January 2, 2016
Woke up around 8am. The clothes I washed in the tub last night where still not dry. We packed up and got ready to say goodbye to Thailand. Phuket and Bangkok were like night and day. Like paradise meets New York City. Mary laughed about the fact that she got a B for Bangkok tattooed on her foot and we never really even saw Bangkok. We ate breakfast downstairs and called a van to pick us up.
Amy wanted to see the grand palace before we headed to the airport but securing a van large enough to fit 6 people, and like ten bags, was proving to be a challenge. It took longer than expected to get a car so by the time we were all loaded up we were already running late.
When we got to the palace, which was not anywhere near the airport, there was hardly enough time to get out of the van and take a photo, let alone go inside. We ran along side our van as it kept rolling through traffic, trying to get a view of the palace over the high white wall but with little luck. After running around the block trying to keep the van in sight we hopped back in and headed for the airport. It was a minor struggle getting six people through airport security, not to mention the duty free shopping, starbucks and the bathrooms. Eventually we got to our gate. That's when Adam realized he had lost his boarding pass. He went back to look for it but couldn't find it anywhere, luckily we were all eventually able to board the plane using an electronic version Amy pulled up on her phone.
The flight to Cambodia seemed exceptionally short, especially given that we were crossing country lines. The scenery however was polar opposite. Flying out of Bangkok was like leaving the vastest cityscape of overcrowding and smog, while seemingly just a few miles later in Cambodia we saw endless, vibrant, green jungle. The heat was also noticeable as soon as we stepped off the plane, out of the shade of skyscrapers where we were exposed to the elements. It was probably 90 degrees Fahrenheit. I had no cell service in Cambodia so I wasn’t able to check for sure.
We got a great driver on the way to our hotel from the airport. He spoke clearly in English and was extremely personable. He had other characteristics we noticed in most of the local people, for one, he was absolutely NOT running on “island time”. He greeted us then promptly ran off to get our car. Not walked quickly, not jogged, but ran. Mary even joked, "We didn't give him the money yet did we?" The service is incredibly fast here, I’m assuming because tourism is probably the largest commodity thanks to Angkor Wat. This was a welcome change since Egypt and Thailand tended to always run on island time.
Our hotel was nice, Amy and Michael had one room while Lee, Adam, Mary and I had the other. Unfortunately, the room only had one full and one twin sized bed so I once again assumed my position on the couch. After dropping our bags in the room we got two tuck-tuks to take us to the entrance gates of Angkor Wat. Here we had our pictures taken to display on our three-day temple passes. When we got back to the hotel we all piled into Amy and Michael’s room. They made us drinks with the alcohol Amy had purchased in the duty free section of the airport in an effort to spend the rest of her Thai Baht instead of having to convert it. After drinks we headed down for the buffet style dinner in the hotel. It was just all right but at least there where a lot of options. After dinner we went back to our rooms where we watched the second Hunger Games movie before falling asleep.