Last week Addconsulta Peru, Intent Agency and Addconsulta Ecuador was behind the first Google Analytics training and certification event in Ecuador. Over 2 days I had the pleasure of joining my colleagues in training around 20 students in Google Analytics. Domas Vysniauskas, Intent Agency Vilnius, was head trainer leading the students though the material and tests, while Lorena Rodriguez ( CEO and Partner, Addconsulta Ecuador ), Steffen Iversen (Sales Director and Co-founder, Addconsulta Peru) and I had the pleasure of doing one session each and helping out.
On stage in Dann Carlton Hotel, Quito
And we’re proud to tell that we had some really clever students by, making it possible for the event to have 80% of the students passing the Google Analytics certification – GRATZ to all of you!
One of the perks of having a company in Colombia ( Intent Agency Colombia ) and of course spending some time there is (apart from the great collegues and friends there) being able to enjoy really really nice Colombian coffee – and to bring it home!
On my June/July trip I took a small collection with me home
Yes, I really love coffee and I guess its best explained like this….
Flight and entry tickets are booked and paid – I will be going to the best Search conference this year! Wait a minute… PubCon is growing as always – it used to be just Search, but now its Search, Social, Affiliate & Web Analytics. Going with some of my colleagues from Addconsulta Peru – gonna be a blast!
First stop on our honeymoon in October/November was planned to be Siam Reap in Cambodia to see the marvellous Angkor Wat temple area and by a bit of Internet surfing we were already prepared for the trip and warned about the different scams that you could encounter. Luckily we read and printed the informative warnings from Tales of Asia and how he describes that â€œALL PRIVATE BUS SERVICES TO CAMBODIA SOLD BY TRAVEL AGENTS IN BANGKOK ARE RIP-OFFS AND RIFE WITH SCAMS. ALL OF THEM. NO, NOT SOME OF THEM. ALL OF THEMâ€ (taken directly from his site) â€“ he was SO right! In fact by having read all the advices we were in a position to laugh quite a bit when some people tried to scam us, because we already knew beforehand what would happen â€“ I can only recommend being a bit prepared and the trip will be full of funâ€¦ 😉
In the next couple of lines I will give our experiences.
We stayed at the really nice hotel New Siam River Side â€“ probably the best hotel in the close to Khao San Road area, so of course we decided to ask the travel agent at the hotel for advice and maybe buying the trip to Siam Reap there. She was full of crap… Because of a lot of scams, she said, she could offer us a 10 persons minibus to the border + a Toyota Camry for 4 persons in Cambodia at a price of 1.000 bath. Directly to a guesthouse they know, but we donâ€™t have to stay thereâ€¦ and she promised us only 1 stop on the way + the Border crossingâ€¦ Going alone would be very difficult and to the border will be 400 bath per person. She also proposed to help with Visa to Cambodia. She could prepare it now for 1.500 bath, because its 1.300 bath at the border and very slow.
Facts: - Official bus to the Cambodian Border 250 bath. - the sign at the Cambodian Border said USD 20 for the Visa, but the nice officials at the border tried to earn a little extra by charging 1.000 bath for the Visa. And the procedure was fast! - It was so easy to get a shared taxi just after the Border crossing â€“ we paid 35 USD for 3 persons and the trip took around 2 hoursâ€¦ not bad
We did try to get another offer at a hotel in Bangkok and the offer was close to the same â€“ 900 for the trip to some guesthouse in Siam Reap and she strongly recommended us to get the Visa now for only 1.300 bathâ€¦ but she could discount to 2.250 bath per person. And NO the USD 20 is not possible anymore â€“ now itâ€™s 1.300 â€“ A direct lie! So funny looking back at.. especially because we were warnedâ€¦
We did of course not try the package tours, so we canâ€™t for sure tell if the trips are as slow as described in â€œTales of Asiaâ€, but on other trips we saw it. And we can only recommend planning trips by yourselves, not to save money, but to save time and irritations.. the package tours are damn slow and stop too many times, so you have the possibility to buy food ect. where the bus company get a commissionâ€¦ and you end up in guesthouses or hotels where the bus company gets a commission againâ€¦ itâ€™s all about getting a lot of extra commissions and not about getting the tourists from A-B and charge a fair price for it..
And at the Cambodian Border the Frenchman gave 1.000 bath for the Visa â€“ my wife and I paid the USD 20 per person + a tip of 100 bath. The Border crossing was in general very fast and easy.. nothing to worry aboutâ€¦
At the Cambodian side we pushed away some people who wanted to do money exchange (also a scam)â€¦ and took the free bus to the bus terminal.. went outside the bus terminal and negotiated a private taxi to Siam Reap â€“ piece of cake and from what I hear so much faster than going on the Khao San Road scam bus packages.
Irina and the Frenchman outside our “Taxi” – we needed a 2 mins break..
Btw the road from the Border to Siam Reap is great – not bad as it used to be.
PubCon is for sure the best Search and online marketing conference and Im happy that I again this year will make it to the Las Vegas version, PubCon used to be clise to pure Search, but this year they added a full Social Marketing track and some other “non Search” things – so this year its not only gonna be about getting a “Search boost” but also about bringing home new styff from other areas…. Nice! I’ll try to make a couple of blog articles about some of the interesting SEO stuff after PubCon and Im sure both Addvisors Vilnius and Addconsulta will turn some of the new stuff into cool services for their clients. Off for PubCon Vegas, see you!
Back in good old Denmark after a great honeymoon mostly in Cambodia, but also some days in Thailand.
Being a little more than 3 weeks away on a honeymoon was really great and being back in cold Denmark is both nice and a bit sad… but we bring with us so many great moments and experiences. Angkor Wat was incredible, not diving in Cambodia was sad (but it just wasnt the right season), Cambodia was really interesting and being back at Koh Chang (Thailand) was nice – and we got to dive there!
Today is the day, we’re heading for our Honeymoon in Cambodia… just a bit more work, a bit of blogging and then I need to pack my backpack…. no news there..
Oh yeah, Irina told me that I CANT bring my laptop (knowing that “just 5 mins to check” always end up in 2 hours – it does make sense this ONE time), so I will be rather offline – probably we’ll do a bit of blogging and upload a picture or 2, but don’t expect me to answer any mails before after November 7th…
Cambodia will mean Siam Reap, Angkor Wat (the beautiful and huge temple area – Hint: think Lara Croft), Phnom Penh (capital) and the beach by SihanoukVille – and then a little Bangkok…. And we’re both gonna do some Diving around SihanoukVille – after my Rescue Diver certification in Danish water in June I’m really looking forward to some warm and clear water… 😉
Benjamin, Dan, Mole, Hartvig and Lars please remember to check up on our Apartment-sitter Julija – don’t let her have too big parties while we’re away!
Scandinavian Airlines has today sold its 47,2% ownership in Baltic airline company Airbaltic back to Airbaltic.
I’m rather often flying with Airbaltic to Vilnius, even when booking through SAS, so its gonna be interesting to see if this sale will have any inpact on the prices and service on trips Copenhagen to Vilnius….
And very very good for SAS to get some cash in… let’s hope its enough….. I guess getting better service and not letting people stand in HUGE lines in Copenhagen Airport will also help…
I know this is rather scary, but yes! I did join a Domino Tournament on my last trip to Vilnius and in fact I got all the way to the semifinal on my first time playing Domino ever – and I learned how to play just before the tournament started – and NO, I don’t think I got any special Domino talents… 😉
It all started with my friend Domas asking me on Wednesday last week if I wanted to go play at a local Domino Tournament with him.. can you imagine me laughing and checking what they added to his beer?
The whole downstairs of the Domino Bar (yes, they even named the place after Domino) was full with nice people on this Thursday. Here’s a couple playing
Also Domas’ brother Tadas did play in the Domino Tournament – unfortunately he went out rather early – he needs to practice his Domino skills… 😉
Domas showed me how to play Domino on the spot and he did fine, but I guess he left a little out… he made it to the final whereas I went out in the semifinals….
Anyway great fun playing Domino – I’m pretty sure I’ll be there again next time I’m in Vilnius… but dont expect me to be practicing hard beforehand… 😉