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Third World Veggie Follow me through SE Asia as I work on my Asia-bod & search for my inner-yogi. If you are looking for travel information or a guide to different SE Asia cities this is NOT the blog for you.

Islands and Temples in Cambodia

CAMBODIA | Wednesday, 3 May 2017 | Views [272]

We took a bus from Ho Chi Minh (which we thought was insanely hot) to the even hotter city in Cambodia - Phenom Penh. When we arrived in Cambodia we learned that the city was celebrating a holiday which meant that practically every restaurant and shop in the city was closed. Our few nights in PP were not so great because of the heat and lack of food options. 

PP did have some of the most moving museums I have ever experienced, though. SE Asia was a history lesson for us a lot of the time. In Laos & Vietnam we learned so much more about the Vietnam war than I ever learned in school and the damages caused by bombings are still very real for these countries. Cambodia was no different and this was the first time we really learned the horrific things that happened in their country.... and it wasn't even that long ago. The way that Cambodians have arranged the killing fields and the prison in PP is very moving. The craziest part to me was that the world didn't really know or understand just how bad things were in Cambodia during this time. 

On a happier note, the city does a decent job with their riverfront and there were a lot of nice places to walk or to have a drink along the water. The bad news is that they have a serious issue with trash and the entire city is just lined with trash bags at all times. 

Following PP we headed to Sinhanoukville area of Cambodia and stayed along the beach called Otres. We were able to meet up with Mark's friend, Chris, who is a flight attendant and is really hilarious. We went out for a night at one of the bars where we were promised live music. The live music turned out to be a 70 year old guy playing the saxophone.... but thank goodness we stuck around because a few hours later we found ourselves in the middle of a proper hippie party complete with hula hoops, glowing light ropes, shamanic chanting (learned what that was that night) and fire spinners sans fire. We also met James & Rachel that night. They are the sweetest couple from England and we traveled with them through the rest of Cambodia before they headed home. The next night we all went to a Cambodian jungle party where you can drink, dance, and ride shady carnival rides that are literally operated manually by locals. 

The next day we decided to take a boat to the island of Koh Ta Kiev. The island is beautiful and the Kactus guesthouse had adorable bungalows and amazing food. We ended up extending our stay here for a few extra days even though there was no hot water or electricity. At night, we would swim in the ocean where you can see the bioluminescent plankton. We were so happy we picked Koh Ta Kiev over the more popular backpacker island of Koh Rong. 

Kampot, Cambodia was our next stop and we really enjoyed the town. There is nothing major of note but we took a great scooter ride up to a viewpoint that was too foggy to see any view. Instead, we stopped at an enormous Chinese casino that we thought was abandoned but turns out it is open & operating.... but no body appeared to be staying there. We also noticed that this town had a very large number of older white men and Cambodian girlfriend/wife combinations. 

Siem Reap was our last Cambodian city. This is where the famous Angkor Wat temples are located. The city also has a large backpacker presence and a cool "pub street" where every place seems to offer 50cent beer! 

For foreigners, the temples are actually expensive to visit so we opted for the 1 day pass which was the perfect amount of time for us. The temples are stunning and even though Mark & I claim to not be "temple people" we still enjoyed our time there. We caught sunrise at the main temple and took a motorbike to a lot of the other temples. We watched a YouTube video about Angkor Wat which helped us learn a bit more of the history and made us appreciate the experience even more.

After Siem Reap we headed back to Bangkok to complete our SE Asia "loop." We enjoyed the city a lot more this time around. This may have been due to the fact that my mother offered to treat us to rooftop bar drinks at the Sofitel :) We revisited Lumphani Park and I was so excited that I was able to take part in their 6pm workout class. 

 

 

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