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PIECE OF CAKE, PEACE OF MIND

Exploring, creating, & reflecting one day at a time

First off: I’ve given up on finding an SD reader because my camera is non-functioning and it just doesn’t seem worth it. Also, this means that I have much less motivation to write, as I’m sure you have much less motivation to read these posts. So they will be continuing to come at this slow frequency.

Onward: I believe I left off in Patong, our second time around. We already gathered Alan on the ferry in Phi Phi, bringing our group to what we thought would be its largest capacity: 6 people. Silly us.

The four travelers willing to pay for a flight headed to Bangkok quite early (early enough to learn that McDonald’s doesn’t start serving breakfast until 7AM…???). The other two, Marc and Tom arrived a day later after taking an 18 hour bus ride to Bangkok. We stayed at NapPark hostel in Khao San which was quite the doozy of a party hostel and included the most rambunctious group of Brits we’ve encountered this far. Let’s just say we were auditory witnesses to a poor girl being urinated on at 6 AM. (And that I found my bed used by somebody else, one of my worst nightmares)

In Bangkok we met up with Jen who had messaged us asking about our whereabouts. She ended up sticking with us, bringing our group to 7. We also met a handful of Berkeley alums at the hostel, meaning Cal was well represented.

On our first night in BKK I saw a familiar face on the street. I had known that Faryar was going to be in SE Asia but we had previously established that we wouldn’t cross paths. Whoops. She and her friend Ryan brought the total to 9. 8 of us used the second day to watch World War Z in 4D which was great and terrifying. We ran into a large organized protest outside the mall/theater afterward, complete with what looked like thousands of Guy Faulkes masks. So we were late to the trip we had previously set up with a travel agent to see a floating market. We ended up getting ripped off completely by the tour company in an apparently well practiced scam where we were driven to the middle of nowhere and forced to pay for a boat ride we didn’t want. The kicker? We didn’t stop at the market, which is where we wanted to go in the first place, leaving me with a growling stomach on the 1.5 hour car ride back to the city. I ate 2 bowls of soup noodles from street vendors and a cup of homemade ice cream for a total of about $4. I love Asia (most of the time).

The rest of Bangkok was spent looking at temples and eating food, mostly, until we took an 8 hour bus ride across the Thai/Cambodian border to Siem Reap. Some of us were lucky enough to be set up at a gorgeous hotel by Eric’s parents, so we split in two groups upon realizing we wouldn’t be able to sneak extra people into our rooms. We reconvened for dinner and meet up with yet another Berkeley friend! Yay! And we saw some girls walking on the main street wearing Cal jerseys but didn’t care enough to follow them and talk to them.

We spent the next day visit the temples of Siem Reap, including the incredible Angkor Wat. Beeeeautiful!

The next day we got pampered with manicures and pedicures ($3 each) before it was time for Annie to part from us. It’s crazy because this signaled there is just about two weeks left for the rest of us. Four weeks really flew by. It also reminded me that I should keep posting because the days are getting so muddled at this point and it’s hard to keep track of everything we’ve done/seen/eaten/visited. Because that is a lot of stuff. A lot.

Anyway, Eric, Alan, and I left Marc, Tom, and Jen in Siem Reap last night and had 4:45 AM room service before flying to our current location of Hanoi. We’ve already eaten pho while sitting on child sized plastic furniture and ordered suits/dresses to be tailored, which were our major priorities. The rest of our time in Vietnam will be split among Hanoi, Ha Long, and eating food.

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