|From Jamie's Philippines Pics|
We have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bali. We have archived all of our travels and living experiences abroad; and if you wish, you can read about our adventures by finding the archives on the right of this page and by checking our Photo Album.
We appreciate all of our family and friends who have stayed in touch and emailed us with encouraging words throughout the year. We hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts as we continue our adventure of living abroad teaching at an international school. For those who have stumbled upon our site, check out the "About Eric and Jamie" section on the right for more information.
Thanks for checking us out!
- Mark Twain
- Maya Angelou
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Cambodian Trip - Day #1
First of all, we've officially fallen in love with a new airline - Emirates. We were sitting in regular economy class (of course) and can't even imagine the luxuries that the business and first class passengers receive. We were first treated a hot towel before taking off. We then noticed that every seat has a small television on the headrest in the seat in front of you. No big deal because there are some US airlines which have those too. BUT, these offer a full menu of over 400 movies, television shows, and games which you can control with the half sky phone/half remote control. I played a little backgammon and some mini golf before watching some of the movie Iron Man. Jamie watched Friends episodes the whole trip. All of this is free with more leg room and the food was really tasty as far as airline food standards are concerned.
We took the Emirate flight out of Hong Kong on Friday evening at 10:30 and arrived just after 1:00 am in Bangkok, Thailand. Our flight for Phnom Penh, Cambodia was not scheduled to leave until 7:40 am on Saturday, so we have plenty of time to relax. Have you ever tried to relax in an airport? Impossible. We did, however, find the lounge area for Bangkok Airlines and we were able to find some couches to sleep in until about 6:00 am.
Our flight to Phnom Penh was not spectacular, but the breakfast was tasty. We filled out our forms for customs, visa application, and arrival card. The visa for Cambodia is only $20. You are supposed to have a passport size pictures, but they will wave that for $1. I did have my picture taken by some webcam. Jamie didn't. The driver of our guesthouse was waiting for us outside and quickly drove us to our guesthouse, Frangipani Villa.
We couldn't check in yet, so we decided to walk around the city for a while. I'm posted some pictures in a slideshow entitled "Cambodia 2008 - Eric" and Cambodia 2008 - Jamie." We both have cameras and it is just easier to upload from 2 different ones. Feel free to browse them and let me know if you have questions. I'm not sure I'll be able to place a caption on all of them. Not sure I'll place a caption on any of them right now. Nonetheless, enjoy the photos.
We walked around Independence Monument and then up by some shops near the Royal Palace. We couldn't get into the Royal Palace until the afternoon, so we decided to go to the Cambodian National Museum instead. It was nice and you could read more about it by searching than I could ever type here explaining it. I have taken several photos you can view below. Jamie has also taken some from her camera.
Driving in Phnom Penh. While it is a general rule that you drive on the right side of the road, this is just simply a "guideline." Phnom Penh drivers make Chinese drivers look like Drivers' Eductaion instructors. There is no public transportation, so just about everyone drives a motorcycle. Tourists are guided around by carraiges pulled by motorcycles. These are called "tuk tuks," and they are very useful. We have had some problems so far the drivers not being able to find our guesthouse, but they are all friendly. A tuk tuk ride across the city can be exciting as you will find yourself going the wrong way down one way streets, going down the wrong side of the road, making U-turns in the middle of traffic, and nearly getting nailed by larger vehicles at just about every turn. We were going to rent bicycles from our guesthouse, but riding them in this city would be a deathwish.
We rested in the afternoon and went to Khmer Surin for dinner. Jamie had a traditional Thai/Cambodian fish plate and I had pineapple chicken fried rice. We had "banana soup" for dessert which consisted of cooked bananas with sugar and coconut juice - yummy!
We have free internet here at our guesthouse which is good for posting these and emailing. We were going to watch the UT and UGA games, but the Slingbox is working really, really slow here. We might actually have to miss a game. Not to fear, we have them recorded and we can always watch them when we return back home or this week if we have a faster internet connection in Siem Reap.
One of the cooler pictures we took today is of the 5 different currencies we've used in the last 24 hours - Chinese RMB, Hong Kong dollar, Thai Baht, American dollar, and Cambodian Riel. Cambodia for the most part takes American dollars which has been odd for us considering we haven't used US dollars since we left Atlanta on July 30.
Long post I know, but it has been a busy day. Our plan tomorrow is to go the Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields as well as the Royal Palace for a tour. We leave Monday to go to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat.
Hope I haven't forgotten anything. Let me know if you have any questions or you can just leave a comment below.
Thanks for reading!!!