I decided last night to find a pair of sandals so I could give my Merrill Moab Ventilators a break and try to get them to last over a year. They are really good shoes for walking but hard to get here or I should say impossible to get here. So off I went yesterday to the Russian Market and saw some sandals. Then went to Central Market and saw more sandals. I decided to do a bit of research online last night and I found sandals in Singapore for over $100. Well. No. I also found some in a sport shop here for $40. I decided to get those if I could not find some today in the Central Market. So back today to the huge and sprawling Central Market and I found a pair of Cat Sandals that look pretty sturdy.
The main goal was not to find the most expensive or durable or beautiful pair of sandals but to find some that would last the year or most of it through some walking trips in several places. I am hopeful that these give me that flexibility! The stall owner started at $40 and we ended at $30 which seems reasonable. I only half-heartedly negotiate most times and will try taking about 30% off. He readily agreed so off I went to find the next thing I needed.
The next thing are cheap socks. I managed to lose a sock in the laundry so found the stall that sells comparable socks for $2 a pair. No negotiation there. I don’t really feel like offering $1 and then haggling for the pennies after that.
Now thanks to the Central Market here I found the stuff I wanted and usually when I shop in either the Russian or Central Market I always feel like things are pretty well priced. T-shirts here fit me so I can get a cheap shirt that says Cambodia for $3. If I would buy 5 of them they would discount it down to $12. Pairs of “North Face” shorts can go starting at $10 but usually they will go down to $5. Underwear are about the same. You can get five pair for $3 a pair or $12 for all 5.
None of the stuff is meant to last forever but at this point I’ve replaced everything with cheap clothing from either Cambodia or Vietnam including my fake North Face Surge daypack which seems pretty sturdy and gets me through airline carry on easily. The only thing remaining is my Tortuga travel backpack which I would not replace unless it ripped out. Then I could probably find a replacement bag for about $50 if that. I always think the best place for those things is in the Ben Thanh market in Ho Chi Minh City or the stores around the north edge of the Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi.
If you come over to Vietnam or Cambodia for a longer term or even to live for some period of time, you can find just about everything you would need in the markets including clothing and shoes. The markets sometimes specialize in certain things like one will have kitchen utensils and less of something else. The Central Market in Phnom Penh seems to have it all but you have to be patient. Having an iced latte will help 🙂
Anyways, that was the story of finding some final things for the next 5 months. If T shirts are needed, pretty sure in Malaysia or Thailand I can get some replacements. I travel with sets of 5 of t shirts, underwear, and socks so I have enough stuff to last a week easily and then get laundry done each week somewhere. Its easy here to find a place that charges $1 for a KG.
Hard to believe in closing that its Wednesday here and I only have 4 more full days and then its off for 5 months of travel. I will spend my year anniversary on the road in Malaysia. One minor note is that I had bought sandals and had them shipped from the states but they disappeared after leaving Bangkok. No one seems to know where they went. It happens coming in here sometimes so you just learn to accept the things that happen and get on with living. Luckily I found these Cat Sandals.