Temples & Hawkers

Trip Start Nov 05, 2008
Trip End Jun 23, 2009

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Where I stayed
Hilton Guesthouse

Flag of Cambodia  ,
Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I knew that my trip from Koh Chang, Thailand to Cambodia would not be easy. Fifteen hours later, after waiting 4 hours at the border itself and 6 hours of the bumpiest, pothole filled "road," I made it to Siem Reap. I managed to get a hold of Ted & Heather from CU, who are doing they're own trip for a few weeks. They said I could jump on their tour of the Angkor temples so we met up the next day. Many other travelers told me to book a 3-day pass to Angkor, but I just got a 1-day. Our tour guide was very soft spoken and hard to understand, but he let us go off and explore some of the temples on our own. The history of the Hindu and Buddhist temples was very interesting, it was a lot to take in, without looking at the architecture itself. After visiting 6 or 7 temples, the day led up to the grand finale, Angkor Wat, the most famous and impressive one. There were a lot of tourists and so many kids trying to sell things. They are so persistant here, they can't take no for an answer because they are so desperate and only 6 or 7 years old. I finally bought a $2 t-shirt from one of them. I thought Angkor Wat was awesome, but 1 day was enough for me.

Some interesting things I've observed on my trip so far:
-Stray dogs and cats are everywhere and nobody takes care of them
-A "5 hour" bus ride could mean 8-10 hours
-There is trash everywhere, and sadly I've gotten used to the smell...
-Cambodians are very friendly, but are usually just trying to scam you for money
-There are many Cambodians from the ages of 20-30 that are missing as a result of the Pol Pot, Khmer Rouge period
-Barter, Barter, Barter....you can always talk them down

Some interesting food I've tried so far:
-Frog Fried Rice
-Fried Tarantula
-Grilled Cockroach and Grasshopper
-Snake Skin...tastes like beef jerky
-Barracuda is delicious
-Some other random foods that I had no clue what I was eating.

I had 3 relaxing days in Phnom Penh, after enjoying the crazy water festival in which about a million people were by the river watching the illuminated boats, fireworks, boat races, concerts, street food. Not much else to say about the capital...more pictures to upload to this entry soon.

Next Stop: Sihanoukville, Cambodia
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megsbenedict on

frogs and tarantulas?
Sounds like Halloween eatin'.

doriastories on

I love the pictures from your temple visits - the elephants in particular are terrific, have you ridden any yet?
Watch your bug-intake, will you?

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