Tuk-Tuk? NO. Now now, not later, not EVER. Go away. (Phnom Penh to Siem Reap to Bangkok)

Long title, I know. Sorry, not sorry.

When we left off, Ellen and I had just reached Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. We disembarked from the boat and were immediately met with a swarm of drivers. In Cambodia, the predominant form of tourist transport is a tuk-tuk, which roughly translates to “extremely annoying driver of a box attached to a motorbike. Tuk Tuk drivers are, to put it mildly, everywhere and insanely irritating. No matter where you are or where you go, there’s sure to be a gang of tuk tuk drivers hanging out outside, just waiting to pounce on you as you exit. (“Tuk tuk? You need tuk tuk ride?” NO I HAVE TWO LEGS, LEAVE ME ALONE.) One of the highlights of this trip has been the relative non-pushiness of the people in the tourism business here; tuk tuk drivers were the notable exception.

(“Tuk-tuk?” I JUST GOT OUT OF ONE YOU MORON.) Continue reading

WAS to EWR to NRT to HKG to.. ah, I lost track

After a whirlwind many hours, my traveling companion Ellen and I are in Saigon. And, as luck would have it, leaving tomorrow after two nights here. We made it to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC – same thing as Saigon; Ho Chi Minh is kind of a big deal here) with only two hitches.

1. Our relatively insane flight schedule took us from Washington to Newark to Tokyo to Hong Kong to HCMC. The final three flights – Newark to Ho Chi Minh – were nominally the same flight number on the same airline, though we had to disembark at each stop. Because we booked our tickets late by international travel standards, our seats were originally apart, and after some wrangling we got seated together (Ellen slept for the vast majority of the trip, so this turned out to be a nonfactor anyway). The unintended consequence of this was we only got 1 boarding pass for the double leg of Tokyo to Hong Kong to Saigon. Upon re-boarding our flight in Tokyo, they tore our ticket stub. Continue reading