Technology and Money When Travelling.
Jun 15, 2017
|Of course you would not have doubted that I had all of our technology requirements sorted, for the 3 months away. I had adaptors, leads, spare phone and tablets to keep in touch, along with many other gadgets designed to make things work, including a portable keyboard and even the chrome cast dongle, for streaming in our Netflix series, (the chances of English channels on TV in SE Asia are few and far between).
All works well, but a pit fall is WiFi!
Hotel WiFi, whilst all advertise that they have this essential travelling tool, what we don't realise is that when you travel as we do, the reliability of the wifi sometimes just isn't there. We have now worked out that there are peak and off peak times, depending on when everyone is in their room and on their devices.
Mobile phone networks thus far are great. Thailand has 4 carriers and a range of tourist SIMs and shopping around gets you loads of data and cheap calls even back to Aus. Cambodia, well on the plane we were handed a free sim, great I think, read the blurb and all I had to do was buy a top up card, so exiting the airport amongst the chaos, I rock on up to the booth belonging to the Telco with the free sim, intending to buy a $10 (USD) card. Somehow I get told that this is not what I want and I end up spending $15, but in the chaos and confusion, I just want it done, so the bloke grabs my phone and quicker than I could do, has it fully operational with 4 GB of data and calls back to Aus at 0.07 cents per minute. Sometimes you have just got to go with the flow and know that sometimes, someone has your best interests at heart and sometimes you will get ripped off, but so be it.
Have needed to call home a few times, so bought a top up voucher from the corner store and dead easy to use.
I did ensure that our phones were network unlocked before we left and checked the mobile frequencies of the 3 countries, to ensure our handsets were going to operate.
Now, when the hotel WiFi gets slow, we hot spot to the phone.
We have also set up WhatsApp for data/wifi calls and messages to the family and friends.
A currency converter App on the phone has turned out to be a must have, we are currently dealing in a dual currency system, USD and local Cambodian KHR - the KHR is 4000 to 1 USD.
So how this works, if you buy breakfast for $3.25, you pay $3 USD and 1000 Riel(KHR), this is also a challenge when you buy something and you get change in 2 currencies, but we are getting the hang of it.