+ Travel in a world of adventures
Read my full day to day blog of my first big overseas solo trip.
Day 92 7th March. It is sadly my last day in Cambodia and my 1 month has come to an end. It has definitely been a challenge but one that I’m happy I did. I decide to wake up early to get some packing done before my day really begins, however, I end up doing 2 minutes packing and 1 hour of talking to family in New Zealand as they are still awake. I am planning on leaving at 11:30 to get to the airport by 12:00 for my 2:00pm flight.
Boy was that a bad idea. The girls (Lullune, Rotana, Verity) and I walked over to the nearest cafe at about 10:30am. Had a lovely last drink, however, very rushed with the waiter taking 30 just to round up the bill at the end to pay for 2 drinks. This is when the patience I’ve learned from teaching comes in handy. By now we are extremely late I literally run back to the house, race upstairs, which again is not great when I still don’t feel that great and pack my last minute things and say goodbye to Vitou and all the people at the house before hoping into the tuk tuk which is already waiting outside.
This is Cambodia so there is a lot of traffic, meaning it take a while to get to the airport about 45 min which is meant to be a 20min drive. I arrive hoping I can still make my check in time. Say another sad quick goodbye to the girls who came with me and went through customs.
I decided to get a quick lunch before boarding - bad idea again. The massive sign up front said wait no longer than 10 mins for your food. I thought great, will have heaps of time, so I ordered just before 1 o'clock. After asking where my food was a couple of times it arrived at 1:30 and just as it was placed in front of me I hear my name on the speaker ... I try take one mouth full shove all my things in my carry on and get out my money to pay, I get to the till and they are like trying to add up what I got. It’s one thing - there was nothing to add ! In the end my name has now been called three times I just put the money on the counter and ran ! Yup I was that person you see running through the airport in a frazzle, my things dropping so having to gather them up in my hands. I arrive at my gate in the nick of time. They see me coming, ask if it’s my name and all I here them shouting down the boardwalk to the plane is CHOP CHOP CHOP which means stop in Khmer. I know I've only made it by the skin of my teeth ! I walk on the plane find my seat and sit down with relief that I made it. I am so confused though, on my boarding pass and everything that I have says that my flight was boarding at 2:00pm. I ran through the doors of the plane at 1:35 nearly 30min before boarding. I normally allow myself 30min prior to be at my gate waiting so even though my meal was late I at first couldn't believe I heard my name on the speakers. Anyway I made the flight and that’s the main thing.
Flight was good - it was fast with only being about 50min flying time. Arrived at in Vietnam and still had not processed that I was not in Cambodia anymore but in Vietnam in the space of less than an hour. Got to the airport went through customs and everything pop out of the airport. A woman was standing with a board that had my name on it which was exciting, got in a taxi and taken to my hotel in Ho Chin Minh city.
It was about a 35 min drive to get there which wasn’t bad. I arrived checked into my room and headed out to wander the streets and get a snack which is where I found a cute bakery that had amazing food and met a lovely Vietnamese girl who was telling me about the city and what are the best things to do.
I wandered back to the hotel just in time to meet my new group for Contiki, which is what I will be joining for the next 10 days here in Vietnam. The meeting was good. My team leader’s name is Tom is perfect for the job as he has a good attitude for life. The group and I meet downstairs for dinner at a fancy place which had fairy lights dripping from the trees and cute lights all in amongst the tables. It was a cook-your-own-meal which was unique, you order your food then it comes on the plate raw and you fry it on the grill which is in the middle if the table before eating it. We all walked back to the hotel, some went out for drinks. I decided not to as I was so sleepy and would not be much fun.
xx Kirsty Claire xx