our guide is from Thailand. I am the youngest at 22 yrs, and the next oldest is the girl from Holland. Many are in the ages of 26 to 33, but there is a married couple from Canada that are 79 and 80 years old (yeah, you hear correctly).
My Indochina trip consists of 3 separate trips that focuses on 1 (Cambodia) 2(Vietnam) and 3(Lao). Of all the 15 people there are only 6 of us that will be traveling the entire 30 days, the other 9 will be either doing only Cambodia or Cambodia + Vietnam. I believe we will be picking up other backpackers though? The 6 are the married couple from Australia and the couple from Finland, plus me and a 27 year old German named Stefin. He and I are sharing a room together, which is tough on the account we can barely understand each other.
SO ENOUGH WITH THE DAMN LOGISTICS....
Last night in Bangkok a couple of us went out to a curbside restaurant (but I think they cooked out food outside). I ordered...Chicken Pad Thai. I thought that was an appropriate first Thai meal. I also had genuine Thai beer, Singha, and ordered it by the 22 oz. The cost of my Pad Thai, 30 baht ($0.85) and the entire cost of dinner + a full night of drinking...... less than $5. We got back to the hotel around 1 or 1:30 and woke up at about 5:30 for breakfast and hit the road by 7. We were off to CAMBODIA
oh, and by the way, I am at an internet cafe right now in Siem Reap, Cambodia with someone on my tour who reminds me of Andrew York.
ON TO CAMBODIA...
We split up in two groups and took privately hired vans to the Thai-Cambodian border. The trip was 3 to 4 hours. After getting out Cambodian Visas, stopping for lunch and some other pit stops, we were back on the road on the unpaved roads of Cambodia to Siem Reap. The 160km journey took 4 hours and was very very 'bumpy'. Looking out the windows into the world of Cambodia was very interesting. It was very different than the RICH Thailand. Here there is only one main road, that it's not even paved. The houses can barely be called houses and look like they should have fallen down years ago. People of all ages work in the fields and swamps. They tend to their cattle and are fishing in the dirtying mud-water--I wonder what those fish taste like?
After traveling for 8 or so hours we made it to Siem Reap, Cambodia and checked in to our hotel that we will be at for 2 nights. I am waking up at 4:30 tomorrow and taking a hired shuttle with some people to watch the sun rise over Angkor Wat. We will be spending the day there and head back to the hotels after sunset. I am going to try to get back online at that time and then maybe a nice Cambodian Massage? I mean an hour massage for $6 and no tax, it's hard to turn up. This evening we went to a local restaurant and I ordered Khmer Lok Lak, very good. For lunch I got a spicy Thai Soup with Pork. It was VERY spicy, I LOVED IT. We then watched a performance of traditional Cambodian Dance and Music and Song. I'm sure I missed a lot, so please write me and tell me what you want to hear. It's VERY hard to write down EVERYTHING that happens and it's VERY likely I'm missing the important or Interesting things.
I got a little sad and lonely yesterday when I woke up at the hotel in Japan and thought to myself, "Am I really going to be gone for that long". But I think it's going to be perfectly fine. I am meeting people and fitting in nicely and have been learning/doing a lot (and I've only been gone for several days). Mostly everyone on my trip has been or will be traveling for an extended amount of time in addition of this tour. A few will be gone for a total of 5 to 9 months, while the majority will be traveling for around 3 to 4 months. There are only 2 people that are only doing this tour, 2 girls from Germany who are Radiology Technicians. The people traveling in my group have been all over the world and have done amazing things. They are very independent and adventurous and make my 10 week trip sound like child's play.
Oh and by the way, no one here uses toilet paper. There is a hose beside the toilet to 'clean' yourself. Also, all the hotels here so far have had toothbrushes, soaps, and shampoos. ALSO, the toilet in TOKYO was SOOOO high tech. I didn't know how to flush it at first. There was also a bidet with multiple settings. Why you would need more than 1 just is beyond me. O well, cheers!
I would like to apologize for all typos and stupid grammatical errors I have or will be making. I have a lot to get across and I hope you don't hold my writing against me. ALSO I will be putting up some photos for this posting in the next day or two, or three.