43 Samui to Siem Riep

  
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I have been up since about one am. Having drank so many beers starting so early yesterday made me sleepy. I tried to stay awake as long as I could but to no avail. I actually didn’t mind waking up so early. It gave me a chance to have a couple of showers and capture the sunrise as it was happening over the ocean. There is something mystical about watching that orb rise up from beneath the horizon. 

  
When I woke up I had a bit of a session and then I decided to get something to eat. There are really only two choices both of them are fast food chains. I went with the first one that came up along the road. Having a little bit of food even though it wasn’t breakfast food made a difference in my preparation to leave. The streets are empty save for stragglers from the bars and ladyboys returning home from an unsuccessful night. One of them stopped and looked at me before scooting away. I stocked up on essentials at the Family Mart. I’ve been drinking a lot of fluid and water to hydrate myself. Beads of sweat start forming even at this early hour. The temperature higher than is normally seen in London at the height of summer. 

  
The birds sang their songs accompanying me on my morning journey through space and time. My packing method keeps improving the same volume keeps getting packed into a smaller space. Some new physics are at work and all the stuff inside is clean and dry. There was also time to connect with my folks and squeeze in a quick work out. 

  
The hotel has easy access to the beach. Setting up takes less and less time as I become more proficient. The biggest decision came when I had to decide where I thought the sunrise would happen. I have a wide enough angle to be able to encompass the whole scene. 

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Minion the ferry now. It’s the biggest one I’ve been on here. The capacity is about 621 people plus the cars that also come along for the ride. Just before the ferry terminal I was switched from the minibus to the big bus. I got a card and a ticket at the terminal I’ve noticed that they like to heard the people as much as possible. It makes for better management of resources. I don’t like the waiting but what can I do? There is plenty of time to get to the airport. We haven’t started moving yet. I hope it’s soon. 

  
The morning scene that played itself out during the sunrise keeps coming back to mind. There was an Asian couple dressed in white taking photos on the beach. The lady was the main subject in the photos. The flash told me that the guy wasn’t setting up his exposure right. She was able to hold still for prolonged periods starring out into the horizon. Her form accentuated by her dress. They filmed scenes of them walking hand in hand up and down the beach. During one of those takes he picked her up and she yelped a little bit and it turned into a laugh as he spun her around. Me and the older man sitting not too far from me watching the sunrise smiled and then laughed as we both watched them perform this act. There were others on the beach as well couples and singletons all enjoying the peace that exists at this time of the day. 

  
One woman stared out into the distance and after a while she entered the water. She assumed different poses as she oriented herself to the sun. It was a ritualistic greeting she performed. The freedom to express herself sensually in the water drew my attention. The colors of the sky kept changing as the orb rose through the clouds in the distance. What a wonderful sight to experience firsthand. Activity increases with the height of its ascention. The attendants were setting up the mats on the wooden recliners. My butt felt the difference as the strain of time had an effect on my cheeks. A picture every thirty seconds to get ninety frames. I’ll display it at fifteen frames per second making the transition smooth. 

  
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I’m on the bus on my way to the airport. I’m forced to reimport the sunrise images from the SD card onto the iPad. Sometimes there is a glitch and stuff doesn’t get imported properly. I had to delete some photos off of the iPad to make room for the new set of images. I keep having to do this periodically as the iPad has a low amount of capacity in its memory bank. Sixteen gigs is really not enough. The thing has been performing well though. 

  
The ferry ride was surprisingly quick. They even had a canteen on it and got some kind of a meal in me to tide me over until the next time something tempts me to eat it. I sat there watching the people as I attempted to import my images.  The card that I used has a high capacity and it takes a while for all the images to load. I watched the kids playing with each other teasing and running around. The parents frantically running after the little ones so that they don’t attempt to climb down the stairs. 

  
There are always those who catch my attention that stand out from the crowd. The Thai guy with the dreads that kept going to the toilet all the time. A girl who was on the minibus with rose peach shorts. She walked by once taking a break from the air conditioned space on the boat. I tend to avoid those spaces on the boat much rather preferring the ocean breeze that wafts through the deck. The group of guys from India sitting behind me. They kept singing and talking loudly. I kept wondering if they were drunk already. It’s much too early for that but then again who am I to talk. As we were firm barking the ferry one of them kept gawking at the girl with the peach sorts. She was standing right behind them with her friend and he turned around and kept looking her up and down. I don’t know how she felt but I was uncomfortable. She got out of the queue to get off  to go and use the toilet. When I herd them talking a bit between them they sounded like they were from some Scandinavian country. They looked the part too. They are on their way to Phuket. 

  
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They say that the devil is in the details or in this case the fine print. There is something very insidious when airlines don’t include one piece of checked in baggage under a certain weight as part of your ticket. It’s a dodgy practice. I was mass booking things and in my hurry to get everything done didn’t tick one box and now it cost me a little bit. So much for a cheap fare. It’s the last time I’m flying with AirAsia if I can help it. 

  
There was a large queue and I didn’t have access to the internet so I couldn’t check if it was included or not. It is also the last time I’m booking a flight through Expedia. They don’t do anything to help you out either. Some things are cheap on their site but others are much more expensive. I am beginning to have a bad taste in my mouth from the way this travel booking stuff works. Do the operators really make the most or do these “travel” sites take too much of a slice? It may be a case of not biting the hand that feeds you. I’m just getting some fresh air before passing through the security check. It’s a hot day out and things are moving slowly like a fly in molasses.  Six more hours and I should be touching down in Siem Reap. I can’t wait. 

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I’m at Don Mueang airport in Bangkok waiting for my flight to Siem Reap. Just finished changing some pounds over to U.S. dollars as that is the currency of choice in Cambodia. I essentially tried to sleep the whole way to here. The flight is only an hour long from Surat Thani. AirAsia is a budget airline so they sell everything they can onboard including drinks. It actually makes for an easier flight as they don’t necessarily pester you to buy something. I was sitting beside an older Asian couple. The man sitting by the window took a photo of a particularly attractive stewardess even though she saw him doing it and have him a motion to stop. He’s sitting there right beside his wife. It was kind of weird but whatever. Human nature I guess. 

  
For an aging airport this one isn’t too bad. I was one of a handful of people that was transferring to an international flight. They had the numbers wrong so we had to wait until the whole plane emptied before we could proceed to the next stage of our check in. The lights are starting to come on as it’s sunset time here in Thailand. I might get another snack and a coffee so that I can power nap again on the one hour flight to Siem Reap. I’ve been awake for a long time now. I wonder how bad my b.o. is. At this stage what does it matter everyone sweats here. 

  
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On the plane flying into Cambodia. I think we started our descent. Finished filling out the customs forms and the visa application. They need a photograph. I figure they should have the facility to have one taken there. 

  
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I grabbed someone else’s bag from the carousel. I checked into the hotel fine and got a wonderful reception. The hotel where we had to drop it off is really close. Now off to the airport to pick up mine. 

  
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I’m back at the hotel enjoying a nice cold Cambodian beer. I have my bag and my clothes. All of my earthly possessions that are immediate to me. It’s what I have to live out of for the next six weeks. I have to embellish my bag somehow to make it stand out. One of the guys from the hotel came with me on the tuk tuk ride to the airport. I kind of got an extra tour of the city because of this. Mind you it was a lot more enjoyable on the way back once I had my bag in my possession again. I guess the lack of sleep did affect me. 

  
I knew something was off when I noticed a fluid leak on it. Then there was no lock and I though did they break it to have a look inside? When I opened it and saw the arrangement of clothes inside it hit me. This is a girls bag and my stuff must be somewhere else. Luckily for me the staff here at the Golden Temple Villa are very nice and they immediately knew where to call. I had to run to the ATM to get some cash out. Everything here is priced in US$. I had to pay to go to the airport they figured out where to drop the girl’s bag off as well. Anyways, the crisis is averted. 

  
When I got to the hotel I was greeted nicely and was taken to the restaurant and was given a coupon for a 60 min massage and we discussed my plans for visiting the main attraction Ankor Wat. Tomorrow I will visit some of the other temples and the day after I will get a guided tour starting before sunrise of Ankor Wat itself. I can’t wait. What a day 😅😀.

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