Wednesday, August 8, 2012



I was sitting around Siem Reap.  The name means 'Siem Defeated'.  What a great name for your town.  Anyway, I decided it was time for me to get out of there.  After two weeks there was starting to feel pretty restless.  And five dollars would get me to the capital, Phnom Penh.

I've been to Phnom Penh two or three (I forget) times and I have a basic understanding of the city.  From the central market, you can either go south to some sort of tourist ghetto that many of the better known tourist guesthouses are or straight toward the river to get to the places I normally stay.

Naturally, I messed up when I got there - again - and was in the tourist ghetto.  Why anyone stays there is a mystery to me.  Not much going on there as far as restaurants, bars and other things tourists like.

I was going to go check into a new place but I was told that a room would open up at noon and to check back then.  Since it was eight in the morning, that gave me some time.  I got a shave and a haircut ($3) and then found out about the 'French pharmacy' that allegedly had 'everything'.

A half dozen other pharmacies were trying to convince me that one of the medicines I am on was the same as ibuprofen.  I had told them it wasn't but they still wanted to sell me...anything.  I tried carrying around the boxes of the medicines I was actually trying to get.  This worked better as it seemed to prove to the pharmacists that lo, they actually exist but still no luck.  A visit to the 'French Pharmacy' which I wasn't smart enough to get the business card to finally ended my hunt for the medicines.

And then I figured 'why stay'?  I've spent a lot (too much) time in Phnom Penh and it really didn't thrill me so I went to the bus station, bought a ticket and hired a tuk tuk to drive me to the hotel then return with me to the bus station ($2).

When I burst into the hotel, I grabbed five cigarettes out of the case and said "I want to make a gift of these cigarettes to you for keeping an eye on my stuff but I won't be able to stay tonight - I've been called to Kampot."  Remember, bribe before you need to.  Had I not done that, chances are good they might have demanded money for gear storage.  Even if they didn't, I figured it was the 'classy' thing to do.

Either way, a win.

So, I went to Kampot.  They said it was a four hour bus ride.  Naturally, that means a six hour bus ride.  I found out later that it is possible to get a shared taxi where you sit alone in the front seat for $10 and it takes two and a half hours.  As Adam points out though, I do have plenty of time.  I can't help but fantasize that for a bribe of a soft drink I could demand no music for the entire trip though.

It wears you down to watch these god awful Cambodian music videos.   They film people doing karaoke and line dancing and make a music video out of that.  Horrible dancing, horrible music.  I've never been tortured before but if I am, I pray they don't find out about my hatred of these sorts of videos.  I'm sure that they would put them on, loud.  I'd rather just hear the sounds of my own screaming and begging for death.  Really.

So, I got to Kampot and allowed myself to be persuaded by one of the annoying touts to go see a guesthouse.  It is called the 'Cozy Elephant'.  I'm not sure who would name their guesthouse thusly, but it has been done.

After I specified I was looking for a room for $10 per night, the Belgian owner said his was $12 per night and I wouldn't be able to get anything in Kampot for $10 per night.

I looked him dead center and said "Want to bet?"

So, I am staying at the Cozy Elephant, $10 per night.  It has hot water and air conditioning but no mini fridge.  In deference to the cost of electricity, the lighting is so dim that I am worried about going blind here.  Not cool. It does have a balcony.  No view to speak of but there is a place to smoke.

The neighborhood it is in is extremely poor.  We're talking corrugated metal roof type of poor.  But, it's away from the regular tourist area and - aside from the noisy packs of half wild constantly barking dogs allowed to flourish in poor countries - quiet.  I may stay for one or two nights.

The problem I ran into was when I was walking down the street, I said "Fuck, does this look familiar."

And it was.

You see, I am both an idiot and forgetful.  I am forgetful in that I forgot I have been here before.  I am an idiot for not checking my own blog to see if I've been here before.  Ah well.

After doing some research on other towns within Cambodia and seeing the prices of their rooms (alarming) I'm thinking stay here for a couple days then possibly go to a place called Koh Kong.  It looks like a small and possibly shitty border town that Thais go to for gambling.  Or I'll just go back to Siem Reap.  Not sure.

The big problem I have right now is that I need to burn time until the Georgians are ready for me in October and try to spend as little money as possible in the meantime.

Unfortunately, the only countries really cheap enough for hanging out in give me a choice of Thailand and Cambodia.

My possible plane route would go through Dubai (very expensive city) then to Istanbul.  Turkey is fairly expensive.  My plan is to basically bus through it unless I find very cheap airfare to Tbilisi.

So, I'm stuck in Asia.  If I wanted to stay longer than two weeks in Thailand (not sure if I want to) I'd need to buy the plane ticket to show 'proof of onward travel' when getting a visa.  Otherwise, I can just do a land border crossing in and get two weeks.  That will take me up to September.  Spend September in Cambodia and then head off for Georgia.

Who knows?  I may just buy the plane ticket if my research can turn up other cheap places to go hang out in Thailand.

Either way, I'm looking forward to getting out of SE Asia.  If the Georgians were ready for me, I'd go there tomorrow...  Well, as soon as I could procure a cheap ticket that is.


Basic Celsius for Americans.

Many Americans become confused about Celsius vs Fahrenheit.  They normally try to figure out the conversion from one to the other.  This is frustrating and time consuming.

May I instead submit this easy to follow chart:

0   You may freeze to death.
10  Oh my god is it cold.  Bundle up.  You may be in Canada, eh?
20  Comfort.
30  Really hot.  You will try to find air conditioning if possible and sweat if not.
40  You are in a desert.  Your camel may complain loudly.
50  You may melt and die.   Your camel is already dead.

That's how easy it really is.  These are not absolutes.  Some people will  say "Actually, I find 18 C is comfortable.  Just slap them.  These are general readings so that you have an idea what is up.

Chris will especially enjoy this.

Years ago, several people were sitting around the table during a table top RPG.  One of the people decided to make a disparaging remark about someone who was not there.  I can't remember the person's name so I will call them X.

The person said "X is book-smart, but not street-smart."

I asked the person if they knew where to go in downtown Chicago right then to buy a fully automatic weapon.  They said they didn't know so I said "I don't consider YOU to be 'street smart' either."

"Oh, like you do."  said the 'disparager'.

I smiled at the person as everyone else around the table assured the person that 'yes, I did'.

In a new update, I have recently learned which country to go buy an atomic bomb in.

I do have doubts if I could actually get it into the USA.  In a country where they have you take off your shoes to get x-rayed (the only one BTW), I'm thinking that I might have trouble getting that in.

Sure, I could claim it was for 'home defense'.  I guarantee that if it were set off there would be no living beings around alive to actually burgle my home.  But, I don't think they would like such a large 'kill radius'.


In both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap if you are paying over $10 (or possibly $12) per night you are either desperate, gullible, silly or living at a higher social standard than I.  For this amount of money, you should get air conditioning, hot water, wifi in your room and probably a mini-fridge.  If not, seek better lodging.

Beer cost:  Siem Reap has the cheapest beers at $.50 for a draft beer pretty much everywhere.  The 'happy hour' cost in both Phnom Penh and Kampot is $.75.  Not very happy by comparison.

Motorcycle ride - can be to multiple destinations $1.  Tuk tuk (also can be to multiple destinations), $2.  Note, it wasn't a long wait - it was 'take me to the pharmacy, I will buy something then take me home and I'll give you this shiny dollar.'  Yeah, it worked.  Yes, they did try to convince me it was that amount each way but when I said "Let me go check with the other guys to see if they'll do it."  I got waved into the vehicle.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes ye need to know who to go to downtown when ye need an automatic weapon. Though nowadays it'd be much tougher... but back in the day an all... no problem.



{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia - Michigan - Illinois - Colorado | England: Slough - Lancaster | Thailand: Bangkok | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2018}} Ukraine: Kiev - Chernihiv - Uzhhorod

For videos with a Loganesque slant, be sure to visit here. You can also Facebook Logan.