Soooooooooo as you may have spotted, I’ve been doing this whole Adam’s Grand Tour thing on the basis that I’m not going to fly as part of my journey. In doing so I’ve taken busses through the Baltics, trains across Siberia and China, and on one occasion a camel in Mongolia. I could have simply flown to Hanoi, but getting here overland has been an adventure. I’m pleased I did it, and I’ve met some pretty decent people along the way (you all know who you are, especially if the words ‘punch it in the face’ mean anything to you…)
But alas, friends, my ambition to continue to travel without taking to the skies apparently failed to take into account my own lack of foresight with regards to the vagaries of Vietnamese visa regulations. I entered Vietnam on a 90 day tourist visa. Said visa is set to expire on 30 December. In order to gain a work permit to be legally allowed to work – something I would prefer to do – I need to first obtain a business visa. And things being such as they are, this apparently requires that I leave the country and then re-enter with a letter of invitation from my employer – what is known colloquially as a ‘visa run’.
It is thus with a thumping conscience that I have booked myself a week away next week to Siem Reap, in Cambodia, the plan being to fly there and back, getting a fresh visa stamped upon my return, spending a few days in between visiting the temples of Angkor Wat thus turning a generally functional visa run into a short and hopefully pleasant holiday.
This obviously breaks my ‘no flying’ rule. This is a defendable point, I feel: since I will be returning to the same place once my visit to Cambodia is complete, I’ve technically made no progress towards any one place. I am no closer to any destination as a result of flying, and as long as I resolve to pursue any further journey from here overland then I’m on pretty safe ground, I reckon. But I can see how some may disagree with that claim.
I could, of course, have opted to travel to Cambodia overland. I’m led to believe it is possible. However this would have involved enduring two sleeper busses in three days, a fate worse than pretty much any other imaginable as far as I’m concerned.
But regardless. On Monday I’m flying to Cambodia, from whence I shall, for three days at least, once again become a camera totin’, tour hoppin’, souvenir shoppin’ tourist! Hoorah!