The Washington Post

Lawmakers’ trip to hit Thailand, Cambodia, China

Lawmakers might have time to to visit the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. (Heng Sinith/AP)

A codel (shorthand, of course, for a congressional delegation trip) is leaving Jan. 5 for a week-plus jaunt to to exotic Southeast Asia. No word if there’s still room on the military and commercial jets that lawmakers will use, but if so, one might want to sign up. The group so far includes Republican Reps. Rodney Frelinghuysen (N.J.), Ken Calvert (Calif.) and Tom Cole (Okla.) — all members of the House Appropriations committee’s defense subcommittee — and three subcommittee staffers.

The Loop got a peek at a draft itinerary, and we have to say, it looks like a winner. Sure, there’s a bit of heavy lifting the first few days. The trip starts in Bangkok, where the lawmakers and staff have briefings at the embassy and with military officials, a tour of the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, and soon. Then it’s wheels up for Rangoon, Burma, where the schedule includes a day of meetings. Many of the sessions on the schedule, though, are merely “requested,” meaning they haven’t yet been nailed down, so there’s a chance there could be more downtime.

Finally, it’s on the more leisurely portion of the trip, with a light travel day Thursday to Phenom Penh, Cambodia, (just a quick check-in at the embassy there), then a “cultural day” planned for Friday.

The delegation will spend the day in scenic Siem Reap, a popular tourist destination which boasts historic temples as well as fabulous markets should anyone care to pick up some antiques or native crafts to take home as souvenirs (and don’t forget to snap a few pictures at Angkor Wat!).

On Saturday, the party moves on to Hong Kong, where folks have little in the way of official business to do before heading back home Monday. Why a two-night stopover in Hong Kong?

Well, remember that the city’s famed tailors often need customers to return the following day after an initial fitting to pick up those custom suits ...

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.


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