I’ve always said that this blog was more of a personal journal than anything that could be monetized. Sure there may be information on it that may help fellow travelers but, really, it’s just for me, my friends and family to read.
So, with that in mind – if you thought yesterday’s blog was a little too “journal” type then you won’t be loving this blog either…
After I published my blog last night a couple of people got a hold of me. My friends Matt and Mark both gave me virtually the same advice.
Get the hell out of Laos – go lie on a beach in Sihanoukville and recharge.
Sihanoukville is on the west coast of Cambodia and I had planned to go there but that was more than a month away as first I had to get through a whole lot of Laos and Cambodia.Matt lived in Cambodia for a few years so he would know all about it. In fact he even knew how to get there asap telling me about a daily flight that left from here in Luang Prabang to Siem Reap and then another one to Sihanoukville.
I wasn’t completely sold on just giving up on Laos. After all I had only been here 3 days and I had to endure a 14 hour bus ride to get here. Plus a $43 visa. And I just bought a sim card and loaded it up.
Ironically an adventure with the sim card pushed me to a decision…
Even though I had done everything right and followed all the steps I still wasn’t getting any data on my phone which is really the only reason I bought the sim card in the first place.
I asked the guy at the front desk if there was a Unitel store in town hoping that there was an actual building and not just one of many Unitel “dealers” in a shack down the street.
He said there was and gave me directions to get there.
I rented a bike and was on my way. I rode down to a main street and didn’t find a Unitel store per se but did see a mobile phone store.
Good enough I figured.
I walked in and asked the girl at the counter if she spoke any English. She shook her head no and I tried showing her a text message Unitel had sent me saying I had actually purchased the data plan. She was just no help so I asked if anyone there spoke English and she just gave me a look of disdain and left me to just stand at the counter like an idiot.
Hatred for Laos growing…
I hopped back on my bike and actually gave her the finger. That’s how pissed off I was.
I rode down the street to another place selling phones. I walked in and waited at the counter.
Well, we all know how this is all ending up.
After a ride around town I rode back to the hostel and was determined to get the hell out of Laos asap.
The flight to Siem Reap leaves at 3pm every day at a cost of $150. I went online to see if I could book for this afternoon but that flight was sold out and the other options were pretty much double the price.
I did, however, book the flight for tomorrow.
So, ironically, the exasperation of trying to get the data working on my phone which pushed me to my decision to leave Laos is now moot as I’ll be in Cambodia this time tomorrow and won’t actually need the Lao sim card.
With that, I literally checked out mentally. I just wanted to get through the day. I didn’t want to talk to anyone or see or do anything.
I spent most of the day just watching movies on my laptop.
At 8pm I went out to get some dinner – sweet and sour chicken – and then came straight back to the hostel.
And that was it, that was my spectacular day.
To say this trip has hit a major speed bump would be an understatement. I think in hindsight travelling alone for an extended period of time wasn’t the best decision.
But, here I am. I’m going to try to tough it out (a completely and utterly ridiculous thing to say about a vacation) and see what Cambodia has in store for me.