Blogs from North, Cambodia, Asia - page 4


Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap January 8th 2019

Our bags were left behind in Bangkok, but do to a tremendous speed walking effort we managed to catch our plane. The lack of clothes and hygiene items made getting ready this morning even easier. When we arrived at Trailblazers, they were loading up the truck to make filter deliveries and told us that we should get in. Childhood memories of driving back from the lake in the back of my dad’s truck hit periodically throughout the day as my spot was on a filter in the truck bed. As we left the edge of Siem Reap, we stopped for coffee. $1 for 20 ounces of iced coffee served in a plastic bag was a solid investment. Today was a different type of city tour as we entered the villages. When we entered the delivery village, ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Angkor January 7th 2019

Despite my earplugs our room last night was rather noisy with the terrible karaoke from next door. Hearing the same songs for the 3rd night in a row is driving me slightly crazy and I struggled to sleep. This was a particular problem as our alarm went off around 5am and we were at Angkor Wat, in position for the sunrise by 550am. In order to get a prime spot to get good photos (by the pond on the left) you need to be there as the gates open at 5am. Since neither of us have particularly good cameras or photographic ability we decided we only needed to be able to see it. We expected it to be busy. What I had forgotten was that if you’re not on the front row your beautiful, romantic view, ... read more
Angkor Wat - sunrise
Angkor Wat - hall of 1000 Buddhas
Angkor Wat - view from the top

Asia » Cambodia » North » Angkor January 6th 2019

Today we decided to cycle to Angkor Thom and do the Lonely Planets ‘off the beaten track’ trek around the old city. This is slightly crazy given it’s a 12km cycle to the start of the walk and the bikes provided by our hotel are somewhat dubious & extremely uncomfortable fixed wheel bikes. I’d love to be able to say we were trying to save the environment or improve our fitness but mostly they were appealing as they’re free with our hotel room. We started out as early as we could (the bikes seem to be kept at someone’s house and they wouldn’t agree to bring the bikes to the hotel before 730am). At this time it’s hot but not too hot. There was plenty of shade along the route into Angkor and a cooling breeze. ... read more
Missing bit of city wall
West Gate

Asia » Cambodia » North » Angkor January 5th 2019

Angkor was the capital of Khmer and a huge city which thrived from the 9th to 15th centuries. What remains are the religious buildings as other structures were made of wood. The earlier temples are Hindu and later ones Buddhist. The temples were designed to look like Mt Meru, the Hindu Mt Olympus, and successive kings used them to consolidate their power. Angkor Wat is the worlds largest religious building. The city was thought to have been abandoned as the water supplies were silting up and due to successive wars. Trying to escape the heat today we woke up early and headed out after a quick breakfast. Our hotel is supposed to provide free bikes, but apparently they’re taken today (our room is ‘deluxe with balcony & bicycles’ - only there’s no balcony or bikes). This ... read more
Prasat Leak Neang
East Mebon temple
East Mebon

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap December 15th 2018

Welcome home” is the greeting that meets you by Kol, your newest family member, as you walk out of the small Siem Reap International airport and locate your name on a sign. A dynamic, good looking Cambodian with a heart of gold is how you will always remember Kol. He is just the start of something fantastic in Siem Reap. You jump into the air-conditioned van with Kol who hands you a small platter of ice cold fruit on toothpicks and even colder waters in metal drink bottles, and so the journey begins. Along the way, Kol tells you all you need to know about Siem Reap and Jaya House RiverPark Hotel where you are headed. “What would you like to drink when we arrive at the hotel?” Kol asks. “Wine, beer, maybe a cocktail?”. My ... read more
Drinks by the pool
Sunset drinks at the Rooftop Bar
Beautiful staff that are like family

Asia » Cambodia » North » Battambang December 7th 2018

Off we head to the boat from Siem Reap to Battambang, we knew nothing about it other than where it was going. After a short bus ride where we got very cosy with the other passengers ( the bus was too small) we got to the boat. Basically a fast narrow barge with bus seating and the top deck was the flat roof. The journey was very relaxing (even managed to write this on the way) as we meandered along very tight riverways into Tonle Sap lake then out the other side again. Along the way we saw many floating villages and stopped at one for a drink and toilet break plus a pineapple sliced by hand in front of us - very refreshing. After hearing a few bangs as we went through some of the ... read more
all aboard
no passing place
creating waves

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap December 5th 2018

Wow, I can't believe I have been here for a month already! I had planned to write a blog every week, but somehow that didn't happen, so maybe I should aim for once a month!! There have been a lot of changes at the school in the month since I arrived. We were already short one teacher when I arrived, now two more have moved on to other opportunities. ABCs is a stepping stone for new teachers, so it when they move on it is because they are moving up, which is great for them, but at the same time leaves the school in a bit of an awkward position. We have been able to hire one new teacher who started last week. I have spent most of this week in his classroom helping him to ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap December 2nd 2018

Siem Reap Slightly tense moment at Da Nang airport as we realised we hadn’t paid for our luggage to come with us to Cambodia. Very kindly the Airline allowed us to shell out $120 and the cases made it. Arriving at the hotel we were advised that there was a Water festival going on and the local entertainment area ‘Pub Street’ might be a bit noisy. A bit noisy! After listening to a thumping bass from about a mile away till 5.00 in the morning - we managed to get a couple of hours sleep before breakfast. Welcome to Cambodia! Apparently we are near ‘pub’ street which made Magaluf seem like a sleepy suburb. Next morning was fairly lazy then we went on a half day tour around some of the temples - avoiding Angkor Wat ... read more
The trees taking over the temples.
photographer at work

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap November 26th 2018

It's been all too short, but today we leave Laos to move on to our final country of this trip, namely Cambodia. I think it is fair to say that we have all loved Laos and could really have done with, at least, one more day here, but unfortunately, the Mercury Tour Bus waits for on we go! Laos has been such a lovely experience, far removed from the hustle and bustle of Vietnam and the Lao people have seemed very gentle and welcoming. Interestingly, we found out that Laos is a new destination on Mercury's Indochina itinerary and we'll definitely be recommending that it becomes a regular fixture. Our flight out of Luang Prabang was not until 14.40 and we were departing the hotel at noon, leaving us with the morning free to do ... read more
Our final morning in Luang Prabang - 2
Our final morning in Luang Prabang - 3
Our final morning in Luang Prabang - 4

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap November 17th 2018

So wonderful to be back, feels like coming home! How fortunate I am to have a wonderful but totally different life on two different continents. Disembarking the plane to the wall of heat and strange sounds and smells, makes you realize right away that you are indeed in Cambodia. I am now finding it very hard to believe that I have been here for 11 days already and arrival is but a distant memory. So much has happened in that time. I had a very warm welcome at the school and more hugs than I ever imagined possible. Really rewarding that so many of the children remembered me by name. So glad to be back. I will not be doing much in the classroom this time, I have taken on the role of volunteer coordinator, so ... read more

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