Monday, 2 September 2013

My first 3 months are nearly up and are quite a blur, it seems to have gone by so fast, but having a local girlfriend has been a great experience and has opened up many other avenues to learn more about the country, it’s people, the culture and the language.  We are both teaching each other our native language plus learning about our very different ways, cultures and lifestyle’s and this just adds to the unique nature of the relationship and my trip. 

 Her dad is a monk and I visit the temples on occasion with Mon and participate in the whole experience, I am definitely not religious in the slightest but these visits are somehow soothing and bring a feeling of inner peace.

On the 26th October  2012 it is time to head to Cambodia for a month, Mon has to work and I will be going solo.  It is a sad departure but I will return in a month, where she will be able to take time off work and we can start to see more of beautiful Thailand.  

My things are packed again after being settled for so long and I am off to Bangkok by car to fly over to Phnom Penh.  Now that I am more experienced, I take a minivan for $4 to Bangkok.  I fly with AirAsia, which ends up becoming my airline of choice over the next year or so.

The flight and customs are uneventful but when I land my phone has crapped out and I can’t get the screen working, something I have only just had replaced not long ago.  This is trouble as it contains my hotel details which I normally just forward to my phone so I have the name and address handy when I arrive somewhere new. 

To make it worse I booked it in a rush and  after quite a few whiskey’s and am struggling to even remember the name of the place while the taxi takes me closer to the river front where I will be staying.  Nobody seems to have heard of the Lyon hotel (I pronounce it Lion) and after navigating through some of the most chaotic traffic I have seen, we finally find somewhere with internet so I can check my hotel details.

This has to be the oldest, slowest, crappiest computer I have used since I was 10 and it takes forever just to load a page, what should have been a 5 minute process turns into nearly half an hour.  I finally bring up my details through the Agoda website, which I use all the time and is a great way to book discounted hotels, as you also accrue points that convert to dollars that can be used to pay for rooms later. 

 I show the driver and everybody (as this has now become somewhat of a circus) exclaims ‘Oh,  Lyon D’or   yes we know’.   How silly of me not throw a French accent onto it??!!   You would have thought that Lyon (lion) hotel would have rung a bell, I even spelt it for them?!  As it turns out, the place is about 60 meters down the road, you can see it from where we are,  WTF?!   Anyway, all part of travelling in Asia and I am now checking in.

It’s a decent little place, less than $15 a night with all the things I deem ‘necessary' if the budget allows- fridge, wifi, AC, hot water and having satellite cable tv is an added bonus.  There is great restaurant downstairs plus bar and I have river views from the balcony. 

  There are plenty of eating and drinking choices nearby along the riverfront and a large open recreational area across the road, along the river for relaxing in.  They have massive group exercising to music there most days in the early evening from what I saw, kind of strange i thought. 

It has a few negative reviews, but I though it was ok

view from the balcony, the mighty Mekong