5/22 – Our stay in Japan was too short. Today we took the train back to Osaka, where we met Jim’s friend Carl for breakfast. Then it was on to the Kansai Osaka Airport where we arrived at noon. What to do until our flight at midnight? We went back to the posh airport hotel. They have a huge lobby with couches, easy chairs, strong wifi, and a piano that plays by itself 24/7. We settled in for a long afternoon and evening. I got a whole book read!
We got our visas at the airport, where the $30.00 payment was requested in U.S. dollars. As we only had Thai baht, we paid the equivalent of $35.00 each. Bring dollars if you travel here – the Cambodians use their own money as change only. 1000 riel is worth 25 cents. All prices are given in dollars, and the ATMs dispense dollars too. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Andrew Jackson on a $20!
We got a tuk-tuk ride into town, and passed several luxurious resort hotels, which look out of place next to the little shops and shacks on the dusty street. Due to its proximity to the Angkor Wat temples, Siem Reap hosts over two million tourists a year, and accommodates all comfort levels.
Now we are settled in at the Banyan Leaf Hotel, with its lovely pool and sumptuous breakfast buffet, all for $20.00 a night. We had a lovely supper for $1.50, and a beer for 50 cents. You could live here forever!