Blogs from Cambodia, Asia


Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh August 15th 2023

So enough with the sad stuff Cambodia, show me your awesome. Today I had booked a tour with an organisation called the Wildlife Alliance. The group gathered to meet Marie and Bort at 7.30. We all piled into a beautifully air-conditioned van and set off to the Phnom Tamao Zoo. The zoo itself is state owned but they work with NGO's like the Wildlife Alliance to run the rescue centre. Every animal here has had a bad luck story, which I am finding is typical in Cambodia. But inside the sadness you find the stories of these amazing peeps that overcome insurmountable hurdles to make the lives of these animals the best they can be Tamao Zoo is open range. It covers an area of 2300ha. About 100ha is dedicated to animal rehabilitation. They are not ... read more
Lucky an Mr Sareem
Chhouk getting his shoes on
Sun Bear

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh August 14th 2023

Today was the day for the sad stuff. The 2 sites on the agenda were S21 and Choeung Ek. For those that don't know about these places, S21 was a prison the Khmer Rouge used to interrogate their prisoners. Once they had the information they wanted, the prisoner was shipped off to Choeung Ek, the killing fields. So yeah, content warning S21 started its life as a highschool. In that capacity I imagine it was quite a lovely school. Three large 3 storey buildings surrounding beautiful green quads. But as Pol Pot disposed of all the schools. While he was educated in Paris, it was a privilege he wanted denied to most of his countrymen. Its not surprising really, he recruited his army from the rural areas. Young uneducated, disenfranchised youth. They were poor and they ... read more
Choeung Ek

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh August 13th 2023

This trip is started out bit differently to my other adventures. I usually try to arrange my flights so that I land in my destination city late afternoon. Giving me enough time to get to my hotel, have a shower, and then maybe head out to do a bit of exploring before dinner and crash out for the night. This time however, my flight left late Friday night and I arrived in Phnom Phen late Saturday morning. Check in isn't until 2 so I could only drop my bags at the hotel and then head out to explore the city still covered in the grime of a day's travel. No matter, I had 2 goals 1) find an ATM to pull out some Cambodian reels and 2) find a place to taste test the local beer ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh August 13th 2023

Today started out much better than yesterday. Its amazing what a good night sleep will do. I had arranged to meet up with my civicly minded Tuk tuk driver. Mr Vy (pronounced V) agreed to be my driver for the day, which is a whole lot easier than haggling with various tuk tuk drivers all day. We started our tour at the royal palace. A strange thing about Cambodia is the 2 currencies. Even in this government building the entry fee was in USD. I asked if I could pay in reils which was OK. But they definitly don't trust their own currency. I don't know if it's because reils aren't worth much, or because Pol Pot blew up the central bank and they didn't have a currency for a long time, but US$ are definitly ... read more
Royal Palace
Royal Palace
Mekong River

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap August 3rd 2023

The proverbial "bucket list" sounds so final, like time is drawing near to leave this earth, as Jyaaack and Morgan portrayed in the famous movie. People often ask me about my own bucket list, and I prefer to call it my Water Pail list. And I have done this for many years now. It sounds less "final." Having any type of list puts undue pressure on oneself. When I started traveling, I did not have specific goals in mind. I just wanted to see and learn as much as I could. And I have, without the pressure of a list telling me where to go. Though I did visit rather touristy places, my favorites always remain Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and the Amazon Rainforest. I see another danger, the anxiety or depression that comes with getting ... read more
EU map
Annapolis walls

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap June 3rd 2023

The other night at a group dinner, a friend asked about the best place I have ever been. Here is my answer. The tumbled, jungle-clad ruins of Angkor Thom are intensely atmospheric and have long lured travelers. The sprawling complex of temples, gates and monuments, decorated with carvings, was built between the 9th and 14th centuries, when the Khmer civilization was at the height of its power. The largest and most famous temple of them all is the breathtaking Angkor Wat – watching the sunrise as its striking silhouette is mirrored in the still waters of the reflection pool is the ultimate experience. The beautiful Bayon Temple, evocative jungle-strangled Ta Prohm and pink-sandstone Banteay Srei are other must-sees. I have made the trek to Cambodia and Angkor Wat three times. Ta Prohm is my favorite. We ... read more
Ta Prohm
Looks alive??

Asia » Cambodia » North » Angkor April 4th 2023

Did you know that extreme frisbee is a big deal of a sport? We learnt a lot about extreme frisbee from a member of the Perth team flying to compete in an international friendly tournament in Singapore who was waiting in the queue to board our flight. Anyway this is the first stage in our latest family adventure Which begins with a flight to Singapore, overnight in a transit hotel and on to Cambodia. We are breaking up our journey with a visit to the Jewel at Changi Airport - the multi level mall and indoor garden, waterfall and interactive zone. It is an incredible place and we are keen to check out the upper canopy park with bouncing nets and mazes. You need to have enough time in transit to make it through customs and ... read more
Canopy Park.
Siem Reap
Angkor Wat

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh March 15th 2023

The AmaDara stopped in Phnom Penh - a very modern city with construction everywhere! It bears witness as to how far Vietnam has recovered since the war. Phnom Penh is home to many ex-pats from Australia, England, Europe and North America due to the low cost of living here. Lots of modern high rise condos are doting the 4 river intersection (the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers merge and split into the Basak and Mekong Rivers flowing south) that converges in this capital city! Home to the Parliament and the Royal Palace, there is so much to see and do here! We started with a visit to Wat Phnom Historical Site which is where the city gained its name. A wealthy woman (Lady Penh) in 1372, build a buddhist temple and a Pagoda on a man-made ... read more
Wat Phnom - Buddhist Temple
Wat Phnom - Buddhist Temple inside
Wat Phnom - Buddhist Temple worshipper

Asia » Cambodia » Central » Kampong Chhnang March 13th 2023

Actually the AmaWaterways cruise started in Kampong Cham which was a 5 hour drive south from Siem Reap. We met the tour group at the gorgeous Sofitel hotel in Siem Reap. I loved Viroth's Villa (in Siem Reap) but this was an increased level of opulence! Along the way we stopped a couple of times to use the "Happy Room" as we now refer our bathroom breaks to. One of the stops featured this incredible dragon sculpture made up entirely of bicycle tires. There was a giraffe as well which makes so much sense in Cambodia - go figure! The cruise really captured life in the countryside of Cambodia. We stopped and toured a local village that was attached to a buddhist monastery. Children starting at the age of 6 can attend as buddhist monks but ... read more
Darold with Dragon made out of bicycle tires!
Monks going home for lunch in Village
Monastery with Head Monk who was assasinated in 1993

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap March 10th 2023

We arrived in Siem Reap after a thoroughly enjoyable time at Hoi An/Da Nang, Vietnam. Getting here was a bit frustrating, a long flight that took us to Bangkok with long waits at both airports. The best part of the day was arriving late at our hotel, Viroth's Villa in Siem Reap, a 4 star hotel but only $100 CAN a night! It was recommended by home exchange friends (Ed and his lovely wife) that we met online during our previous Asia trip that was cut short by Covid. The breakfasts by the pool was gourmet! You won't regret a stay at this wonderful hotel - the service from all areas was exceptional. We loved getting bug sprayed every time we left the hotel by the front desk staff! What a treat! They arranged all of ... read more
Tuk Tuk with Driver and Guide
R & D outside Anghor Wat
Scooter - the common transportation

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