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Shazza's Escapades Light hearted look at my travel escapades

Going Back to Cambodia After 15 Years

CAMBODIA | Wednesday, 24 December 2014 | Views [295]

This was my second trip to Cambodia. The first was 15 years ago when it wasn't the most popular place to visit. How I wished I was back in time on this trip.

I arrived in Siem Reap excited to see the beautiful temples again but was not prepared for the hordes of tourists that were there. I enjoyed exploring the temples even had an elephant ride to view the sunset but I hated the crowds. The worst thing I saw was Pub Street. They named a street just for tourists to go and have drinks...many drinks. Drunk tourists are worse than normal tourists. I also sampled many of the massages on offer, in particular the Khmer massage. I had 1 or 2 already but my third time was not as expected. As a result of an over ambitious masseuse, I felt my left shoulder was going to hurt the next morning. I experienced this pain a lot while on our trip to see the Thousand Lingams which was a complete disappointment. After exploring as many temples as I could in three days I flew to Sinhoukaville with my shoulder in a sling.

Well that was an horrendous idea. What an awful place. The beach may have been nice and the waters of the sea may have been beautiful but I didn't get a chance to experience either. The crowds were so much that I couldn't bare it. I did walk to the beach but it was full so had to walk alongside the path which was also full. I managed to enjoy what I could see of the sunset but with loud music and noises from the crowds hogging the thousands of deck chairs, it was difficult to ignore it. I saw the sunset and bought seafood from the beach and then settled back to my hotel. The next day I didn't even bother going to the beach. I settled in by the hotel pool for several hours getting a nice tan even in my sling.

Then came the long drive to Phnom Penh. I stayed in the city centre and didn't mind the crowds here as they seem to belong. I remember a lot about the history from my last visit. I visited the memorial museum and saw the atrocities which made my mood quite sombre. Luckily the shopping time and celebrating New Year's with the locals down at the square wiped this from my memories.

I loved the people but hated the crowds. I loved the temples but hated Pub Street. I loved the food but hated the fried creepy crawlies. That's the last time I eat a fried tarantula!


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