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Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh April 7th 2014

Good Bye Vietnam! Even with a year on the road to play with you soon discover that the world is a very big place and if you want to experience a chunk of it, well then you're going to have to pull up stakes as much as you're enjoying the place in which you find yourself. We headed to Cambodia via the Mekong River crossing in Chau Doc, Vietnam. We've covered Chau Doc ad nauseum in previous blogs so I'll be brief. Karen and I had been through Chau Doc in the Mekong Delta at least a half dozen times before but as it was Karlie's first visit we showed her the high points of town. Like the fish market and the fruit market and the scene on the Mekong where women row sampans across the ... read more
1st Night In Phnom Penh
Breakfast Over Phnom Penh
Giang and Mike

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh April 1st 2014

Our Malaysia airlines flight to KL was successful in that we did not disappear. We then flew to Phnom Penh to start our journey through SE Asia arriving on 1/04/14. The weather was a bit of a shock - everyday is approximately 35-40C and about 90% humidity. We have been told that as this is the month prior to the rainy season it is the hottest. And although there seems to be plenty of tourists around we're told that this is far less than the peak season of the last few months. Our first impressions of Cambodia and Phnom Penh are that the people within the tourist industry are more in-your-face than Nepalese people but very quick to smile and laugh. As with most places in the world (Australia included), taxi drivers (Tuk tuks in the ... read more
Garden at the Silver Pagoda

Asia » Cambodia » South » Prey Veng March 17th 2014

The bus begins to pick up speed, we are crossing into Cambodia - I take out my laptop and begin to type what I see - large and relatively well maintained casinos, only slightly down the road they give way to the slightly less well maintained casinos, and then the casinos with no windows and no cars in the parking lot - someone may or may not be working inside of there - and then a building no larger than a sports bar with a sign reading 'casino' and offering 'money lending services,' down the road abandoned casinos with barren dirt lots in the front, scrawny dogs wandering about the dust with their noses to the ground. Highway 1, the same highway we had followed from Thailand to Phnom Penh a year and a half previous, ... read more
Cambodian Kids
Cambodian Fields
Roadside Stand

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh March 10th 2014

So 5 days into Cambodia and it had been all fun and games. We had had a great time in Seim Reap and were headed off to Phnom Penh. After arriving in in PP after a pretty bad 7 hour bus trip, some of that pain was defiantly self inflicted we get to our hotel. We didn’t get the room that we booked and I got a bit cranky. I was super tired and sore from the bus ride and I was starting to come down with a cold. I wanted my bath. We didn’t have a bath. I kinda cracked it for a wee bit, but then got over it. We had organized the tuk tuk driver to pick us up again the next day to take us out to the killing fields. We headed ... read more
Chemical storage
Photo of the bones
First mass grave

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh March 5th 2014

It has been a week extreme highs and lows. I thought the previous blog might be my last but I think now I'm in for at least two more. The Intl. Women's Day Bike-a-Thon has been quite an experience. Everything that I thought would happen has not and everything I thought would not happen has. The short story is that the bike-a-thon is now a carnival at the university because there are opposition protests scheduled for Saturday and we can't have our students on the street. They are expecting 10 - 20k. We will still be able to accomplish the same things--raising awareness of child sex trafficking and teaching our students to care about those other than themselves. I'll give more details on the entire process once it is behind me but something else is driving ... read more

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Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh March 4th 2014

O.k. here goes. We visited a few initerestig temples in Vietiane with our tour group. At one of the temples there were lots of monks chanting. Things were winding down for the tour. As we had some free time we decided to go to a temple called wat suk pa luang. We heard there were massages and a sauna at the temple grounds. We got there and wandered around for a while lookig for the spa. Eventually we found out it had burned down and was closed permanently. Undeterred, we decided to explore instead. As we were wondering around a young monk approached us and started a conversation. His English was weak and our Lao was non-existant. He wanted to practice English so we had a long slow very amusing conversation. I felt like we were ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 21st 2014

Greetings, all friends and family, rusty or otherwise! So off we went to Rabbit Island, meeting a really nice couple called Ann and Rod on the way – they were also staying over. Left big bags in the guesthouse (paid for room but woth it for luggage storage), hand luggage only for one night/2 days on the beach. On arrival, we were shown the hut I had foolishly paid for unseen the day before, and even more foolishly we started to unpack. Very very dodgy sheets, bathroom (haha!) even worse and 2 holes cut out for windows but no shutters of any sort. So anyone could look right in and see you in bed under the mozzie net. See pics! Bit horrified, off to the beach to think about it, and the Cambodian lady said ‘Check ... read more
Reject bathroom 1
Rubbish behind hut 1
Sam looking out of 'window'

Asia » Cambodia » South » Sihanoukville February 20th 2014

Cambodia is less well known for its tropical islands than it is for its ancient temples. But as tourism has flourished in Cambodia because of its magnificent ancient past, the present traveller is soughting more from their Cambodian experience and expanding away from the jungles. Backpackers generally blaze new trails in tourism & that trail generally heads for the beach. And so it is with the islands of Cambodia. Facilities on the islands are backpacker basic. But it is one of the last island areas in SE Asia still undeveloped. So the time to experience an untarnished & untampered natural & idyllic environment is NOW. Things are about to change and luxury development is on its way & it will never be the same again. When l first visited Cambodia about 10 years ago, the islands ... read more
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Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 14th 2014

Accommodation - Villa Langka Phnom Penh Accommodation - Bambu Hotel Battambang Weather - Hot, sunny, blue skies with occasional clouds and one heavy rain storm in Battambang for an hour. 32 to 35c Our two days in Phnom Penh went past in a whirl of sightseeing and wandering around. On our first morning we went on a city tour which included the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and National museum. The Royal Palace, situated on the west bank of the Tonle Sap River, was stunning, glistening in the sun, built in the Khmer style, with multicoloured gilded and curlicued roofs, with carved columns. The adjacent Silver Pagoda, with a similar architecture, was named due to its floor, which is inlaid with 5000 solid silver tiles. Near by there is an intricately carved stupa which holds the ashes ... read more
Tuol Sleng Prison - S-21 - Phnom Penh
Vegatables for sale in a small rural village market - Cambodia
Suspension bridge in Battambang

Asia » Cambodia » South » Kampong Speu February 14th 2014

As a self-promise, I headed back to Kampong Speu, leading a team of individual volunteers this time, on the Water for Life programme under Singapore International Foundation. It felt great to be back, especially being able to meet up with old friends, and to contribute in a meaningful way. For me, it seems like a yearly retreat back into the kampong! I never felt more refreshed to be away from the bustling city, into the farms and villages where simplicity (and mosquitos!) fills the air. This trip was slightly different due to changes in the programme compared to the previous ones. Besides doing the routine manufacturing and installation of water filters in the villages, we also did a hygiene programme in the local primary school. For details on installation of water filter, refer to: http://www.travelblog.org/Asia/Cambodia/South/Kampong-Speu/blog-762535.html We ... read more
Completed Water Filer
with the baby!
Panorama shot of the village




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