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Last call to lands I've never been to...

Might as well be livin' on the sun...

CAMBODIA | Saturday, 21 March 2009 | Views [391] | Comments [4]

Well, to pick up where I left off from the continuation of my Siem Reap journey...Aaron's birthday was on the 12th so we decided to stay at Molly Malone's, a nice hotel to take a break from the simplicity of guesthouses. Afterwards, we found an awesome guesthouse called Angkor Park, where we stayed for the rest of our time in Siem Reap. I spent most of the days going to the old/new market and browsing through the night market and crocodile bazaar later on in the day. I found an awesome bubble tea cafe where you sit on giant exercise balls (supposed to mimic bubbles) at low tables..yummie taro bubble tea!! And also found an amazing bakery/ice cream parlor called the Blue Pumpkin. Some of the traditional dishes are Lok Lak and Amok. I really enjoyed the tofu amok...coconut milk, onions, eggs, veggies (kinda similar to a curry) and served in a cup made of banana leaves. 

I spent some time venturing around (although the humid and hot air makes it hard to go out during the afternoon). I visited a few photo galleries and found art installations made of guns welded together to form bugs, people, and animals. kinda cool. Also explored an amazing garden across from a swanky hotel. The first time I went it was closer to night fall and started to hear all these strange noises. I looked up and to my surprise hundreds of bats were flying out of the trees!! And I'm not talking about some dinky lil things--these suckers were huge!! :) The last day in Siem Reap I took a tuk tuk out to Angkor Wat and spent about 7 hours visiting 7 different temples. I was kinda surprised that because there is so much to see there isn't hordes of tourist groups all over the place. It's very nice because the environment was pretty quiet in some places and it was amazing to be one on one gawking at such an amazing structure.  I took lots of photos, but unfortunatly (I was so mad!!) my camera decided to die at the temple I was most looking forward too...Ta Prohm..which is famous for trees growing out of the temple walls.

 After about a 6 hour bus ride, in which i spent most of my time playing games with a little Cambodian girl who was sitting in front of me, we arrived in Phnom Pehn. My first impression wasn't the greatest..this place is rather scary until you get used to it. It is the capitol of Cambodia and so far I haven't seen any traffic lights or signs...so driving around here is complete chaos and making a left hand turn is suicide!! The first night we stayed in Grand View Guesthouse, which was infact like sleeping in a closet with the heat cranked to 130 degrees with very little ventilation. Worst guesthouse yet!! Today we moved to a much nicer one...but still it's very hot here!! I wish i had a swimming pool, giant ice cream tubs or something! :) Hope everyone's having great weather back at home!! We'll be staying here for the next few days and going to explore the Killing Fields, National Museum and Tuol Slang Museum before heading down to Kep and Kampot!!

To answer previous questions, SE Asia is and it isn't what I thought it would be like. To be honest, I really thought I was going to be living more rustic and having to eat crazy food--not saying it isn't there to be eaten...kangaroo, bugs, crocodile, ostrich..just I haven't been forced to do so. I didn't expect Laos to be as beautiful, mountainous and all together simply amazing!, and didn't expect Cambodia to be as crowded, but have really good food. I think I mentally prepared myself for the worst of sights and situations, and actually nothing as been so bad..except for a few causes of culture shock and a few times walking on the side of the road.

Comments

1

Thanks for the continued update. It's always good to know were you are on this planet! The weather there is forecasted for the next week to be hot and steamy...sounds like some of the food you've eaten. Looking up Kep & Kampot, sounds like your adventure continues to be stunning. Hopefully, you'll be going to the beach to cool!
Blessings and love,
Mooma

  Mooma Mar 21, 2009 11:01 PM

2

Hi, Christine!
It's great to hear your voice.... especially as it describes your impressions of your destinations and the little surprises they hold for you. Not so surprising about the weather there tho. I am sure the hot mMidwestern USA summer days are absolutely nothing like you are experiencing there! Belated birthday wishes to Aaron. Know that we love you and that you are in our prayers and thoughts daily.... SMOOCH :)

  Aunt Cherrie Mar 22, 2009 12:07 AM

3

I forgot all about the bats!!!! But I do remember the great pastries .. yum!

I think the weather is still pretty good there for you ... if I remember correctly, the really hot and humid stuff usually kicks in during late April when the monsoon shifts.

When that happens its usually a good idea to have a lightweight collapsable umbrella handy nearby.



  Uncle Frank Mar 22, 2009 9:12 AM

4

Thanks for the detailed update Christine! It's thrilling to hear about the sights and sounds. And I'm amazed to hear how much you're diggin the food!
We'll be looking forward to seeing your photos!!
Love from YA Laura, YU William and YC Julie

  Aunt Laura and Uncle William Apr 1, 2009 12:33 PM

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