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The Saga of Heather's Travels ... the story of a dream come true

Goodbye Lao Hello Cambodia

CAMBODIA | Friday, 1 January 2010 | Views [695] | Comments [1]

Busy bustling streets...but  they drive on the wrong side, - very confusing when trying to cross

Busy bustling streets...but they drive on the wrong side, - very confusing when trying to cross

It seems so long since I last updated, so here goes to bring the world up to date with my comings and goings! I finished my time in Vientiane very happily after meeting up again with Sigrid, whom I first met on the Plain of Jars trip. We had such a lot of fun, and adventures together, such as taking the local bus to see the amazing "Buddha Gardens" and taking a very long walk to find Chinatown, visiting the morning markets, and the night markets, (Surpringly they all sell the same things!) and the evening food markets by the river. We had lots of laughs, lots of wines and beers, and great meals out, it is surprising how close you can get to someone in such a short period, but that is life on the road. Then we had to say goodbye as we were heading in opposite directions, however, we do have loose plans to meet up again, maybe in Vietnam. Then it was on to Phnom Penh, Cambodia for me. What a country of contrasts, from the splendid Royal Palace to the beggers outside the gate. The depth of the poverty is astounding. Small kids selling their wares, such as books (copys of course) flowers and newspapers on the street, when they should be in school, or in bed. It brings home again how priviledged our lives are in new Zealand, and most western countries I would say. I visited the Tuol Sleng torture prison and the Killing Fields, wow, what can I say about that? The millions of Cambodians who were slaughtered by Pol Pot's regime in the 1970s (only 30 years ago!) is on a par with the holocaust, except we dont hear about it. The pain for the people here will go on for centuries, it is just unbelievable what families have endured. It was a horrifying and barbaric time in history that the world kind of ignored, and I will never forget what I saw. Another disturbing thing is the maimed and disfigured people left to beg on the streets, disability is everywhere, but no government help it would seem. Some try to make a living selling postcards and newspapers and other things you don't particularly want to buy but what can you do? The Tuk Tuk drivers are like those in the other countries I have visited, quite pushy and almost aggressive, but just trying to make a living. I have a new name here, "Madame Tuk Tuk" it is astounding how many people call out to me when I go for walks! I try to stay polite, but it is not always possible! I saw deep fried crispy tarantulas, cockroaches, and other assorted bugs for sale on the street. Very nutritious apparently, but I wasn't even slightly tempted to sample, some things are best left to the locals! They wouldn't let me take photographs though but will work on that one!

I flew to Mumbai/Bombay for a wonderful xmas break with my family, where we were also joined by the Singapore branch of the family. I had both my wee munchkins to coo over, they are both so dam cute! At 12 and half, and 13 and half months, they both have distinct personalities, and it was so cute watching them interact with each other. I had 18 days there and loved every last minute of it, and found it very hard, once again to say goodbye. However it had to be done, and now I am back in Phnom Penh after an exhausting overnight flight, arriving yesterday morning. I was so jetlagged that I was in bed by 9pm New Years eve, without a single drink! I am now busy planning the next leg of my trip, up to Siam Reap to see the incredible Angkor Wat, and to visit the Landmine centre that Princess Dianna went to. Then I hope to spend some time volunteering at Watopot, an orphanage here that I have followed, and at last get the opportunity to do some small thing to give back to this lovely country.

Comments

1

Hey there sis!! Your sure an adventurer,its gotta be said. When you come home ,theres Money in dem stories. Wow you sure have variety of people, place ,poverty +culture. Life just WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!!!!A pity a TV crew is not tagging along behind you. Not sure how you'll ever cope being a kiwi with an 8--5pm job again.No wonder the girls were such travellers. Keep on following that dream,goodness knows what treats are ahead for you. Take care,travel safe,we all love and miss you. Big Loves. Carolynxxx

  carolyn Bisley Jan 21, 2010 11:20 AM

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