Blogs from Cambodia, Asia - page 2

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Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap March 24th 2019

The wait is over. Here is my very delayed blog post on an amazing time that I had in Siem Reap, December 2018. After two short flights from Vientiane to Paske, with a landing that made me wonder if I would live to see another day, and then from Paske to Siem Reap, I finally arrived in Cambodia for the first time. There is always that fear of how the devil am I going to get to my hostel by myself from the airport in a country I have never been to but as per usual, it all went swell. After living in Vientiane with tuk tuks that have broken down or almost on fire due to pushing too hard, getting a tuk tuk in Siem Reap from the airport was a delightful treat. It looked ... read more
Wat a Sunrise
Meditating in Angkor Wat
The moment it became "just another temple".

Asia » Cambodia February 21st 2019

On Wednesday, February 13, Stefan and I left Laos and we went by minibus to Siem Reap in Cambodia. It was a very long trip : we started at 8:30AM with a ferry to the main land (we had been on Don Det, one of the 4000 islands), at 9:30 we had a minivan to the border and at 11:30AM another minivan from the border (Cambodian side) to Siem Reap where we would arrive at 6:30PM. We had booked directly with AVT (Asian Van Transfer), the best minivan company to do this trip and we really liked it ; the van was comfortable, the driver good and very friendly and we did several short toilet breaks. It took us about 1 hour to cross the border from Laos to Cambodia and we can only confirm what ... read more
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Asia » Cambodia February 21st 2019

Mittwoch den 13. Februar haben Stefan und ich uns von Laos verabschiedet und sind mit dem Minibus nach Siem Reap in Cambodia gefahren. Es war eine ziemlich lange Reise : wir sind um 8h30 mit einem Boot zum Festland gestartet (wir waren auf Don Det, einer der 4000 Inseln), um 9h30 ging es dann mit dem Minibus zur Grenze und um 11h30 ging es von der anderen Seite der Grenze (Cambodia Seite) dann mit dem Minibus nach Siem Reap wo wir gegen 18h30 ankommen würden. Wir hatten online bei AVT (Asian Van Transfer) gebucht, das beste Unternehmen mit dem man diese Reise antreten kann, und wir waren sehr zufrieden damit : der Minibus war angenehm, der Fahrer war gut und sehr nett und wir haben mehrere kurze Toilettenstops gemacht. Wir haben ungefähr eine Stunde gebraucht um ... read more
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Asia » Cambodia » South » Kep February 9th 2019

This is a late add, but even more justified. For the second day, we rented scooters and motored our way to Kep. This is a smallish town on the coast known for its crab and city statues. We enjoyed our time cruising along the water, stopping at the crab market, reading and playing cards in the bungalows. All-in-all a good day, except the one time I parked my scooter and turned only to have my calf touch someone else’s exhaust pipe. IT WASN’T EVEN MY BIKE (which had a cover over the exhaust pipe to prevent rookie drivers from doing such a thing)! Well my skin immediately turned ashen and blistered and throbbed in pain. Anatomy class tells me those are the key signs of a second degree burn. We explored the town a little more ... read more
Natural Remedy from the Garden

Asia » Cambodia » South » Kampot February 8th 2019

Today we rented some scooters (mopeds) and headed to Bokor National Park. The real adventure was taking a go at navigating the Cambodian roads. The good thing for me is Kampot is way less congested than Siem Reap. It was about a 30 minute ride to the national park and then 45 minutes winding up to the 1 kilometer peak. The curves were great training ground for learning to steer and the almost empty road was great for going at my own pace and seeing the view points and trees. The first stop Povokvil waterfall. During monsoon season, the water fall appears to be almost a horseshoe with many levels and drop ins. Now in dry season, there were two small trickles. It was still a great stop because you could hike in the river bed ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » South » Kampot February 7th 2019

Did you know there are different types of pepper? Today we visited the Kampot Pepper Farm (La Plantation) and learned move about pepper than my previous knowledge times 1000x. Due to Kampot’s soil composition, pepper grows extremely well here. In fact, at one time Cambodia was known for its pepper quality around the world. However, during the Khmer Rouge, all pepper plantations were shut down and exportation of it was stopped. There is now a revival of the industry particularly in the Kampot area. We visited a plantation which grows normal pepper which can produce: green, red, white, and bird pepper based on when it is picked and how it is fermented. Bird pepper is the most expensive because the grounds are collected out of bird waste. The digestive process (fermentation) in the bird stomach is ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 6th 2019

We traveled by overnight bus to Phnom Pehn. It is pretty common for us to select overnight travel, you don’t miss a day of moving and seeing, you don’t add overnight expenses for lodging and typically the fares are cheaper. What I wasn’t expecting was for the entire bus to be bed cots instead of seats. One side of the isle was single bunk beds and the other side of the isle had two separate cots next to each other with bunk beds. Never have I been so happy to be traveling with a friend than tonight! We arrived in Phnom Pehn and caught a bus to Kampot and made it out to our hostel. Again what the hostel photos didn’t show was the domitories were not only in the house but also in 2 shipping ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North February 5th 2019

It is a weird thing to say something is the last. So final and clean cut. Today was the last day of volunteering in Siem Reap at Trailblazer, but the experience was exactly what I wanted it to be. Last time I volunteered, I left feeling very burnt by the NGO world, a little hopeless and very doubtful of the continuation of anything. Trailblazer has been the exact opposite. It existed before me and will continue to move forward. We replaced the old man filter of #25 from over 10 years ago with filter number 4226 during my time here. The filters we constructed the first week we got here are now just being delivered. I am but a blip in the progression of its mission. I am very glad that volunteering found its way into ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap February 4th 2019

There are a lot of things I have enjoyed about being in a place for so long where it starts to feel comfortable. One of the most pleasurable things is the drive to volunteering. I have gotten used to the randomness of the driving and people yielding as vehicles venture across at all moments, cars driving the wrong way down traffic, and the wild and crazy of the city and I have just started to notice small things. Every day I see a different shop, the group of men always on the corner smoking and waving their arms as they talk to each other and these traveling green houses (See picture). I wish I was a drawer and then I would carry a sketch book instead of a journal and have no need for a camera. ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap February 3rd 2019

In case you were wondering, I have a certain fondness for animals, particularly dogs. It seems whenever traveling, they tend to gravitate towards me...my friends may say it is the other way around. Regardless there is usually one or two stories about a pack of dogs following us home because I snuck hotdog pieces I couldn’t finish from an unwanted birthday appetizer or getting scolded for going too near the dogs on the street. The reminder that just because I am friendly doesn‘t mean they are friendly. Anywho, Cambodia has not been any different. There are 3 kinds of dogs here: the true stray, the truly owned, and the your mine dog because you hang out here but every day you go on your merry way and may or may not come back or make it ... read more




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