Plan A was to write about our trip as we went along – settling down in front of the keyboard every evening composing an interesting (or not so interesting) travelogue as I sipped a tropical fruit punch – but things didn’t work out that way.
There was little time for anything but sleep between all the things we visited, and as I didn’t have a plan B it seems I will have to write up our tour very much in the past tense, something that may take me a while to complete.
So I shall start at the very beginning by introducing the group we travelled which I can also write with the benefit of hindsight.
Mrs P booked the tour element of our visit through Intrepid Travel which specialises in getting small groups to both popular and out of the way places, but I wasn’t sure what to expect from our travelling companions, or even what their nationality would be. Even though we booked online through the worldwide interweb, the parochial part of me expected them to be mainly Brits which shows just how naïve I can be at times.
The twelve of us met for the first time just under two weeks ago in Bangkok and my nationality expectations bit the dust immediately, but even then things got a little complicated.
Our family trio was fairly straightforward – three Brits living in Britland – except that Miss P currently resides in Rayong. The only other Brit in the party was Emily, only she lives in New Zealand and she was travelling with her friend Simon who is a kiwi who has worked in England for the last nine years. (Keep up at the back)
And Miss P’s roommate, Michelle, also hails from the British Isles, although I’m sure she’d hate me for saying it because she is actually from Dublin.
There was the ubiquitous Aussie contingent as you’d expect – wherever you travel you’ll find someone from Oz. For Adrian and Kat it was a chance to get away together without their respective children and the antipodean representation was only slightly convoluted by Damir and Daniella who both originally hail from Bosnia.
Then there were two Americans, Nick and Siv, one living in Seoul and the other in Tokyo. Having said that, Nick first language was French because he is originally a Québécois, while Siv’s family is of Indian origin, his father having spent some time in Wales.
Both were evasive about what they did for a living, other than they are lawyers, and I managed to miss all the clues that they worked for the US military and had been briefed to keep this under their hats to avoid being detained at every Asian border!
Last, and by no means least, there was Kunthea (or Tia) who was to be our tour guide. A twenty-five-year-old Cambodian, she was full of boundless energy and enthusiasm for her country (and its food) but I’m sure to mention her again later.