When You Have Time To Spare
Travel by Air!
That's what Dad would say all the time. Especially when he got hit with delays, etc. But in our jet-set society, it really is just a requirement. There's no way I could travel to even half of these countries without flying. I mean, it was hard enough to get approval for this much time off. If I had to rely on boats and busses to get around, I think I would have made it to the Bangkok, been there a couple of days, and then probably had to turn back around again. So it's an necessary evil. But one that allows me to explore lots of interesting and cool places. Plus secretly, I sort of like flying.
So the Siem Rep airport was actually nicer than the Phnom Penh airport. And you had to walk through the expansive duty free section before you could get to the gate. Damn you Disney and your gift shop at the end of every ride! My flight was on Thai Air Asia. And it was fine. It's one of the low cost airlines in Asia and it didn't have horrible reviews. Siem Rep to Bangkok. DMK (Don Mueang International Airport) is Bangkok's BWI. Now that may not be fair to BWI since I haven't been there in years, but DMK is where all of the low cost airlines fly out of and the airport is a little bit shabby. I originally had a 3+ hour layover. But due to the plane's late arrival, it was more like almost 5. But I sort of new that today was a wash from a travel perspective anyways. Oh, FYI, the monks get early boarding even if they aren't in first class. Which they probably never are anyways. But I think that's kind of cool.
Made it Yangon and breezed through immigration due to the visa I got back in DC before I left. Got my bag and caught a cab and headed into the city. Myanmar is one of those weird countries that's sort of in it's own time zone that's 30 minutes off from Bangkok. But I mananaged to set my iPhone and FitBit, so I'm good. The traffic into downtown wasn't horrible. Oddly enough though, it seem like the drivers actually use the lanes that are marked on the road. So that's new.
My hotel. Well after two posh boutique hotels, I'm back to a big tourist hotel. Okay, when I was doing my planning, Yangon was sort of a last minute add and I was a little bit anxious about coming here. So I decided to play it safe and go with a big tourist hotel. It's fine, really, but it's not like my last two hotels. I do think the air con is a little bit better though. My room is huge and I love the rainfall shower head. I guess my only complaint is that I want to know who thought a full length mirror in the shower was a good idea? It's not just my body dismorphia issues, the thing gets wet no matter what you do. So someone had to clean it every day! That's some poor planning and not helping with my body image issues.
Anyways, after cleaning up, I headed to a traditional Burmese restaurant called Danuphyu Daw Saw Yi for dinner. Located in what I would call a dive location, I was greeted warmly and then shown the dishes available that night. Fish, shrimp, beef, chick, curries, etc. I played safe and went with the beef. Plus an eggplant dish and another veggie dish as well. Plus it comes with rice (natch!) and a sort of collard greens type soup. The meal was actually pretty tasty and I had a ginormous beer as well. For 7000 kyat. Or $5. So not bad.
Tomorrow it's back to temple trekking!