Day 249: Dubai! 6/19/2016

Wally

It was an amazing day

Water Park

I can’t remember if I said in the previous post that I hadn’t been in a water park since I was a kid. I’m having a ton of fun here with Syd; floating down the lazy river, riding slides and people watching.

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Afternoon Snacks

Seriously this room is awesome! We have breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and evening snacks. There is no need to pay for anything other than getting your ass out here and booking a room.

Aquarium

The aquarium here is a stand alone attraction, it doesn’t have as much variety as other aquariums I’ve been to, but the way it’s designed is amazing. It looks like we’re underwater in an air pocket and peering into the lost city of Atlantis. There is a spot where they have cushions on the floor and you can sit down and gaze upon their MASSIVE tank that holds over 20 different species of fish and I’m guessing thousands of fish. It’s cool sitting down and feeling like you’re a part of the tank

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Chilling by the pool

This really is a nice break from all the traveling we’ve been doing. Staying at a luxury resort where we’ve been pampered and cared for is what we needed. I now understand better what it means when people say they need a vacation from their vacation. But man was it HOT today… It was 108 degrees with humidity… I seriously can’t wait to get back to dry heat.

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Happy Hour

I can’t say this enough that this room pays for itself. At happy hour you get UNLIMITED drinks and snacks. That’s dangerous.

Rest of the night

Spent in bed watching TV and relaxing.

Side note

It’s Ramadan here in the Middle East and there are restrictions on not only people that observe the holiday, but for us as well. While we were in the lobby I had my arms around Syd’s waist and kissing her forehead when an employee told us to stop and to respect the holiday. Ummm…. Sure thing dude it’s not like I was ALL over her and acting inappropriately and if you want me to observe the holiday respectively then put up some signs, I’ll be more than happy to comply. Then on the way back from the water park Syd was told she was dressed inappropriately as well. They felt that she wasn’t covered up enough in observance of Ramadan. She had a sarong on and it covered EVERYTHING, but they were still on her. At one point in the afternoon our room received a call from guest services to ask how our stay here has been. We told them about the incidences and they apologized profusely because they don’t allow their employees to do that. The Atlantis recognizes that they’re catering to foreigners that may not know or care to observe Muslim holidays. Apparently we weren’t the only ones that have been picked on by the staff and the person over the phone said that they’ll be having a staff meeting to remind them that they need to back off.

I can’t remember if I already mentioned this, but my middle name is F. Literally just one letter. I don’t know if my parents misread the form and thought it was just an initial or something, but that’s my middle name, F.  Well Syd couldn’t properly check me into the flight because my middle name doesn’t meet the minimum letter requirement for the log in page…. I’ve also been stopped multiple times at the airport to confirm that F is indeed my middle name. Thanks fam!

Sydney

This hotel is beautiful and has some really nice flower pieces.

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First I want to wish my dad, Ralphie, and Michael a happy father’s day! Hope you guys had a great day!!! Sending love from Dubai.

Woke up and my back finally was not hurting as bad. Man, whatever I did to it killed me yesterday. I am glad I can actually sit up on my own without Wally having to carry me/help me do everything. We got dressed and headed to breakfast. We stopped again and looked at all the fish. It is so beautiful and such a nice sight to see while going to breakfast.

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Breakfast was amazing and even better than yesterday because I could actually enjoy it instead of being half asleep while eating! I finally was able to eat a salad and could trust eating it. It was beautiful.

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After breakfast we came back and got ready to hit the pool. We wanted to hit the other slides and relax this morning before it gets too hot and we are forced to be inside. The thing that sucks is that us being here just the 2 of us is that some of rides you need minimum 3 people so we had to wait until other people came and rode the rides with us. We had such a great time. We lazed about and dried off then came back up to the hotel. We came back up to our room for a little in order to get more sunscreen and clean up and head back to the pool. The pool was great even though it was 108 degrees outside.

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Today has been so relaxing and I am so happy we are here. Booking this room at the Atlantis pays for itself. There is so many perks and it is just amazing!!!! When we went in I was wearing a sarong and they told me to cover up more because it is Ramadan, there is no sign anywhere about covering up! I have a sarong wrapped like a dress and unless you see the slit on the side it is for all intents and purposes a dress. I have no problem being respectful but give me a little explanation and why is it that I have worn this all day and now someone is telling me something. You are a beachfront resort, you are lucky I have a sarong on walking back to my room. This happened 3 more times throughout the day, I changed into a romper and it did not happen after that. I found out that the reason someone said something was because my sarong was too see through (it was white). So strange. Also, the sarong covered more then the low cut tank top and jean shorts I was wearing earlier did. How is it no one said anything in the morning about covering up and now all of a sudden in my sarong people are telling me that it is inappropriate.

After we were done being in the heat we came back up to the room to pack up a little and cool off. We went to the afternoon tea that is included and we ate and drank for about 2 hours. We went to see The Lost Chambers and walk around and see the aquarium and take a look at the albino alligators.

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We also saw some of the photos that they hotel took when we were going down the slides at the water park.

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We came back to the room and chilled until the evening cocktails and snacks were available. I am so sad that we are leaving tomorrow. I am having such a good time. The evening cocktails was amazing! We got fed again and I got 6 free cocktails. I got a nice buzz on and it was all free!! Awesome! I love the Atlantis and being an Imperial Club member.

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We came back to the room and chilled the rest of the night. Dubai has been great and I am so glad we were able to come. I cannot wait to come back here.

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Day 248: Dubai 6/18/2016

Wally

Flight

Man….. Emirites is awesome…. They treat their passengers like people and not cattle. Additionally, their onboard entertainment is on point! Tons of movies and shows to choose from and on a massive screen. The flight went pretty smoothly and we even landed close to an hour early!

Airport Pick Up

Dubai is SWANKY! Our pick up a nice ass Mercedes and our driver was a wealth of knowledge. We drove past the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and we took a ton of pictures. I have to say that this building isn’t as impressive as seeing the Shanghai Tower, 2nd tallest building in the world. The Shanghai Tower is impressive because it’s the same circumference from the base to the top, but the Burj Khalifa thins out significantly as it gets to the top. It’s like stacking tooth picks on top of a Lincoln log tower.

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Atlantis

This place is nice and super accommodating. We showed up SUPER early, 5:30 AM, and check in is normally at 3 pm and when we emailed them they said they’ll try to get us a room by noon. Luckily when we showed up a room was already available. We got helped up to the room and started to unpack. The view from our room is really cool because you can see the Burj Khalifa and the Sail from our balcony.

Breakfast

OMG THIS BREAKFAST BUFFET IS LEGIT! We haven’t had food this good in a long long time and we welcomed the western meal. =) Their selection was great and everything they made was quality.

Water Park

I really didn’t know what to expect. I can’t even remember the last time I was at a water park, but Syd was super excited to ride everything. But first we had to sail down the lazy river. We hadn’t really slept all day and I just wanted to float. What was cool about this river that it occasionally had “rapids” which made it interesting. The water slides themselves were really fun because I got to ride it with Syd in a double inner tube. We normally don’t get to ride thrill rides together because they’re usually too much for Syd’s motion sickness, but water slides don’t have the same effect for some reason.

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Hotel Room

Man we were pampered! There was a bit of a misunderstanding with the viewing of Finding Dori because we thought this Atlantis had a cinema on the grounds, but because of that misunderstanding they gave us a couple of free Finding Dori bags. Additionally this is the first place in our year together that did anything when we told them it was our anniversary. They send up a cake that said congratulations on it. It wasn’t very good, but it was the thought that counts. We spent he rest of the night just chatting with people and watched some tv.

Sydney

I gave the chocolates to the stewardess who was standing near where Wally and I were sitting and she was so surprised because no one has ever done that before. I am glad we surprised her, hopefully we will get hooked up. Well, after we got settled she came back with a bog filled with first class swag! It was amazing! Throughout the flight the other stewardesses came and thanked us as well. They served the first meal right away but I did not eat to much since I wanted to sleep. I tried to watch so many movies but I was not feeling well on this flight. I ended up sleeping for about 4 hours of the flight. Along with the first class swag, we also got, 2 bottles of bailey’s, extra cokes and sprites, champagne, chocolate, extra snacks and a picture frame. I love Emirates!! It was amazing and such a good flight. I will absolutely fly them again if the opportunity presents itself.

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We landed about an hour early and normally it’s great when you do but I was worried about checking into the hotel and if our car was here to pick us up. We found the driver and we were in such a nice Mercedes.

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Our driver was filled with info and told us all about the UAE. It was a nice and fun car ride to the hotel.

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The hotel had a room available and we were able to get checked in at about 5am, and with this we were able to go and enjoy the breakfast.

**Side note- on the freeway driving in we passed an Olive Garden. Super Random but kind of funny of all the restaurants we see is an Olive Garden.

The breakfast buffet was amazing!!! So many options, and bagels!! So much food and a very relaxing morning. When Wally and I got back up to the hotel we Skyped my dad for a little but the connection was not great and we will be seeing him soon anyways. Then my back started hurting. I almost fell to the floor because I was in so much pain. I do not know what is going on but damn it hurts!

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I worked through the pain and we went to the water park, rode most of the slides in the first park and lazed about in the river. Next we moved to the beach and the pool. We are staying in the Imperial Club so we have a private area. The pool was great and so refreshing. We were both getting pretty overheated and it does not help that we are so tired since we have not really slept since now 2 nights ago when we last slept in a bed.

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The room we booked includes breakfast everyday and an afternoon tea. We went to pick up our Starbucks cup and got some Cold Stone as an afternoon treat before heading to the afternoon tea. These snacks were amazing!! We again stuffed our faces with all the little snacks and drinks. I am good until breakfast tomorrow. We came back up to the room and took a nap. After we cleaned up the room and Skyped my mom and Ralphie and Matt for awhile. We had a great connection with Matt but not really with the parents. Oh well,we will talk to them again soon. My back has not stopped hurting all day, it is hard to move, walk, and stand. I am hoping a good night’s sleep with make everything better. Time for bed and a movie. I am in love with Dubai.

 

Day 247: Last Day in Vietnam 6/17/2016

Wally

Morning

Woke up at 5:45 AM and had our breakfast. This place wasn’t as nice as the one in Ho Chi Minh, but I can’t pass up a free meal. Our guide met up with us and we took off to the floating market. We’re originally scheduled to do a lot more, but to be honest we we’re kind of over Vietnam and what it had to offer. It really wasn’t what I was expecting.  Nothing really wowed me about this place other than the food. The areas in which the tour took us weren’t really all that well developed and just had a dirty feel to it. So, instead of doing EVERYTHING that was planned for today I explained to our guide that we’d just like to do the floating market and skip everything else.

Floating Market

The early morning boat ride was actually kind of nice. Having the fresh air hit your face in the morning was a great way to wake up. The floating market wasn’t what I had envisioned, in my mind’s eye I saw the river overrun with small boats filled to the brim with produce and farmers hooking themselves to your ship in hopes of selling you goods. Instead we saw these old run down boats, it’s amazing that they’re even still afloat. Our guide went on to explain that each boat has a pole extended and on the pole they attach the type of produce they’re selling. For example, if someone is a carrot farmer than their pole is adorned with carrots, so that people from afar know to go to him/her for it. However, if a boat has a coconut leaf than that means that they’re selling their boat. The boats themselves also act as the homes for the families. If one were to sink than that’s it. They’ll be left homeless and without jobs. Our guide went on to explain that these people live their entire lives on the boats and they’re passed on from generation to generation. The people on the boats are mostly illiterate and only know how to read numbers. The children do not get a proper education because they’re always on the move and cannot go to any one school for an extended period of time. So, there is a good portion of the population in Vietnam that is illiterate. They’re stuck doing menial tasks and hard labor for the rest of their lives with no hope of any upward mobility.

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Back at the hotel

We had 8 hours to kill once we got to the hotel, so we finalized our packing. OMG Emirates allows for 30 kg for their check ins, for reference most flights only allow 20 kg. We were able to lighten the loads of our carry ons thanks to that. We then spent the rest of the time watching movies and TV shows. I discovered this shitty reality TV show called “Arranged” and it’s about couples that are you guessed it arranged to be married and it follows them from before the marriage to after. It’s a shit show, like shit hitting the fan show, it’s amazing….

At the airport

I’ll let Syd cover that.

Closing thoughts about Asia as a whole

There’s a lot of poverty here and not a whole lot of hope of upward mobility if you’re born in the rural areas. It really brings into perspective the opportunities and the life we have back home. It makes you appreciate things so much more. I’d rather live below the poverty line in America than in any other country. I use to wonder about things like that. Why would day laborers at Home Depot want to work SO HARD for SO LITTLE and now it all makes sense. Even the lowest of lows in America is better than what they’d have to deal with back home and it’s worth the amount of back breaking work they put themselves through.

Sydney

The hotel breakfast was not the best and was not the worst. I was not feeling  that great this morning again. I really want this cold to either come full force or go away, this half as shit is irritating. We got loaded up and went to the floating market. It was really different then what I expected but still fun and I am glad we saw one in SE Asia.

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We finished rather quickly and I was so ready for night to be here and for us to be on the airplane out of Asia. I am done!!! On our 4 hour drive back to the city I started to have really bad cramps and the worst motion sickness I felt like I was going to throw up with my cramps. I am really not looking forward to flying tonight. The rest of the drive went by pretty quickly and we had Mr. Hugh and Law stop at a few other places to get some stuff done before we got to our hotel. Lunch was uneventful.

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We finished up our stops and I got a free coffee from Starbucks because I completed a survey so it was a good day. Wally and I showered and got ready for the flight tonight. We wanted to make sure our suitcases were loaded up and everything was where it should be. We were able to nap and watch some tv. I love Arranged, it is my new guilty pleasure. After awhile it was time to go and they picked us up and took us to the airport. Law played the flute for us and sang us a goodbye song. He said that we were not his favorite tour group because I was sick and he said I did not get to enjoy everything as much as I could of. Whatever. I enjoyed it enough.

There was no traffic and w got to the airport in about 15 minutes, we had to wait about 30 until the Emirates line was open for us to check in and then shit hit the fan.

Well, I believe I explained all the issues we had coming into Vietnam and the fact that I was grilled on why I was in Cambodia, my flight out of Vietnam and why I was there. Well, now it is worse. As most know, Wally is the pack mule and I get us all checked into flights, take care of the bags and make sure we are good to go to get on the flight. I get to the counter and Wally heads off to the side with our carry-ons.

  1. The guy asks how long we have been in Vietnam…You have my passport dumbass and you are looking at the visa, I am not lying when I say 3 days. (He proceeds to keep looking at me and the visa a few times).
  2. He asks when we are leaving Dubai. (I explained twice that we are taking a car to Abu Dhabi and leaving from there). He asks why are we driving and do we have a confirmation of it. (No, we are taking a taxi since it is all of an hour and a half away.)
  3. Next, he asks for our tickets leaving the UAE….THE FUCK DO YOU CARE WHEN I AM LEAVING ANOTHER COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!! I am out of your shithole of a country, leave me the fuck alone!!!!!! (He says he needs to see my tickets leaving the UAE or he will nor hand back the passports, I show him. The problem is I have e-tickets and he starts to write on them and I begin to yell “WTF, dude those are my tickets you cannot write on them!” He states he needs to show someone else and go talk to someone before we can move on. He comes back about 5 minutes later and finally I can check my bags in.
  4. Dude – “Why is your husband not here to put the bag on if this is his luggage?” Me- “Well he is waiting with our carry-ons. This is my job and that is his job.” Dude – “Fine, he needs to bring the carry-on’s over so that I can weigh them and tag them.” Me – “ok, (I waive Wally to come over).” Dude – “You have too many carry-ons and they are too big.” (How is that possible I have been on smaller planes with more shit in the last week and there was no issue. The asshole makes me check my backpack and everything inside and weigh out my rolling carry-on. I have to sign a piece of paper saying that I will make it smaller and cut weight when it is checked at the gate.) Whatever, just get me the fuck out of Vietnam. This place sucks except the food. The food is amazing! Oh, not to mention the fact that I am explaining how my purse fits in my other bag but I keep it separate for security. He keeps saying his English is not that good and he does not understand. Well you had no problem grilling me on leaving another country that is not yours but now you cannot speak English that well. Real convenient prick!

FINALLY, we got everything checked and we were heading into security/customs!! Then I got grilled again about why I was in Vietnam, where we are going next and when we are leaving the Middle East. Then the asshole finally let me through. The rest of security was easy and Wally and I got some food. We Skyped my mom for a few before we boarded and I picked up some chocolates for my plane trick. Off to Dubai and out of Asia. Deuces!

Day 246: Rural Vietnam 6/16/2016

Wally

Morning

Had breakfast and met up with our guide to head down to the Mekong Delta. It was an hour and a half car ride to get to where we needed to go, but we filled the void by watching the Princess Bride and napping.

Mekong Delta

We went island hopping within the delta. Now this wasn’t like Thailand where we were on a strong speed boat, nor did it feel as surreal. Instead we were on a boat a step up from what Tom Sawyer floated down the Mississippi in and the islands weren’t tropical at all. Instead it was populated by rural farmers that did their best to cater to tourists. On the islands we saw a honey farm and had some stuff straight from the source. Pure unprocessed honey isn’t as sweet as the stuff you squeeze out of the bear. Syd was such a trooper the whole time we were there. The area in which they served us their dried fruits and teas was right next to the beehives and when they served us our things a group of bees immediately started swarming the honey container as well as our tea cups where the honey was poured. Syd was visibly shaken by the whole thing, but she sat through it till we finished.

Afterwards we went to another market area where they all sold the same touristy stuff; wooden utensils, embroidered bags, tea sets and other stupid stuff. Syd perused around the stalls and just tested out her haggling skills.

We then had a snack at a local fruit plantation. It would have been nice to say we had great fresh fruit, but what was given to us tasted less than fresh. It was brought out to us in slices and when we bit into it, it almost felt like it had been sitting around for a while. Needless to say we didn’t finish our fruit.

We also rode a small boat down a narrow “river”. It was so congested with other tour groups that we were bumper to bumper for a lot of the ride. It was hardly enjoyable because with each hit it felt like we could capsize.

Lunch

In order to get to our lunch we hopped to another island and there we rode a horse drawn carriage. Well in reality it was an oversized pony pulling a cart…. This tour tries to be classy, but it falls short in what this country has to offer. The place in which we had lunch was actually really nice compared to what we had been going through. The food was decent enough, but just wasn’t to Syd’s liking, like a whole fish. Either way we had our fill, but in the middle of our lunch a huge storm started passing through. Which made it so that we couldn’t go to the last island, which I’m fine with because I was OVER it.

Ride to hotel

It was a rough ride because of the heavy storms it got the best of me and I started to get pretty car sick. Also the entire time I had to piss like a racehorse… The ride into Can Tho was pretty though because the city was sitting in the eye of the storm so the sun just beamed down onto it.

Dinner

We walked over to the mall next door in search of something safe to eat for Syd. She’s been having stomach issues since we left Thailand and hadn’t had a bowel movement since. We ended up finding a place that was the Vietnamese equivalent to Carl’s Jr. Problem was like most Asian countries they were close, but not qutie there, so Syd was left disappointed, but we did find a Baskin Robbins, so at least she got a good dessert.

Side note

While on the island our guide pointed out a shack to us. It had bamboo walls packed with mud for insulation and the roof was made out of coconut leaves. He explained to us that for the people on the island that is a typical starter home for newlyweds. There they will spend the first 10-20 years of their marriage while they save up to build their “retirement” home. Their retirement home is a concrete shack… Man it really brings things into perspective.

Our guide is definitely a country boy. At the market he was super excited over a simple toy. It was a wind up toy where two pigs are attached by a string and when you separate them they come back together and kiss. He fucking lost his shit when he saw it. “Oh! This was my favorite toy as a boy growing up” He then proceeded to pull apart ALL the pigs in the stand and cheered as they “kissed”. Also at one point he hopped up and snagged a leaf from a tree and rolled it up and started to blow into it. “As a boy I would make all sorts of noises with these leaves, it was a lot of fun”. Man as a boy I loved playing with my Nintendo and Playstations I can’t imagine just being stuck with a wind up toy and a leaf.

Another thing about our guide is that he’s “special”. When we were on our river boat ride he was “helping” the other women out by paddling as well, but the problem was his paddle was broken and he wasn’t really doing anything, but he was still paddling away. It’s like giving the annoying kid brother a controller that’s not plugged in.

All in all he’s a weird little dude, but his heart is in the right place and all he wants is to be a good guide for us. I guess the best way to describe him is that he’s the one nerd in the group that everyone will make fun of, but if an outsider were to mess with him you’d get really protective over him. I do ultimately wish the best for him.

Sydney

Woke up and headed for breakfast at the hotel. I would recommend this hotel Edenstar to anyone staying in Ho Chi Minh. When we finished we loaded up and headed downstairs to check out since we are going to a new city and different hotel today. Mr. Hugh and Law helped us with our bags and we were on our way. The first stop is an hour and a half drive away. I was getting car sick so I fell asleep until just about when we got there. When we got out we were at a bus station but it was also a boat station. The whole time Wally and I thought we were going to get on a bus because Law has such a thick accent.

The boat ride was pretty rickety and I was a little scared it would break and we would fall into the Mekong River.

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We had our own private boat which was nice and we zipped across the water to Unicorn Island.

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They had some little shops and I picked up some trinkets. The first stall we went to was were we were surrounded by bees and were given different types of honey and honey tea. I do not like bugs so I was really uncomfortable the whole time because I was afraid of getting stung. Once we finished up we were given a fruit platter and let me tell you we are spoiled back home. I have yet to have delicious fresh fruit since moving out of California. I cannot wait to have safe to eat fresh fruit at my beck and call. Next we were taken on a boat ride around the river with these little old ladies paddling us along.

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They paddled us to our other boat that brought us here and we noticed a storm moving in. We are hoping that we do not get caught in it because the waters will be rough and we will probably get soaked.

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The next island was where we were to have lunch. We had a little bit of a walk to where our horse drawn cart was. It was straight out of the 1700’s and the Amish have nicer carts and healthier horses then these people do. I am pretty sure my ass is bruised from the ride. We came to the restaurant and like before our meal was ready for us. I tried everything but was not a big fan. Then the torrential downpour started.

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Wally and I finished lunch and got Law. We were supposed to see another island but it was pouring and we were ready to be back in town. Law was fine with is and we headed to the car. The last stop of the day was another 2 1/2 hour car ride. UGH, so much driving today. I made myself go to sleep right away since I knew I was going to get car sick. Wally and I slept for a majority of the ride but then we both woke up and had to pee so bad. Well, we will have to wait awhile to go so we held it. The road was bumpy and it was awful. The rain was coming down so hard when we were driving at some points that you could not see the road in front of the car. It was scary but totally fine.

We got into our hotel and it is not as nice as the one we stayed at in Ho Chi Minh but it is only one night. They gave us some orange juice, the orange juice here always tastes like Tang/ Sunny D mixed in one glass. Wally and I said bye to Law and Mr. Hugh.

Wally and I were starving so we got our stuff ready and went to get dinner. I have not really eaten since breakfast so we headed to the mall next door. There was a Burger King but it was closed so we went and got another burger place. It was not great so I picked at my fries and we went to Baskin Robbins for dessert. I had caramel cookie crunch!!!!! AMAZEBALLS!!!! We sat and talked for awhile and it was nice.

When we finally came back to the hotel we rearranged our bags and got checked into our flight for tomorrow. Off to Dubai on Emirates. Oh ya, and Emirates allows 30 kgs for economy class!! Sweet!! We got to take stuff out of our carry ons and put it in our check in luggage so everything is lighter and we still have 12 kgs left over. I have been getting rid of stuff and minus the fact that we moved out of a country, on all our other trips I have been packing a lot lighter.

Vietnam is cool but I would only come back if we are staying in Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi, I don’t really have a desire to come back to the rural areas. The food was great and the city reminded us of Shanghai. I am ready to be out of Asia though. Tomorrow is the first time Wally and I would have been out of Asia in 8 months and I am ready to be in dry heat and not surrounded by Asians.

**I want to give Erin a shout out because today she will be graduating high school! I am so proud of you and I am sorry Wally and I are not there. I hope you have a great graduation and I look forward to hearing all about it when I get home. Love you ET. GREAT JOB!!! CONGRATS!!!

 

Day 245: GOOOOD MORNING VIETNAM!!!

Wally

Breakfast

Headed down for our food. They had pho as part of the breakfast menu!!! Well naturally they would, but it wasn’t shitty hotel food it actually wasn’t half bad. I’m loving the food here in Vietnam.

Cu Chi Tunnels

It’s pronounced coochie, like vagina. Just so you guys know. It was about 1.5 hour drive to get out to the tunnels. On our way there our guide talked about this and that and to be honest I kind of zoned him out. We haven’t had the best of luck with our guides in the last couple of countries. When we arrived at the place we were shown around the “jungle”. There we saw plenty of traps used to ensnare enemy troops. These things were ingeniously designed to inflict as much damage as possible while being simple and easy to construct. The tunnel system that was set up by the Vietcong was also quite impressive. Each level served a purpose and made gave them the edge they needed to fight an enemy more technologically advanced than themselves.

Our guide is interesting… He’s like a puppy who gets overly excited and pisses themselves. He’s a nice guy, but just a bit much to handle.

  1. When describing to us about the Kings of Vietnam he literally listed them all out. King so-and-so the first, King so-and-so the second, King so-and-so the third, King so-and-so the fourth, King so-and-so the fifth, King so-and-so the sixth, King so-and-so the seventh, King so-and-so the eighth, King so-and-so the ninth, King so-and-so the tenth, King so-and-so the eleventh, King so-and-so the twelfth, King so-and-so the thirteenth, King so-and-so the fourteenth, King so-and-so the fifteenth, King so-and-so the sixteenth, King so-and-so the seventeenth, and King so-and-so the eighteenth. He literally did that….
  2. We’re walking through a tunnel he’s frantically flailing around trying to touch the ceiling with his hands. Keep in mind he’s a whole head shorter than me. He looks like he’s trying to climb an invisible ladder. At one point he climbs on top of a handrail and leaps off of it to touch the ceiling and even then he fails.
  3. When describing how the Vietcong used the tunnels he channeled his inner soldier and referred to us as his troops and began mimicking gun fire with his mouth.

I won’t continue because I want to leave Sydney with some material.

War Remnants Museum

I know that the Vietnam War wasn’t a popular one in America and I now see why. We as a nation committed some pretty fucked up shit while we were out there.

*GRAPHIC IMAGES*

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It’s stuff like this that reminds you that there are no winners in war.

Cheap Market

Yup there’s one here too… Yup it’s just as big… Yup Syd’s just as good.

Che

OMG THIS IS MY FAVORITE VIETNAMESE DESSERT EVER AND I GOT THE REAL DEAL OUT HERE!!!!

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Hotel

We got back and just packed up for our trip down to My Tho and watched some movies. I’m ready to get out of SE Asia.

Sydney

The breakfast buffet was really good and this hotel is in a very good location. I highly recommend it to people staying in Ho Chi Minh. The Pho was really good. I talked to my dad this morning and told him what the Parisian said yesterday in the visa line. Do not go to Paris it is too dangerous. GGGRRREEAAATTT…… he goes on to say that you do not want to be outside at night and if you are take a taxi to and from where you are going. I told dad we will just stay inside and drink more wine and eat more cheese.

I am still not feeling well and I hope I kick this bug soon. We finished getting ready and started our day.

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Cu Chi Tunnels, first the name makes me laugh every time because cu chi means vagina. I am going to the vagina tunnels. They were interesting to see but not worth the 3 hour roundtrip drive at all. The Vietnamese were crazy is all I have to say.

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Interesting tidbits about today:

  1. Our drivers daughter’s name is Tao, means Grass.
  2. Law, our guide, his dad fought for the South Vietnamese Army and his uncle fought for the North Vietnam Army.
  3. The guide saw a cow and screamed, “oh look big cow , big cow, big cow for milk.” *Wally and I tried so hard not to laugh.
  4. There was a corn stand and Law asked if we have corn in the US. He says alot of countries do not have corn and the Vietnamese are lucky to have it. I explained to him that we have it and he was shocked.
  5. When Law said we are soldiers, he said Wally and I are being slow bad soldiers because we are not walking fast and acting like soldiers.
  6. Connections to places. Law explained/talked in circles about how all the tunnels are connected. “The kitchen is connected to the dining room and is connected to the hospital…etc” It went on for 5 minutes. We get it everything is connected.
  7. He was asking me how to say stick shift in ENglish (he was just pointing to it and asked what it is called in English)..I said stick shift and he kept saying stick shit. “Oh, stick shit! I get it.” I tried to correct him but he was having a hard time with the “ft” sound.

Anyways, continuing on…we drove back to town and had lunch.

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Next we went to the war remnants museum and I finally got my Vietnamese coffee for the day. it was power and it is crazy to see how other countries do museums, these graphic images would never be shown in a museum back home. We left the museum and saw the reunification palace, Notre Dame, and the Post Office. All really iconic buildings and seeing the war pics of them and then seeing them now is night and day. War is an awful thing and destroys beautiful sites.

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We found a cheap market, AWESOME!!! All roads lead to the cheap market, ALWAYS!!!! We picked up some gifts and a few things for us. We had a pretty relaxing rest of the day.

Oh, lunch did not agree with me again and I tried to go to the bathroom and they were going to charge me $8 USD to use the public toilet. I miss America!!!!!!

 

Day 244: Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh

Wally

Morning

Woke up and enjoyed breakfast, but we couldn’t really enjoy it too much because in the back of our heads we couldn’t help but to worry if we had a flight out of Cambodia or not. In the end we just finished stuffing our faces and headed back up to the room to finish packing. We ended up leaving 4 hours early to the airport to make sure we get through security and figure out our flight situation in time.

Airpot

There’s no one person to ask questions to. Our flight just said retimed and when you go online it says that it no longer exists. When we got there we saw that our flight was just pushed back by 30 min, so we breathed a sigh of relief. We sat around and played on our phones until it was time to get ourselves checked in. Something I want to mention about the “international” airport here is that it’s bare bones. In total they have 24 check in counters and less than half were staffed and all those took in baggages from multiple airlines. The staff there was nice, but not really all that helpful. Finally when you board your flight you’re walking out onto the tarmac.

Flight

We got onto another plane with propellers… It was cool to say that we’ve been on a flight with propellers, but we already did that and let me tell you it isn’t the smoothest of flights. If my motion sickness starts to act up then I know that Syd is dying on the inside. Also we didn’t get any food this time!!! WTF!!! I’m use to being luxured on my 1 hour flight!!!

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Ho Chi Minh Airport

Man… It’s a whole process trying to enter this country. The tour company we signed up with sent us visa letters which we had to present to the visa office within the airport. When we got there they handed us forms for us to fill out. After we turned them in we sat around for about an hour or so. Syd was walking around and just shooting the shit with whoever would listen to her. It’s fun watching my wife in travel mode, she’s totally in her element. Once we finally got our visas and our luggage we found our tour guide.

Drive to Hotel

Our tour guide’s name is Law. He’s a squirrely dude with the body of a 12 year old boy. He tends to get excited over the little things as he’s describing the city and its history to us. But he’s easy to understand and should serve as a good guide. One thing I noticed immediately about this city is that there are a TON of bikes and mopeds. He said that Ho Chi Minh is the motorcycle capital of the world and I see why. He handed us a map of the city and marked some of highlights when we got dropped off.

Night

We got checked in and threw our stuff down and immediately headed out to see what the city had to offer. I LOVE Vietnamese food and was excited to get my hands of some of the real deal stuff. On our way to where the street food was we made a stop at Starbucks to pick up the cups we’ve been collecting on our travels. I know it’s a bit silly, but at the same time none yall mother fuckers got these cups, but we do! We ended up down another street that sold cheap knock off goods and stopped at a restaurant that sold Bún bò Huế, which was recommended by someone at Starbucks. In all honesty it wasn’t bad, but I’ve had better stuff back home. Syd and I got some Vietnamese Coffee, my god…. this stuff here is definitely better than back home. We then made our way back to the hotel to prep for tomorrow and do a bit more laundry so it has time to dry.

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Sidenote

This city really reminds me of Shanghai, there really isn’t that big of a difference other than the massive amounts of motorcycles. It’s also a bit cleaner, but overall very similar.

Another thing I want to mention is that everyone back home appreciate where you’re at. You literally have the BEST food in the world. Everywhere we’ve been we’ve tried out the food, but it always seems to either fall short of or equal to the stuff we have back home. We have some of the best Thai, Mexican, Chinese, Vietnamese and Dim Sum in the world and it’s all within driving distance.

Sydney

So Wally pretty much covered today. It took forever in the airport this morning but when the website says your flight has been cancelled and you have no idea how to get another  flight. I sweet talked a guy into actually calling around and asking what to do and it was perfect. He was really helpful.

While going through security they had to scan my bag about 5 times, they made me take out tampons, keys, a few makeup brushes and both my wallets. It was ridiculous! Finally we got through and sat at the gate. I got some food and everything was fresh to order. The airport is so small and walking to the airplane was a little scary.

Of course, we are flying another airplane with propellers. I am dying on the inside. The flight was so bumpy and I passed out the whole flight because I was so sick.

WE LANDED IN VIETNAM!!!! The process to get our bags was insane! First we had to do the visa process and the lines were crazy, also we had more paperwork to fill out. Why did they not give us stuff to fill out on the plane?? No now everyone has to fill it out at the same time. DUMB!!! Also, Vietnamese people are as rude as Chinese people. I am so sick of rude Asians!!! We finally got through everything and then we got to the immigration passport control. The guy was grilling me on my flight number, what time my flight leaves Friday, why I am in Vietnam, what my flight number leaving Vietnam is, why I have 2 people’s passport, and why would I want to come to Vietnam. FUCK YOU DUDE!! Fine I will leave your country and take all my money and spend it somewhere else. Of course, Wally got through no problem. We exchanged some money and got our bags. Before we left the airport we had to scan our bags through security again. It was such a hassle but we got out of the airport no problem.

Our guide was waiting and kept calling Wally, Mr. Wang and me, Lady Sydney. that’s how I always should be addressed. Lady Sydney! HEHE He is a little intense and has the body of a 12 year old but whatever he is nice enough. We got dropped at our hotel and cleaned up a bit. Wally was chomping at the bit to leave and go get some food. We got our Starbucks cups and finished our walk around. They had a street market and I picked up some more elephant pants. Also, I can haggle here and I can use bitch face! I’m back baby!!! I may pick up a few things for myself. 🙂 Wally got some food and I got Vietnamese coffee. Oh yay it was amazing. I am definitely getting a cold so I did not want to stay out to late. We finished up and headed back to the hotel. Time to shower and head to bed. Travel days always take it out of me.

Day 243: A day to relax 6/13/2016

Wally & Sydney

Nothing too much to report today. I think I am getting a little cold. My throat is killing me and I have a headache but since we have today to relax I hope I can kick it. We decided to stay in Cambodia an extra day when we were planning this trip to give our bodies a break from traveling and it turned out to be perfect. We went down to breakfast this morning and ate plus took food for the rest of the day. The cleaning people came and we went to the gym for a little. We worked on getting the blog up to date, packing for tomorrow and doing laundry.

While packing I went to check all of our flights and I found out our flight for tomorrow was cancelled so we are waiting to hear back from the email I sent to the airlines to figure out what is going to happen. Please everyone keep your fingers crossed that we will be able to get out of Cambodia somehow hahah. I feel as though tomorrow may be a little stressful.

Side note – I want to wish my sister a happy graduation party and I am sorry that we could not be there to celebrate but I am thinking of you and will think of you on Thursday when you are officially done with high school. Also, congrats to my other sisters bf for getting drafted into the MLB! I am officially a Brewers fan as long as he plays there, except when he is playing the Cubs, and then I have to vote for my team HAHA 😉

Day 242: Angkor Wat 6/12/2016

Wally

Morning

We enjoyed the breakfast buffet down stairs and naturally we stole some extra baggies of food for later consumption.  Afterwards we headed back up to the room to cover ourselves in all sorts of chemicals to help fend off critters and the harmful rays.

Tour

Our guide knew his shit. He was a walking encyclopedia on the history of Cambodia and Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. He was a bit hard to understand with his accent and his voices cadence is the verbal equivalent of watching molasses drip. I found myself trying not to fall asleep a few times.

Angkor Wat

It’s absolutely gorgeous. I cannot put it into words, so I’ll let the pictures do all the talking.

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It’s just astounding traveling around Asia and looking at all the grandiose things that were built hundreds and thousands of years ago with the limited technology they had back then. It’s really humbling knowing that hundreds of millions of people existed before my time and billions more will after me and I’m just a small piece of the puzzle. Corny I know.

We walked around and looked at the intricate carvings and it all told a story of the battle between good and evil. The guide was good at pointing out what the individual carvings were and the story that it ultimately told. It’s just amazing the amount of craftsmanship that had to go into it to make such a beautiful piece of art and that it’s lasted nearly 1,000 years.

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While we were at Angkor Wat a monkey literally crossed Syd’s path like it was no big deal. It then just walked over to a column and shimmied its way up while a small group of tourists, including myself, took pictures of it. Another thing that was interesting was that we saw 3 monks, 2 of which were boys, sitting in the shade and playing on their phones! It seems like no matter where you are in the world you can’t escape the glow of the small screens.

 

Tomb Raider Temple

It’s actually called something different, but since it was filmed there that’s what everyone calls it now. The architecture there was more or less the same as Angkor Wat, but it was cool walking around and seeing the locations in which the film was shot.

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Lunch

It was honestly a bland and shitty meal, but it was covered in our tour and we needed to be out of the sun and humidity, not that the restaurant was a good refuge. The power kept going in and out and I’m pretty sure it’s cause we’re in a third world country. Syd looked like she was going to die of heat stroke, but she only had to power through one more temple and we could go back to our air conditioned room.

Angkor Thom

When we were there this was all I could think of

But in all actuality it was just amazing to be in the presence of such great architecture. This whole place is in ruins, but looking around you can only imagine what it must have looked like at its peak. When we walked through one passage way we saw that it was covered with holes. It’s easy to assume that each one of those holes must have held a precious stone at some point and the walls themselves could have been covered with gold.

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We could have easily covered more of the temple grounds, but we were getting too exhausted from the heat and ended our tour a bit early.

Hotel

OMG IT WAS SO NECESSARY, when we got back to the room we were greeted by the AC and we immediately felt like humans again. We had to do some more laundry and dry our clothes so that we had enough time to ensure that everything would dry. But after a bit of work we headed down stairs and treated ourselves to a little afternoon delight. I had a piece of cake and a cappuccino, while Syd had a custom order banana split. Afterwards we headed back up to the room where I passed out for nearly 2 hours.

Dinner and a show

As part of our tour we had a dinner buffet and a show. The buffet itself was alright, but we had to deal with the swarms of Chinese tourists. If you’ve never had to deal with Chinese people at a buffet you will have no idea what I’m talking about. The lines for the food didn’t really exist, instead they were a mere suggestion. Politeness is often thrown out the window when you’re “fighting” for the last piece of food.  Whatever, anyways the food there wasn’t all that bad. It was a mix of Thai, Cambodian, Vietnamese and Western dishes. We had our fill and watched part of the show. Now I don’t want this to come off as culturally insensitive, but the show was boring and Syd and I were over it within the first act or so. When we saw a group of people getting up to leave we took that as our cue to go too. We went looking for our guide, but like a ninja he popped out of nowhere and took us to our car. However, the car was blocked by another tour bus, so instead of tracking down the driver our guide along with our driver just pushed it out of the way and we drove off.

Night

We went back to the hotel to catch up on our blogs and do some chores. It’s been a long day and we’re looking forward to a day of some R&R.

Side note

The exits of the temples are overrun with merchants selling cheap knick knacks and what you. Stuff in SE Asia is dirt cheap and we came across some BEAUTIFUL paintings. I seriously wish we could have bought ALL of them, literally ALL of them. There wasn’t a single one I didn’t like. Another thing about these mini markets is that there are A LOT of small children trying to sell you postcards, flutes, magnets, ect. We didn’t buy anything from them because at the airport they warn the tourists not to give them any money because it encourages them not to go to school. Instead if you feel bad you should donate to a recognized charity that will ultimately take care of the kids.

One more thing that was interesting was that we found out there is only one Starbucks within Cambodia and it’s in the Capital Phnom Penh… AND it only opened at the start of this year. Additionally there are no McDonalds within this country a lack of economic progress and stability is probably why McDonald’s is absent in this country.

Sydney

Woke up and headed to the buffet breakfast at the hotel. It was actually pretty good. They had French toast, au gratin potatoes and Asian stuff. We sat and enjoyed and filled up some baggies for later. We came back to the room in order to get our stuff together for Angkor Wat. Seriously, words cannot describe how excited I am to see this today. We bug sprayed and sunscreened and headed to the lobby. We waited for our guide to pick us up.

I am so happy to have a private tour and we can go at our own pace. The guide was very knowledgeable and had very interesting facts. Once we got there the beggar and people trying to sell stuff swarmed the car! I thought this only happened in movies, nope! Real life! They are relentless but bitch face and staring straight ahead helps. Just always be aware and have your hands on your valuables. We walked up a dirt road and saw the first temple. It was beautiful. In some of the pics you will see construction and the reason for that is when some storms came through the temple was damaged and the monks that live there and worship were injured. Now they are trying to preserve it and keep it maintained for them. We walked through the first temple and continued up the dirt road and saw the back side of Angkor Wat. The guide told us the history and explained some of the importance of the stone carvings. I had gotten a little ahead of Wally and the guide and all of a sudden I hear a noise behind me and a monkey is walking no more than a foot away from me. I jumped because I got startled but he did not care and kept on walking. I called to Wally and he saw him too. We followed the monkey outside and watched him climb up the temple. It was incredible, this is exactly what I had romanticized about Angkor Wat and all my dreams had come true. We continued through the temple and ended up at the front. This is where I about lost it. It was exactly like every picture my dad had showed me in National Geographic, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and what I imagined in my head. I stood there and just soaked up the moment. I am not sure if I will ever be back and I want to enjoy this for as long as possible. I am standing in front of a monument, NBD! WOW, just WOW! That is all I have to say.

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We walked to the little shops and I was able to pick up a few more trinkets that I had been wanting. The problem is I did not bring enough money. I bought what I wanted and for future reference if you are American and coming to Siem Reap and going to Angkor Wat you can use American dollars and you can haggle. Wally and I ended up getting a beautiful painting that will go great on our explore wall and it is even more special because we got it from the place. Our guide walked us back to the car and the beggar children were on our asses again. It was so annoying. The driver picked us up and took us to another temple. It is so hot, I do not usually drip sweat, it’s weird I know but I get hot and clammy just not really sweaty. Today was a different story it was like Niagara Falls off my body. Wally and I had a fine layer of water over our exposed skins the entire day. I saw a lot of Monks at the temple today since it is Buddha’s Day, all the kid Monks were playing on their phones, it was hilarious. No matter where you are if a kid has a phone they will play on it. The next stop was the Tomb Raider Temple; locals changed the name after Lara Croft was filmed here. It was super cool and I got to take pictures right where Angelina Jolie stood. I was in heaven. The temple was again so beautiful and it was incredible to hear the history. I would like to get a Cambodian/Angkor Wat history book when I get home and read up a little more on it.

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Next was lunch, I started to fall asleep in the car because I was so hot. We got to the lunch and I was a ghost. Wally was so concerned. I almost passed out a couple of times. It was awful. I ate the lunch but I do not really remember tasting it or what happened I was really out of it.

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We got back in the car and headed to the last couple of sites. The next was Bayon Temple. It has the faces, it was great and I wish I could have appreciated it more but I was so hot and miserable that I only took a few mental snapshots. Also, I fell and landed on my knees and wrist. I am in so much pain. The last couple of weeks my body has taken a beating. Hopefully I can let it rest tomorrow since we have nothing planned. The last stop was the South Gate. Even today people are still stealing the Buddha heads and restoration companies keep trying to replace them and hire security to keep the temples intact.

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The driver took us back to the hotel since we finished early and then he would pick us up again later for the dinner and a show. It turned out to be perfect timing since it started pouring as soon as we got in the car. It did not let up until we headed to dinner later. We went to the gift shop and picked up the little models of the temples we saw as our souvenirs. They are so cute and I cannot wait to have a home again and display all of our things we have collected. Wally and I came upstairs and showered and took a nap. It was much needed and I felt so much better afterwards. I finally started to feel like a human again. Wally and I went downstairs for an afternoon treat; I got a banana split while Wally got a cake and a cappuccino. So delicious and a great way to wake up from a nap.

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I managed to do a little of the blogs and we dried more clothes that were still wet from our laundry yesterday. I cannot wait to just have a washer and a dryer together and not have to do any work but push buttons. We woke up from the nap and I put some makeup on and we re-bug sprayed. I seriously need to find this brand in the states or order it online. All day I watched bugs get close and leave. This Thai stuff is amazing, Deet sucks compared to this. The guide came back and took us to the dinner and show. The food was not bad and we got to enjoy a variety of foods. The show was interesting because they did not stop serving food, so it was so loud and people were going in and out of the buffet while the performance was going on. We ended up only staying a little bit until the show was about half way finished. It was hard to enjoy with all the people moving and you could not hear the people talking through the speaker system.

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Wally and I got the guide and he took us back to the hotel. It was a long day but I learned so much. Wally and I came back up and relaxed then headed to bed. I saw Angkor Wat today, HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

**I would say 75% of the cars in Siem Reap are either SUV Lexus’ or Toyota Highlanders (Wally’s car). It is very interesting. They are everywhere. If you do have a small car it is either a Lexus or a Toyota Camry and they cram about 7 people in there. It looked super dangerous.

Day 241: Cambodia Bound 6/11/2016

Wally

Morning

Last day with the friends… It’s so sad… We treated ourselves to the breakfast buffet downstairs before heading off to the airport. We reminisced about the trip we’ve had thus far, over the course of 2 weeks we’ve been in 4 different cities; Shanghai, Beijing, Bangkok and Phuket. We repacked our stuff again and G&B had room in their suitcases to take more things off our hands. We managed to shave off an extra 10 kilos with them which will be a god send in the coming weeks.

Airport/Flight

Our flights were in different terminals, but luckily our flight was pushed back a bit so we hung out with them until their flight had to take off. It’s so sad… It’s been an amazing couple of weeks with great friends. Seeing them off was hard to do. When we were going to board our flight we saw our plane… It was powered by propellers… It did make me a bit nervous, but they wouldn’t fly it if it didn’t work right? Obviously since you’re reading this we survived, but it was still a bit nerve wracking nonetheless. Also the flight literally only had 20 people on it. Just thought you’d like to know that.

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Siem Reap, Cambodia

We went through customs super quickly and got our visas here, it’s really cool collecting all these visas and passport stamps. The shuttle from the airport to the hotel was a pleasant ride and we got to see the infrastructure of Siem Reap. It’s honestly a developing area and anything that’s not a resort is run down. We definitely won’t be leaving the hotel at night or anywhere too far during the day. Cool thing is though is that our hotel is only a 6 min drive from Angkor Watt.

Hotel

It’s a nice enough place with great service. We got checked in and went to see how much their laundry service is and its $1.25 per piece of underwear!!!! WTF! I’m in a third world country let me go find some peasant outside and give them 10 bucks to go wash, dry and fold ALL my clothes! So, instead we did all of our hots by hand… We washed them, rung em and hung em up to dry. Yay…. As it was getting a bit late we ventured downstairs for some dinner. One thing I’m going to miss about Asia in general is that everything is so cheap! While at dinner I saw a seafood platter plate with stuff that was probably caught this very day, but because it was 15 USD I declined to get it. Asia has ruined me… and if you thought I was cheap before just you wait!

Fun fact

You can dry a wet sock within a minute by wrapping it around a hairdryer and letting it run.

Sydney

Last day with Bianca and Greg. We all woke up and headed down to the free breakfast. If for whatever reason you end up needing to stay near the airport BKK in Bangkok, stay at the Novotel Hotel. It is so nice, the rooms were amazing and the breakfast was tasty. We all sat and chatted for a while, ate, relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company as much as possible. Once everything was finished we cleaned up and went to the room to get everything together and give them some more stuff to take home. I am very happy they are able to take so much plus the other suitcase we are getting rid of. We have lightened the load a lot and I am getting rid of more toiletries. I have been working on packing lighter and not going to places with more than I need. The reason we have so much now is that we are leaving China. The hotel was hosting the participants of the Miss Thailand 2016 so we were able to see them; they were beautiful and so tall. The hotel has an airport shuttle so we were able to be dropped off right in front of the terminal.

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Unfortunately, Wally and I found out our flight was delayed a couple of hours but it was fine since we then just hung out until Bianca and Greg boarded. Once we got Greg and B checked in, we went to check in our luggage. The airport was again so hot! OMG, I am sweating. We found their gate easy enough and B and I went to get some snacks and a few more souvenirs. It was nice to hang out a little longer. Then the sad part of them leaving came. We all hugged and said our goodbyes and they were off to their plane. I cried but it is ok. I will see them soon! 😉

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My dad had messaged me so I called him back and chatted for a few. I see him in 18 days! So excite! I hope he is feeling better by then. I got some lunch since the airplane food has been a hit or miss with me. Wally and I chatted and just soaked up being in Bangkok a little longer. We chilled by the gate and I was able to talk to mom and Ralphie and Mel for a few minutes. We will chat longer later in the week. There was a bus that took us to our plane. Well… we got to the plane and it had fucking propellers. I AM GOING TO DIE! In case anyone reading this does not know, I get super sick on planes and have super high anxiety! I try and hide the anxiousness of it all but this made me freak out. There were only 20 people on our flight. The one time we have the seats 1A and 1B, we board from the back of the plane so it still takes me forever to get to my seat. We get all our stuff down and I go to take my blanket and neck pillow and the stewardess says that I cannot have them since I am in an emergency row. Ok, that’s weird but I will just lay on Wally. The flight was only 50 minutes and I got to sleep for about 15 minutes. They served us a whole meal! Again, love Asian airlines. The food was ok, but they did have this amazing banana bread thing that I ate so much of. I tried to fill out the customs card but I was getting a little sick so I stopped and waited until we are inside the airport. We are lucky that we printed out extra 4X6 pictures for our Vietnam visas because we had to pay for a Cambodian Visa in the airport. The security, baggage, visa process was so easy and took maybe 20 minutes. We walked out and our driver to the hotel was waiting right out front.

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We exchanged some money but found out later that you can use American dollars here. It’s cool now we have Cambodian Riels. The driver was nice and told us a few phrases in Cambodian. So, Siem Reap is janky, dirty, rundown and all around pretty gross but the resorts are all 5 Star looking places and they belong in the hills of LA, New York, anywhere but Cambodia. Also, as we have stated before Wally and I are collecting Starbucks cups… there are no Starbucks in Cambodia; the first one just opened in January 2016 in Phnom Penh (nowhere close to where we are). Lastly, there are no McDonalds either. Learn something new every day. The hotel is beautiful and our room is incredible. I will recommend anyone coming to do Angkor Wat to stay here. We got all checked in and dropped our stuff down. We tried to update the blog more but it took a while to get situated and we had to do our laundry in the tub. We spent a few hours scrubbing clothes and hanging them around the room. We types a little but then headed downstairs. We got a few things from the gift shop and had dinner in the hotel restaurant. I had a margarita pizza and a pina colada. Wally had a curry dish, rice, and a Long Island. Our dinner was $22.50. Yep, Cambodia is cheaper then Thailand. Hells yes! They ended up messing up my order and brought me out some snacks until my food was done.

Tomorrow is Angkor Wat, we packed our bags, and bug sprayed our clothes (thanks B and Greg) and headed to bed.

PS I want to apologize for falling behind on the blog, it was hard when we were so busy or going on in Thailand. We will be caught up soon.

Day 240:Leaving Phuket 6/10/2016

Wally

Breakfast/Thai Massage

We enjoyed breakfast just down the street for us. Nothing all that special really, but afterwards we went to get massages. We didn’t have enough Bhatt’s left over for both Syd and I to get a message so she conceded at let me have this one since she had an extra one in Bangkok. I opted for the Thai massage obviously. I got to say this, if you’re not ready to get the shit kicked out of you don’t choose to get the Thai massage. My lady was beating me up and crawling all up and down my body. I felt her knees and elbows dig into my muscles as she worked out knots I didn’t know I had. However painful it may have been I ended up falling asleep at some point.

Flight in. Banana Bread

The flight back to Bangkok was smooth and the food was pretty good. Syd really like the bananas bread and I gave her mine. She then asked for Greg’s from across the aisle and some people saw that and banana bread kept on coming. In total Syd got 6 more from people.

Novatel

The hotel Syd chose was great. They constantly have shuttles running from the airport to the hotel, which is only a 5-10 min drive away. When we got there to check in there was a bit of confusion. Syd had booked this place for 4 people, but when we got there they said we only booked for 2. The room we had, had 2 full beds, so we kept arguing for 4 people. The receptionist kept saying that the maximum occupancy is for 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 kids. I understand that rules are rules and there are policies in place for a reason, but this is one of those times you use some common fucking sense and let 4 people into a room that they’ll be staying in for less than 12 hours. Either way we just told them that G&B will be going to another hotel and we just snuck them up later.

Syd

Wally and I woke up to start the packing process it is so sad to be leaving but it is a great vacation and I cannot wait to see where we will go next as a group. Ky and Matt had to be out pretty early so we all said our goodbyes and they were off on their next adventure.

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The four of us went to breakfast and I had the crispiest of shredded hash browns! OMG they were good. We walked around and found some Thai tea (best we had while in Thailand) and everyone got massages. I did not want to convert more money so Wally got one and I played on my phone. Halfway through I split my Thai tea and I was so mad!!! Ugh, I had barely drank it. Everyone finished up and we walked back to the apartment to get our stuff. We had a taxi coming to get us and while B and greg were in the pool the guy came earlier. So they dried off and we were off to the airport. The drive was making me sick so I fell asleep pretty much the entire way to the airport. We got in and checked our bags in. I registered all of us as members for Bangkok Airways so we were able to fly with more baggage allowance. We got to our gate and Bianca went in search of a magnet. She came back with one and it was really cute. B and Greg got some food while we waited and then her and I found another magnet she wanted. She wanted to exchange them but when she grabbed one of them off the wall it broke and she had to pay for it. Now she has 2 magnets.

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**This whole time, every time we traveled Greg wore my floppy hats and he looked so adorable. His nickname is Big Flopper. I will be making a hat for next Coachella for him.

As we waited to board we found out the plane was about 20 minutes delayed, no worries, we had a beautiful sunset to keep us company.

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As Wally mentioned the banana bread was great and I got so many. Also, of course the woman sitting next to us on the plane was Chinese and I got to talk to her for a few minutes and practice my Mandarin.

We stayed at the Novotel, a hotel attached to the airport. It was much nicer than I expected. After we got checked in and the confusion was over we all had one last drink in the hotel bar. It was nice to relax and enjoy their company a little longer. We all headed up stairs to shower and sleep. Time to say goodbye tomorrow. 😥