Changing How I Plan Trips

It’s been too long since I’ve done any trips of length or quality to be worth writing about. Main reason is procrastination. But once I overcome procrastinating and actually dig into it with enthusiasm something comes up. November was supposed to be a swing through north Thailand, instead it was back pain, meds and stretching. Tried again in early Dec. and found that the sleeper train was sold out for weeks. Either that or the guy behind the window got tired of checking day by day for me. After a week I decided the 10 hour bus ride was better than waiting, but was put off by the realization that I was traveling right into peak season. Decided to wait until Jan 4, the first Monday after New Years, figuring the holiday traveler surge would be over. Got sick on Jan 3 with an upper respiratory illness that is hitting many of the people I know and those I happen to hear hacking, wheezing, coughing or just dripping near me.

One thing I’ve learned in this life is how to break a pattern. Of course, procrastination usually squashes awareness of that, but not this time. Instead of trip planning while I’m well, I’m doing it while sick.

I’m planning a trip to Vietnam. Still going to north Thailand as soon as I’m well, Vietnam will be after that. Why Vietnam? Most folks I’ve talked to over the last two years had it first on the list of neighboring countries to check out. Great food, photo ops galore and the weirdness of a communist country topped my list after a little research. The north appeals more than the south so maybe it will be fly from Bangkok to Hanoi, bus and train around the north, working my south to Da Nang, then either fly back to Bangkok or to Phnom Pen just to catch a bus to Angkor Wat and then a bus to Bangkok.

I’m hesitant about going to Angkor because it has a little brother in NE Thailand, built at a time when the area was part of Cambodia. Only source of info and opinion I have is online and in guide books. They say it’s almost as spectacular as Angkor but attracts far fewer people, which makes for an overall better experience. Then again there are people who so pride themselves on not seeing the places everybody knows about that they’d shut their eyes while flying into Paris to prevent the contamination of an accidental view of the Eiffel tower. But the pictures of Wat #2 are impressive.

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