Posts in "Cambodia"
cambodian contemplation...
well what can i say about cambodia? we didnt stay as long as we would have liked, but we crammed alot into the ten days we were there. cambodia is a beautiful country with green rice fields and rolling green hills, its also a very poor country. apart from burma, cambodia is the second place where the poverty is just everywhere you look. a great place to visit if your in this neck of the woods.

the great aspects:

1. the afternoon storms and the evening rain that bucketed down was not only great when enjoying it from a nice dry cafe, but refreshing and a nice reprieve from the heat

2. the khmer food was delicious - every local meal we had was tantalising (a far cry from that of the traditional lao food that lacked the intricate elements of the khmer dishes)

3. the khmer people we met were all delightful, hospitable and only to willing to help with anything we needed

4. our first ocean swim in over two months was amazing, as was the setting - relaxed in wicker chairs on the beach with a seafood lunch and ice cold ankor beers

5. visiting ankor wat and the surrounding temples. i cant put into words how special it was and its something i recommend if you ever have the chance

6. the quaint little cinema we went to in sihanoukville is worth a mention: for two dollars fifty we had the cinema to ourselves which came with drinks and snacks, day beds, insanely comfortable wicker chairs, pillows and foot stools - what more could you ask for?

7. women wearing pj's all day long. in previous countries we have seen the occasional family matriarch wearing matching pj's and bossing children and husbands around but in cambodia, females big and small, are embracing wearing their pj's all day long - in a huge way. its a bit of a trip.

the not so great aspects:

1. cambodian travel companies and their buses are notorious for running late, not showing up, delivering you to the wrong destinations and breaking down. if you have the chance to fly in cambodia i would defiantly do that rather than waste time with unreliable buses

2. with the rai,n came the mud. need i say more?

3. rubbish. rubbish. everywhere. literally everywhere you look. i have never seen a country with so much garbage. it was a real let down
the perfect location to end our cambodian adventure...
today will mark the fifth day spent lazing around cambodia's premiere beach resort, sihanoukville. the laid back - easy going vibe of this little town tempted us into staying a few more days. i must say that this break is just what the doctor ordered. there really is little to do during the day other than take in an island hopping tour, swim and frolic in the sun and visit near by villages. the evenings are spent enjoying ice cold beers for 50 cents or two for one cocktails before gorging on a fresh seafood for dinner. we have also become dangerously addicted to the homemade desserts here; the favorite being chocolate coconut cake with coconut ice cream.

the past few days have seen us hire a scooter and visit otres beach, an almost deserted stretch of white sand and ocean with seafood stalls dotted occasionally along the shore. we did an overnight trip to neighboring kampot and feasted on the dish that put this little fishing town on the tourist trail: fried mud crab with sprigs of kampot pepper (insanely yummy). tonight will be spent taking in a film at the local open air cinema. attention ladies: eat pray love has finally arrived in cambodia and im crossing my fingers (and toes) that its a proper version of the movie, not a tacky and terrible pirated version...

tomorrow we head to yet another fabulous beach destination, vietnam's phu quoc island. stay posted for some possible holiday ideas if your in need of a cheap and culturally charged holiday in the sun; suggestions, hints and tips coming your way.

pics. sihanoukville beach, early morning swim, relaxing setting at serendipity beach, sihanoukville restaurant strip, a kampot resturant,kampot pepper crab, how we backpackers travel in asia - jammed into mini vans, how asians transport their meat in aisa, kurt chilling at serendipity, a nice cold ankor on the beach and serendipity cove at sunset.

ankor what...
well peeps, the trip from laos into cambodia wasn't exactly the easiest border crossing we have done to date. after getting stuck at the border for over two hours in 40 degree heat our bus missed all connecting buses to phnom penh and siem reap so we were dropped at a road house and told to wait for another bus. with no details or bus tickets and still no where near our desired destination, we were certainly o-v-e-r i-t! we finally reached siem reap at one am, only six hours after we were meant to arrive... thankfully we got a room at a beautiful guest house first try.

we spent the next day wandering the streets and river banks of siem reap and meeting some of the very hospitable locals and snacking on some of delicious khmer cuisine. the town itself is a bit kuta come chiang mai. it has the tourist-trap aspect of bali (understandable given it's home to the eighth wonder of the world) but the small town quaintness of chaing mai with it's bustling restaurants, bars and hostels all within walking distance.

day two we got up for sunrise at ankor wat. this is one of the serious unexpected highlights of the trip. i hope the photos can paint a picture of how magical it was to witness the sun rising over this monumental site. we spent the morning with a lovely belgian who shared our tuk tuk while we made our way around ankor wat and the old city of ankor thom. it was great to be immersed in a place with such great significance to the asian history and culture and there was a real sense of tranquility and peace at the sites.

we spent the afternoon watching a storm role in before heading off the have some of the towns infamous pizzas and beer before heading to the ice cream parlour for some homemade gelato.

we were up early day three, to catch a bus en route to the beach. with kurt itching to get to the ocean and given our time constraints, we spent a few hours in phnom penh and headed for sihanoukville, cambodias premiere beach town. we are now soaking up the sun and eating some amazingly fresh seafood on a quiet little beach lined with restaurants, umbrellas and sun chairs. the beaches here while not as beautiful as our australian ones are still worth visiting, so were going to stick around for a few more days.

pics. ankor wat sunrise, bayon temple, the old city of ankor thom, the hidden wall, the temple goers, ankor thom ruins and a few in and around siem reap.