Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Ow! San Francisco, CA, Thursday, 01 February 2007 10:02pm

I stopped by the Travel Clinic this morning and got my shots. Well, ok, my shot. My typhoid vaccination was set to expire... tomorrow, so I got another one of those. I've got a nice arm-ache from that.

Everything else I'm either already vaccinated for or is rare enough to not get shots for. I did get a scary talk about rabies, which amounted to "be ready to get on the next plane to Thailand, if you get bitten". I think I'm going to elect to not get bitten. I did just buy some hefty travel insurance that covers medevac, though.

Looks like I'm actually going on this Indochina trip. Jess's and my tickets arrived today. Paper tickets. How quaint!

I called the Vietnamese Consulate a bunch, trying to find out how much to get a cashier's check for to get my visa. They're not fond of answering their phone. I'll probably have to stop in twice.

I need to start listening to the Vietnamese language lessons I got from the library. I started on them, but they made my head spin. I'm hoping I'll do better with the one that has a little booklet to follow along with. It begins with the alphabet and the tones, so it should give me a little more context to try to pick up the rest of it. I think I'm going to be lucky to solidly learn "Please", "Thank You", "Oops. Sorry", and I'll be overjoyed if I can manage "More Pho, Please, and how about some of those delicious spring rolls?"

So far the rough plan is to land in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We'll spend the first day or two getting over jet lag and getting Jessica's Vietnamese visa. Then we'll head (by boat on lake Tonle Sap? by plane?) to Siem Riep to spend a few days around Angkor Wat. After that, we'd like to take a boat down the Mekong into Vietnam, pass out through the Delta, and visit the island of Phu Quoc.

Beyond that, the plans get hazy. Visit the old port at Hoi An? Sail on junks and kayak in Halong Bay? See the highlands at Sa Pa? Head into Laos and check out Luang Prabang?