New “What to pack?” page

8 02 2010

Hi all

I just added a new page for people that want to go on a trip like our’s and are wondering what to pack for the trip.  The link can be found on the right hand side of the blog or here below.

What to pack?

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Siem Reap

4 02 2010

We have absolutely fallen in love with the Cambodians or the Khmers …at least here in Siem Reap.  They are so soft and gentle and polite and always smiling.  We had read so many stories of scams in Cambodia and it looked so dirty and unappealing at first that we were a bit worried but even when they are trying to trick us they are so nice :)

The Khmers are a bit darker than most Thais and a little more delicate and very handsome. It is funny how both of us connected the word Khmer to something bad after the Khmer Rogue and Pol Pot but we noticed that the Cambodians are where proud of being Khmer …well the 90% that are actually Khmer.  So Khmer is just the name of their ethnic group.

We have had some Khmer food already and it was absolutely fantastic.  We had some chicken curry, fish curry and spring rolls and everything was served with rice and a cold beer.  The spring rolls were just good spring rolls but the curries where to die for.

We went to the markets here yesterday and they looked wonderful, both the day market and the night market.  The night market was filled with silk and cotton scarves, pasminas, hammocks and clothes and they also had a lot of things made by Cambodian artists, both paintings and sculptures, mostly from the Angkor temples and the villages around here.  We are definitely feeling the biggest fault of being a backpacker – not having enough space for all the things we want to buy and having to carry everything we do find space for for the next three months.

It is funny how everything here is quoted in US dollars.  There is the Cambodian Riel but we have not seen in used on price tags anywhere.  For $1 you get 4,200 riel so that might be one of the reason but it must be hard for them not to use their own currency that fluctuates according to their economic situation not because of some outside reasons.  They must be suffering now when the dollar has been declining when they shouldn’t be.





Two days to go

8 01 2010

We are getting more and more excited about the trip every day and now there are only 2 days to go. We’ll be flying to London at 0830 on Sunday morning if the British weather allows it. I heard yesterday that the Icelandic government offered take back our weather if the British stop their Icesafe demands, so hopefully we will be able to fly :)
We have thought hard about what to take with us on a four month trip and after careful considerations I have already packed my bags. I will be taking with me 11 kg. of stuff and I suspect Elínborg to have a bit less. I know that I have packed a few things that are not strictly necessary – more nice to have – and I also added a few clothes that I will throw away during the trip. The back pack will probably weigh around 12 kg. after I have swapped the traveling clothes for shorts and flip flops and I’m happy with that weight, it is comfortable to carry around – even for extended periods.

So what will I take with me?

All the luggage spread out

All the luggage spread out

First of all I have a 55 liter back pack that I bought for our trip to Madagascar a few years back. It is not super fancy but quite good. Then I have a tiny day pack that we can use on shorter trips and a murse (man purse) for the computer, money, camera and stuff.

Toiletries

  • Toothbrush + paste
  • Roll-on + Face creme + Soap
  • Disposable razor x 2 + Small shaving foam
  • Hair & nail cutters
  • Aloe Vera creme for sunburn
  • Fast drying towel
  • Contact lenses + sunglasses + ear plugs
  • Cotton sleeping bag and toilet paper in case shit hits the fan.

Clothes for everything from the beaches in Thailand to the mountaintops in China

  • Underwear x 3 + socks x 2
  • Speedos + surfer shorts
  • Shorts + long pants
  • Flip Flops + (Hiking) shoes
  • Fleece sweater (one thin, one slightly thicker)
  • t-shirt x 3 + polo shirt + wife beater
  • Shirts x 3 (one dress-up)
  • Poncho + Buff + Kangaroo hat

This is all I will be wearing for the next four months and hopefully some of the things will stay in the bag the whole time like the fleece and the rain poncho but you never know.

Stuff for entertainment or to dodge some curve-balls

  • Pencil + Pen + Block of paper
  • USB key + USB cable
  • Swiss army knife + Spork
  • Gaffer tape + Flash light + Telescope
  • Waist wallet
  • Camera + battery + tripod
  • Lonely Planet guide + Guide to China
  • Locks x 2 (small and large)
  • Sawing kit + Plastic bags + Plastic straps
  • Big bungee cord (laundry line)
  • Water tight bag + Small air tight box
  • Net-book + charger
  • Phone + charger
  • iPod + charging cord
  • Multi-electric socket
  • Deck of cards + Games (Ludo, Backgammon)
  • Journal + Fiction book

Additionally we need passports and credit cards, visas and passport photos for visas to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam and stuff like that. Elínborg is packing the medicine cabinet so I’m not sure what will be in that one but I’ll probably post that later.

Small stuff went into bags and the clothes into space bags

Small stuff went into bags and the clothes into space bags

It is amazing how few things that we collect are really necessary when you think about it. Obviously we are not going to be preparing our food too much and we are going to a warm climate but apart from that I guess we could manage with the things we are taking with us for quite a long time, even back home in Iceland. It will be interesting to reflect on this after we come back home and see if those things were enough and what things were redundant.

Everything packed and ready to go (except the travelling clothes)

Everything packed and ready to go (except the travelling clothes)

I’m going to keep this blog open to everyone so please share it if you know of people interested in the topics discussed here and please post your comments if you have any!

Cheers everyone!

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A quick update on the medicine cabinet.  It contains the following items (not that I know what all the tablets do)
  • malarone, siprox, norfloxin, imodium, canesten, mildison, monotrim
  • loritin, ibufen and panodil
  • Thermometer and latex gloves
  • Anti bite and mouth wash