In this episode, Kathy and Ines talk Thailand, Cambodia, and how to strike a balance between seeing the sites and having a relaxing vacation.
Kathy also discusses feeling guilty over her reluctance to leave her swanky Bangkok hotel to tour temples and eat street meat. She discovers that sometimes cheese plates and high thread count sheets have a pull even stronger than 1000 Buddhas – and that’s OK.
U.S. citizens can get Cambodian visas online here or pay for one on arrival. At the time Kathy visited, an online visa cost US$37.00. A visa on arrival cost US$30.00 and was payable in USD, Thai baht, or Cambodian riel, cash only. If you get your visa on arrival, you must also submit a passport-sized photo.
It is recommended that you do not exchange your money for Cambodian riels. The exchange rate is crazy – 1 riel is currently worth 0.00025 U.S. dollars – and the novelty of managing hundreds of thousands of riels wears off quickly. U.S. dollars, Thai baht and credit cards are widely accepted. Bring small bills.
Angkor Wat Tour Guide Recommendation
Kathy highly recommends her Angkor Wat guide, Mr. Mony Pech. Mony is informative, fun, and designs flexible tours to accommodate your needs. He’s also led tours for Hilary Clinton and Michelle Obama:
Mr. Mony Pech
To Learn More About Cambodia
If you’re interested in learning about Cambodia’s turbulent political history, Kathy recommends the Academy Award winning film The Killing Fields and the book In the Shadow of the Banyan: A Novel by Vaddey Ratner. She also recommends Kleenex. Lots and lots of Kleenex.
You can also visit the National Cambodian Heritage Museum and Killing Fields Memorial in Chicago.
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