The Dawning of Eight Months on the Road — Amazing!

Today I went to the Aeon Mall again because it was raining in the early afternoon when I finally decided to leave the hotel. I wandered the mall for a few hours after partaking of some Krispy Kreme donuts. I have not had those donuts since leaving the states about 7 or 8 months ago. In fact, today I celebrate the 8th month of this slow wandering I am doing. If you don’t know, I changed countries and left Vietnam about two weeks ago after six glorious months there. Cambodia has been really good to me and each day I design a thing or things to do to make it better. Phnom Penh is kind of a whirling dervish city. Traffic and people are going non stop but its not anywhere near the focus point of Ho Chi Minh City nor does it have the traffic or population densities.

To get along in Phnom Penh is a bit easier since they use US dollars primarily. No messy exchange rates except when you get change back in Riel. Then you have to pay attention. I’ve gotten change back in combinations of Riel and USD so I have gotten better at the 4k to 1$USD rate to try to see if things are good. Honestly though, when you pay abut $.50 cents for a beer and about $2.00 for a dinner if I was short changed $0.35 I probably would not notice or care.

I also have reached my half way point on this trip to Phnom Penh. In two weeks I leave for my next destination which is a beach city which sounds interesting. I’ll be there as usual for a month and then on to Siem Reap for a month and then Battambang for a month and then back here. I have about a week here in January to get a haircut, get laundry done, and prepare for 5 months on the road to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. I still have to figure out what I will do in Malaysia after my first 30 days :-). I expect something or other will come up. I may meet a friend from Vietnam there. Not sure. Then I get back in June and initially I was leaving for Vietnam for a month but its changed and now I will come back to Phnom Penh for a few weeks and get a Chinese tourist visa and leave for China in July and return in August. Then a bit of a wait and I can get the retirement visa renewed and then leave for Vietnam for 3 months. I decided to go longer so I can go back to a few places I like there and see new places. That will get me through next year and I’ll spend the holidays in Vietnam with friends either in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.

So there you have it! I’m entering the 8th month of this little trip and all things are really good. I’ve looked back a few times at a retrospective type thing over coffee or beers. Nothing really negative stands out. I kinda wish I could retire and have Vietnam as a home base but Cambodia is much easier given the visa types and extensions they have. The retirement visa extension is due back tomorrow or Wednesday and I will have a year then here in Cambodia. Multiple entries and exits and all. I found a home here at the Hotel LaLune and I’m happy with the prices and what I get value wise. I have a good next year planned out for the slow travel I like doing. I guess I will increase the country count by a few next year but I am not really counting.

I’ll be writing the next entry on retirement this week and posting it as well.