Archive for 'KAMPUCHEA'


some jewelry we bought in cambodia

I reflect a lot on long rides in between cities and countries. The rides are usually pretty quiet after the initial confusion of how to fit backpacks in the vehicle and where to sit in correlation to it so that I have an eye on my pack.

I prefer to travel by ground rather than flight because I get to enjoy the scenery and the local life, although they take about 10x as long to arrive to my destination. Half the fun and experience is how I get there! There has not been one completely smooth transaction in how we travel from one location to another since we landed in Southeast Asia… and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If something goes exactly according to plan, we are so incredibly thankful for it, and I find that amusing since a tiny little thing like arrival time in the US would have caused a gigantic hoopla about false advertising. Here, I lightly brush it off as something that is bound to happen, and i just add about 2-3 hours to the estimated given time. I have learned humility, patience, and understanding of the harsh culture that surrounds me, and I hold that dear to my personal growth.

We have been up since 6 am today. I’m sitting on the 3rd bus of the day going from Siem Reap to Bangkok. It’s been an 8 hour ride with stop and go traffic and intermission at the border in Cambodia and then again in Thailand. We took a minibus to the border of Cambodia because our bus overbooked (of course it did!) We are traveling with about 20 other backpackers like us and we were all collectively confused as to the actual arrival time, where to go after each border crossing and where to stay for the night. I love seeing them in one place, splitting up to go our separate ways and then randomly meeting again later in another destination to catch up on what we did in the last leg. We have a small group we met on a bus to Phnom Penh that is going on our same route until Bangkok (same same but different!!!! *_*)

We have met some incredible people along the way and I learned of travels that I could not do due to pure lack of stamina (pedaling a bicycle across 2 countries?!?!?!) but also of travels that are so inspiring that I now have new goals to visit India, Laos, and even Hoi An in Vietnam. All of these places were not on my list to see anytime soon but now they are top of the list for the next big trip!

I might also remind everyone reading this blog that these posts are my personal thoughts, opinions and emotions. Kat and Tien, my two travel partners may have some similar experiences but different viewpoints about our travels. Since their respective blogs and facebook are not working, I am trying to encourage them to post what they feel and sign it in my blog so you have a more complete idea of what we are experiencing together. I post pictures and some collective thoughts on the places we have been to but the observations, insights, opinions and journal entries are still mainly from my point of view. I hope that you enjoy reading this blog; it is my personal journal but it helps keep me motivated to blog when you are reading and commenting! *_*

September 04

There is no better phrase to describe this post than the subject line. We bought ponchos at REI in two different colors and have put them to use in Kampuchea like no other. Monsoon season is definitely here, and is a huge deterrent for tourists, but it is not for us!!! We ran about all day in these things, and at one point, one of the girls in our tour group actually asked, “how OLD are they?!” …. to which Kat responded, “uhhhhh almost 30.” *_*

the first ever jumping jack set at the top of Angkor Wat…there is never a bad time to exercise

September 04

One of the 7 modern wonders of the world and it is truly wondrous. The ruins are insanely stunning, words cannot describe. All I can say is that I couldn’t stop taking pictures and was constantly mesmerized by the vastness of all the temples.

It rained a lot that day, thank god, because our friends had gone the week before and it was too excruciatingly hot to trek 3 temples in 6 hours. Tien and I donned our pink and blue ponchos and got a lot of amazing photos. Kat had an umbrella but we were all still pretty soaked by the end of the day. The ponchos get a separate post.

The day started off rough when the tour we booked from the hotel screwed us over by not giving us a tour guide when we bargained for one the day before. They wanted $25 for the tour guide, plus $15 for the tuk tuk to take us around the temples, and then wanted the same price the next day without the tour guide! We got pissed and decided to rake a gamble in the old market. We took the tuk tuk there and found a whole day tour for 13 US dollars….which is more than half off what the hotel tried to charge us! And we got our own minibus with AC and a legit guide to add! The tour had left already, but the booking agent was so good. He arranged for us to ride a tuk tuk and car to chase the rest of the tour that had left on the bus. Tien and I rode on the tuk tuk to Angkor Thom, and Kat rode in a beat up corolla. We had the best view with the wind in our hair, and riding through the jungle between all the trees.

At Angkor Thom


tomb raider ain’t got shit on tien’s arms

just a pretty image at Ta Phrom

happy that we wore our merrell’s!

Our tour group were all women, and we had the best time. We all took a lot of pictures together and exchanged emails. As per our normal travel regimen, we took stupid pictures, cute pictures, and then jumping pictures. The ice was broken at lunch when we ordered amazing dishes to share. Overall, we were so happy with our tour group for Angkor Wat. Oh, and this is where Tomb Raider was filmed as well. Angelina Jolie lived here for a year, and adopted Maddox while she was filming.

On our way out, it rained hard, but these little kids were wading in the lake in front of Angkor Wat. They were so incredibly cute and fearless. I love the primary colors and how they posed for us! But then they asked for candy, and when we said we didn’t have any, they asked for a dollar. When we said no to that, they immediately asked for $20! hahhahaha such witty children…

September 04

tuk tuk!!

Angkor Palm Restaurant

combo platter: amok, mango salad, morning glory, spare ribs, spring rolls, and sweet sticky rice for dessert

awesome jewelry in the old market

September 03

tuk tuk!!!!!

National Museum

Royal Palace

the best curry we’ve ever had

renting rooms for hobbits in the shire