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Mar 20, 2018 - Robin #7 Motorbike adventure and Hoi An

The word for today is exuberant! We got to experience true Vietnamese life by traveling on the back of a motor scooter. I sat behind our guide Khanh and Steven sat behind the other driver who's command of English was “ you ok?” and thumbs up. Getting out of the city was a bit nerve wracking with car and scooter traffic coming at us from all directions. The goal seems to be to find a route between moving obstacles, no matter how narrow, and don't stop no matter what. I got comfortable relatively quickly and riding through the countryside was...

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Vietnam & Cambodia

Mar 20, 2018 - Robin #6. Hue

I got up early this morning to write to try and remember as much as I can. Our guide, who’s name I never caught, was of very slight build, handsome in a more cosmopolitan was than the first two, and clearly very educated. He spoke softly and had a very sophisticated, somewhat formal use of English, but still I could only understand about 75% of what he said. Our first stop was The Imperial City, the main reason people come to Hue. It is a huge, beautiful walled city where the imperial family lived until 1945 when Ho Chi Minh took over . It...

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Vietnam & Cambodia

Mar 19, 2018 - Steven - First Week

So my impressions from our first week. A reserved warm and generous hospitality seems prevalent in Vietnam. It’s polite and a little distant, at least with tourists, and constrained by the language barrier. It’s been about five years, we’ve heard, that Americans and Europeans have started coming here. Two of our guides have talked about how they contrived to learn English, from TV and the internet, and from their tourists. it’s not only the langauge of world business but one of the languages of the travel industry. And Vietnam has jumped...

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Vietnam & Cambodia

Feb 4, 2015 - Wednesday: The Floating City

After sleeping well, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast. There are a couple Europeans in this hotel, but I don't think anyone is American. Most people are Asian. That is probably why the oatmeal is muesli. I haven't had that since Rich and I traveled in Europe in 1975. I loved it then, and it tastes pretty darn good now. That and fresh fruit made my day. I've decided to leave my middle class guilt behind, accept my station in life and open my heart to the day and the people we would be meeting. I have even decided I'd love to come back to...

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Feb 3, 2015 - Tuesday: Angkor Wat

This morning was a tough start for me. I did not sleep well. Some of my closest friends know that I have been on and off friends with alcohol for quite awhile now. I trust it not. I don't know what it is about my particular body, but alcohol and me just don't mix. Remember the pictures of the beer last night? Ellery and Rich enjoyed their fair share. Me? Less than 10 oz., and though I felt fine as I had it with a meal, I awoke to a migraine at 4 a.m. Migraines make me nauseous to the point of throwing up. I did. Three times. Plus the rest...

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Mar 29, 2014 - An Update

Update So here is where we find ourselves in late-March of our ever evolving overseas experience. The dream job at my former school was far from it. In spite of a glorious mission, excellent funding, a beautiful facility, an incredible support staff, a talented and dedicated teaching staff, and the most marvelous students one could hope for, the is currently a horrendous place at which to work. Blame goes to their educational philosophy, mandates and practices required of teachers, and most importantly to current administration. Due to...

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Mar 9, 2014 - The Barber Shop

Haircuts Are Better in Cambodia I am at a point in the trip where I am missing many things American, and thoughts do sometimes drift to what will be good about getting home – whenever that may be. Through the internet I can catch live glimpses of the surf at my favorite Bay Area breaks. Ashamed to say, I probably know the daily surf conditions in the Bay Area, from 15,000 miles out, better than many local surfers do. Waves, ocean, and anything cool, are high on my “miss” list. (I have however done this enough times to know that once back,...

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Feb 15, 2014 - Cambodia Angkor Wat Siem Reap

What a GREAT DAY I went through 3 batteries on my pictures. We have another day...tomorrow...full Cannot wait. Than Monday downtown with reservations #1 trip advisor restaurant. We found it and they where so nice and they are so busy. Hope it is all we expect. Have some friends that may join us!!! hope to update faster just hard with internet!!!

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Feb 2, 2013 - Touring with Yoshi

Saturday, Feb. 2 Finally, I had to admit it--my new Canon camera with the 12x zoom lens was a lemon. From the get-go it went through AA batteries like they were going out of style, and last night during the flower festival, when I really needed it, it failed completely. With elephant riding coming up tomorrow, I had to buy a new camera fast. Yoshi, a Japanese guy who was my student at Camber College in 2009 and his girl friend Noht traveled on an overnight bus from southern Thailand and arrived at my hotel early this morning. We were going...

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Pat in Cambodia 2013

Jan 29, 2013 - Buddhism and Money Matters

Prior to my arrival in Cambodia, I had only pre-booked the Angkor Pearl Hotel for two weeks since I didn’t want to commit to longer without seeing the place. When I asked to extend my stay, it was fully booked. Yesterday, I changed hotels to the Parklane, Tripadvisor’s 2013 winner of best bargain hotel in Siem Reap. It is next door to the Angkor Pearl but not nearly as nice. I much preferred the spacious room I had to leave. My room at the Parklane is tiny and I feel less secure here, in part because it is a larger hotel and much more...

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Pat in Cambodia 2013

Jan 23, 2013 - Clumsy in Cambodia

Hi Kadence and Fellow Grade 3 Students, Have you wondered what happened to me?? I am fine and I will now fill you in on what I've been doing since I last wrote to you. The last email and picture I sent to you was from the Ho Chi Minh City airport. Do you remember that Ho Chi Minh City is in Vietnam and it used to be called Saigon? My travel mates and I got on an airplane and flew for only one hour to Siem Reap, Cambodia. This is another new country for me. Cambodia is next to Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. It is quite a small country--it's...

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Project Travel Mate

Jan 22, 2013 - Teaching

Time is going quickly, and I am only in this country for a short while. On Tuesday morning, at my prompting, Chea joined me at the hotel to give me a list of how he would like to spend the money I raised. I need to be careful because he is involved in many other projects including building a sewing center in his home village. Previously, he had even mentioned he would like to get a motorbike rather than paying for tuk-tuks all the time. “The money I raised is not for the sewing center and not for a motorbike,” I said firmly. “It is for the...

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Pat in Cambodia 2013

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