Page 4 of ArielP Travel Blog Posts


Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap November 24th 2014

Goodbye Phnom, Hello Siem We wake up early and go for breakfast before getting on the boat to Siem Reap. PP is actually quite pleasant at sunrise, the locals are setting up the market stalls, and the colors on the water, cooler temperature, and slowed traffic are refreshing. We are told the boat ride takes 6-8 hours. It costs us each $ 35.00. A bus would be $11, but would take longer, and we thought a boat would be cool. We grab lunch right by the port and get to go lunches for the trip. I'm sticking with eggs and toast for breakfast, but the rest of the crew has jumped on the Cambodia breakfast wave and are eating noodles and pineapple fried rice. We get to the boat and we are immediately swindled into paying ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh November 19th 2014

The Khmer Rouge and the Killing Fields Disclaimer: Though an account of actual history, some parts are violent and graphic I must embarrassingly admit that I did not know what I was getting myself into when we were heading in our tuk tuk towards the killing fields, 14 km from town. I knew of Pol Pot and that he was a "bad man" and that there had been a genocide, but my sophomore year world history didn't bring to mind much more. We arrive at the gate, and after we purchase tickets we are given an audio headset guide and a small map. The fields is arranged in a circle with 18 stations, and there is an audio account for each station. It's hot, so we huddle in the shade from station to station, but I ... read more
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Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh November 19th 2014

My sticky body eventually makes it out of the National Museum. I then decide to make my way towards the Silver Pagoda and the Royal Palace, mainly because they are very large appearing on my tourist map. Unfortunately, things are completely unmarked in PP, and I keep entering a lot of other large temples and monuments, none of which are actually my intended destination. It's unclear to me the criteria for achievement of emboldened map status. And since we all know my comically horrific sense of direction, I just bobble around and ultimately find myself in a throng of young school children all in uniform in a park type setting. After I buy a pineapple shake for sustenance, of course. Best way to spend a dollar. I follow the masses and find I have arrived at ... read more
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Asia » Cambodia » South November 16th 2014

It's hot. No two ways to say it. It's just really, really hot. And I'm pretty sure it's mild on the weather spectrum for Phnom. I'm in a dryfit bright green shirt and bright pink running shorts with my iPad and my tote bag and the fedora I just bought at the market. I'm just one day glow tourist in the sea of ancient statues now surrounding me. The silver pagoda and other temples don't open for another hour, so I thought I'd take the time to blog amidst the Cambodian statues in the National Museum, my current location. The statues aren't in a rush to go anywhere. Most are from the 10th century. So I figure I can chill out, too. I departed Melbourne at 1:25am Monday morning after a fantastic weekend. Public transport there ... read more
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Okay, behind in blogs and now too far out, so abbreviated end of NZ blog. Gimme a break fools. (Music: album; With a little help from my fwends - Flaming Lips) For our last full day, we set out to do a hike by the very elusive Mount Cook. We have been trying to see this mountain top from multiple cities and look outs, but clouds, timing and weather has prevented any real view. So in our minds, it doesn't really exist yet. So we drive to Mount Cook from Wanaka, and arrive at quite a posh little resort community. There's a 5 star hotel and a really nice museum at the trail heads and a gift shop. There are exhibits on the history of the mountain, including the longest, deadliest, and highest rescue efforts of ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Wanaka November 11th 2014

Turns out that Maori names are supposed to be pronounced with no emphasis on any syllable. Hence "Wanaka" actually sound like "Hanukkah". We definitely were singing that damn Adam Sandler song the whole time. We drive through Haast Pass and turn onto the most beautiful drive I could possibly imagine. The road climbs up a mountain and switchbacks and then meanders its way down. We were in a pass surrounded by Lake Hawea on one side and Lake Wanaka on the other. The water is so blue it's criminal, and the white capped mountains make reflections on the glassy water. If we wanted to capture every beautiful moment we would never have made it to our lodge. I can tell this was Anjali's "aha I now get NZ" moment. Mine was the glacier. We both love ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef November 11th 2014

Meet Franz and Fox - Our Glaciers So we leave Greymouth and make our way to glacier country, just about a 2.5 hour drive away. We restructured our trip so that we were chasing the sun instead of the thunderstorms. We saw that the storms were headed South to the Fiordland, so we elected to do Wanaka and Queenstown and the glaciers first, and then Milford Sound after. FUNFACT: Fiordlands are carved out by glaciers, and Sounds by rivers. So Milford Sound is actually a misnomer, We drive first to Fox Glacier, the smaller of the two glaciers. We have good weather for the drive, but have to don our raingear for the hike. I'm quite the vision in my bright yellow poncho and floral umbrella. At least we weren't like the fools we saw on ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Greymouth November 7th 2014

Arthur's Pass ( of Death ) - Day 2 On the road. I'm driving since I have left side of the road driving experience. Our plan is to do a counterclockwise loop around the South Island, skipping the northern region mainly out of time constraints. So today we drive to Greymouth via Arthur's Pass, a famous road long used by the Maori (indigent New Zealand people) but "discovered" by Arthur Dobson in 1864 as a way to get West during the Gold Rush. It's home to the highest settlement in NZ at 900m (Arthur's Pass Village population of 62). It's also home to a national park and cuts between two mountain ranges and is known for epic photo ops and lots of day hikes. So we think we will spend the day in the pass, hiking ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch November 7th 2014

Chasing that cloud. ...or a few more clouds than we bargain for... Finally on my flight to Christchurch, which is very unremarkable except for my exit row seat. I arrive and make it through customs quickly (as long as you don't have fresh produce or soil on your hiking boots there are no snags). The plan is for me to get the rental car and drive to the hotel to meet Anjali who arrived earlier. I'm looking for the rental car company, and I hear a smart voice say, "So you're just going to walk right past me?" And there is my 5'0" gorgeous smart ass best friend there to greet me. She has her chic little furlined jacket on, and looks like an Aspen babe about to hit the slopes, and I look like a ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Gold Coast November 7th 2014

Golden Girls and Golden Lessons on the Golden Coast So the end of my time in Brisbane was a bit sleepy, but exactly what I needed. I've been getting some sinus pain and congestion so spent a fair deal of time on the couch watching episodes of Suits. Amazing show, highly recommended. I could tell I was getting on Eoin's nerves a bit - not me, just the presence of another body in his space. I had a small bag ready for the weekend, and had initially planned on coming back after the weekend away and packing up the rest of my things. So I asked if he wanted me to pack up and figure out the rest of my plans after the Gold Coast. And he in more or less words said yes. Unfortunately, he ... read more




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