Day 20: Back to Thailand

Today was another travel day! We flew out of Cambodia around 330 and got into Bangkok around 415, so we spent a lot of our day at the airport. The novelty of flying has definitely wore off, but it has allowed us to see many different places in a short amount of time, so we appreciate it.  We also haven’t had a flight over $100 in Asia which is the best part! The US should definitely look into this!

We had to say goodbye to our amazing resort this morning. We really savored the amazing breakfast, especially the eggs, and soaked in all of the views.  We have gotten really used to just leaving our towels on our chairs, our dishes on the table, and people getting us things whenever we need them this trip, so real life might be a little bit of a shock.

Our resort provided free airport transport, so we got to see our guide from yesterday again! The funny thing about Cambodia is that once we got to our resort, we never left it’s safety. The only times we left the resort were to go to Angor Wat and to the airport and were with someone from the resort both times.  We actually met an old lady on the train that told us before we got to Cambodia that we needed to be careful there because the people are very different than Thai people. We could tell that it was different immediately, so that is why we stayed within the safety of our resort the entire time. If it wasn’t as nice or as safe as it was, we probably would have taken the first flight back to Thailand. We didn’t even feel comfortable leaving to get food, so we skimped by on our remains of peanut butter and bread. Our poor driver excitedly told us to come back to his country when we get a chance and we just kind of laughed and gave each other a look. We will definitely never come back here and would not recommend it to anyone.

We had about an hour to kill before we could check-in to our flight, but we have gotten very good at entertaining ourselves at the airport. What did people do before they had all these fancy devices!? Books take up so much room in your suitcase!

Ironically, the Siem Reap airport was the nicest airport we have been to so far. It is brand new and is still being built in some places.  The rest of Cambodia that we saw was similar to Thailand, but worse. Garbage everywhere, crowded buildings, and lots of scooters. That is another reason we stayed at our resort the entire time- it really was an oasis.

Immigration and security were a breeze which was such a treat compared to what we had to go through to get into the country at the boarder. We have since learned that it is way easier to enter into a country via the airport, both for comfort and immigration’s sake. The extra money spent is worth it. Just picture trying to get to a resort in Mexico by driving across the boarder and then through the country versus just flying into Mexico.  In retrospect, it is a no brainier.

We were all so hungry because of our lack of food at the resort and not wanting to leave, so we went to Burger King at the airport. I honestly can’t remember the last time I ate something at a Burger King in the US, but it was so good. American food just hits the spot when you are hungry. Again, we struggle so much when it comes to international eating.

We met a few people from the US today and it was really fun to talk to them. After feeling uneasy in Cambodia, it was nice to feel a connection to home. One of the people we met was actually from Edina! The guy below is from San Francisco and embodies the long term traveler exactly with the beard, straggly hair, and varied clothing. He awkwardly saw us taking a photo of him playing guitar and then ended up sitting right next to us on the plane. We have seen so many travelers like him that we thought we should document it, so luckily he didn’t bring it up and we didn’t have to explain ourselves. He is four months into a year long travel stint, so he had some good safety tips for us in our last leg. That is an entirely different level of traveling!

We were so happy to be leaving Cambodia, but for some reason, we could not leave the country smoothly. There was a storm cloud coming in that we had to fly through, and the turbulence was so so bad. People were actually screaming! Beth, Paige, and I all got to sit together by chance, and were literally holding hands we were so scared. Even though we were terrified, we were just laughing at all of the crazy things we have had to go through on this trip.  We have definitely learned that humor is our coping mechanism through all of it. Luckily it died down after about 10 minutes, but we didn’t really relax until the plane was on the ground again. It was strangely comforting to hear that the grown men on our flight also thought we were going to crash and we weren’t just over reacting. We have six flights left until we get back to Minneapolis, and I think we will all be okay with staying on the ground for awhile.

As always, there were long lines at immigration, but we were so happy to be back in Thailand. Knowing that Randy is just a phone call away is very comforting, and we didn’t realize how much we appreciated it until we didn’t have that option in Cambodia. We had decided to stay at the hotel attached to the airport a couple months ago and were so happy that we didn’t have to get into a taxi and Bangkok’s “traffic jam”. We just got to walk through a skyway and were in our rooms 20 minutes after we got our bags from baggage claim! We also fly out early tomorrow morning to Krabi, so it will be nice to be able to just walk over to the terminal!

Since we are all out of peanut butter and bread, we had to find something to eat for dinner. We found out that there was a 7-11 a few blocks down the road and went to grab some food for our up-coming week at the beach.  There are 7-11s everywhere here. Pretty much on every block. They are a very large part of the government and the economy people can even pay things like parking tickets and such at 7-11! We decided to get some ramen again for dinner because we are trying to balance out our extra flight costs by spending as little as possible on food. I am not sure if it is even making a dent, but the ramen was good this time, too! There were also a few street vendors outside of 7-11, so we grabbed some sticky rice and corn-on-the-cob. It was hard to remember that we were in Bangok because it wasn’t very busy and seemed like a very local area, almost like Chiang Mai. It was crazy how fast we noticed the difference between Thailand and Cambodia. Here, nobody asked us to buy anything and didn’t even give us a second glance. We felt very safe walking the few blocks and the vendors we bought from were friendly. In Cambodia, we never would have even left in the first place! Your gut usually knows instantly! However, we saw rats again on our way back and remembered that we were in Bangkok. YUCK.

Paige’s expression is exactly what we all look like when we look at street food. “What is that?!” Lucky for us, our hotel had hot water ready and waiting, so we were able to fill up our cups and be on our way! I wonder if we are going to start eating ramen in the US now!?

We will be spending the next 5 nights in Krabi before flying back to Chiang Mai for a few hours the day we fly back to America. It is almost exactly a week until we will be back in Minneapolis! Even though we are very excited for what is in store for us down on the coast, we are very ready to be home, safe and sound in America. Luckily Randy has not deprived us of Dad jokes. We are so happy that we get to see him one last time!


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