So as an update although minor but a victory for me and my slow vagabonding, I received back my passport this morning from my incredible and friendly travel agent. She promised about 10 days and it came in on the 9th day. The passport now has two visas in it from Cambodia. One is the normal 30 day visa which lets me stay until 16 October. The second is the extension of stay for retirement which lets me stay until 16 October 2019. So I get an actual year and its not dated from the date they issued but from the date the 30 day visa runs out.
This is a big thing for me since its the second part of the plan I started defining in California over a year ago in some writing and notes. I knew what would work even then although I had never set foot in Cambodia. Their visa laws are rather simple and easy to understand. The one extension of stay that I wanted was called the ER visa which is for 1 year and multiple entries. It means I can enter and leave as I want over the next year. Cambodia can be my home base and then next September I can renew the extension of stay again and get another.
Next September I will be back here in Phnom Penh to renew again but then I leave for 3 months to Vietnam. I plan on spending September through December in Vietnam with friends next year. Its hard looking forward that far but I think India will be coming in 2020 and I want the 6 month tourist visa there so I can travel slowly up and down the country. I also want to get back to Japan and do a longer trip from north to south on the Shinkansen. Who knows how all this lines up?
The real thing I needed to give me some security was the retirement visa here in Cambodia so I could always return from travels and have a home to center activities from. I also found this hotel which now I will stay in all the time since they treat me really well. Its away from some of the bar and river districts and I like it better.
The other thing that the extension of stay does is let me get the other 3 cities in starting in two weeks to Sihanoukville and then on to Siem Reap and Battambang and then back to Phnom Penh in January. It also opens up the trip I have already got set for air travel and connecting buses to Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. This one annual visa opens it all up for me. Yay!
Tonight I may do Cambodian BBQ again at this place down the street or spicy noodles at this Korean place. I do know that getting this done removes the last little bit of the unknown and I can focus now on just enjoying the next year of slow vagabonding in a variety of places. I still don’t know what I will do for the last 60 days in Malaysia. I will have spent 30 days in Kuala Lumpur but since the entry visa is 90 days I plan on spending all of it there. There are trains an ferry boats and places to see in Malaysia!
Now I feel that Cambodia is my home and I can settle in and relax for the upcoming slow vagabonding. Too cool!