Happy Monday friends! It seems a lot has happened in the past couple of days since I last checked in, so I need to catch up.
Tom and I finished our time in Japan. I was very sad to say goodbye as I truly loved every second we spent there. Two weeks gave us enough time to see a lot of the highlights but I could have easily spent more time there. In fact, if I were to pick a place I wanted to move in the world, Japan would rank high on the list.
We were very fortunate that we got a chance to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom. I was getting pretty worried that we would leave disappointed but mother nature came through for us and it was glorious! If we had started our trip about a week later, we would have had perfect timing to see the blossoms in more of the cities we visited, but I felt satisfied and left with no regrets. Well, maybe one regret….
On the way to the airport, sitting on the monorail we heard an announcement telling you which terminal to get off for your airline. We didn’t hear the full announcement so we put our flight into Google to find out which stop was ours, only to see that our flight was to depart out of the Narita airport and we were currently bound for the Haneda airport. These two airports are 60km, about an hour and fifteen minutes via transport apart. A few choice words were said and then we went into action mode trying to figure out how we could get back to the other airport and if we had any hope of making our flight.
We got to Narita about 30 minutes before our flight was departing and thanks to the amazing staff of ANA, we made it. They checked us in, (and even let us check our bags…which arrived!), and then literally ran us through the entire airport, skipped us to the front of security and ran us to our gate. We made it with not a moment to spare. It was probably the hardest workout I’ve had in a while. I always roll my eyes at the people I see running through the airport, I think just get there on time. I will now have more empathy for them.
We arrived in Ho Chi Minh city and to be honest, it wasn’t my kind of city. The traffic is absolutely insane. There are scooters everywhere and they barely follow the rules of the road. Trying to cross the street is quite an adrenaline rush as crosswalks are basically there to just mock tourists who stand at them and think someone would stop for them.
The other problem with the city is theft. Pick pockets and “motorcycle cowboys” who steal your purse, camera, iphone, etc. as they drive by are very common. Unmarked cabs are also known to take people into back alleys to rob them. Suffice to say between all the traffic, constant honking noise and fear of being robbed, I felt on edge.
By the end of the first day, I needed a beer stat! As Tom and I sat drinking our beer, we were scrolling through Instagram and saw these amazing pictures of beaches in Cambodia. I had already heard a lot about the beaches of Cambodia but it wasn’t in our plans to visit. Maybe it was the beer or maybe it was the feeling of wanting to be anywhere but in that city, but we began plans to change our itinerary.
Instead of going counterclockwise around Indochina, we are going to go clockwise and we will be spending probably two weeks in Cambodia and reducing our time elsewhere, likely Thailand. That’s the great thing about long term travel, you can change your plans at anytime. We are literally only planning our itinerary a few days in advance so we have the flexibility to leave a place we don’t like and stay longer at a place we do like.
Have you ever travelled to a place you disliked? Have you ever made a big travel mistake?