Page 5 of Oddfellow Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Singapore February 8th 2011

Geo: 1.28941, 103.85... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria December 18th 2010

Geo: -37.8659, 145Its about 7 1/2 weeks until the next adventure begins. Not that all of life isnt an adventure its just that when you are living in your home town and your home country things dont always feel exotic or special. Although I have only been back in Melbourne for 3 months after 9 years in Cairns it still feels very familiar. The city of Melbourne has definitely grown in the time I have been away, not just on a population scale but it now appears to have a level of sophistication and maturity that was lacking when I last lived here. Sure there are more people and cars but there is also a great deal more inspiring architecture, loads more small art galleries and eateries. They have built bike paths and walking trails, extended ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns July 2nd 2009

Geo: -16.9254, 145.775Some of you who read this will recognize yourselves and others; I refer to all of you with the utmost love respect and gratitude, my life is richer for the experiences we shared. You can go to any country you like and enjoy their art, architecture, social customs, cuisine, and means of transport and personal activities but without the people who create, build, provide or participate in these events none of them would exist.In the last 4 months I have met people from many different nationalities, social levels and age groups. I have worked side by side with 3 Khmer men one whom is 50 years old. That would mean that during the time of the Khmer Rouge he would have been in his late teens.If you take into account the treatment of the ... read more

Asia » Vietnam May 26th 2009

Geo: 14.0583, 108.277I thought that all the confrontation to the senses and perceptions that I encountered during my time in Siam Reap would prepare me for anything that may come my way in other areas, whether that be within Cambodia or other countries. After all Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the region and Siam Reap one of the poorest regions in Cambodia. Again I over estimated myself and underestimated the diversity that can exist in a small area with such a huge population, and mixture of ethnic groups.While living in my little bubble in Siam Reap it was easy to fall into a comfort zone, the place and way of life became "normal". Step outside that bubble and you soon realise that "normal" is defined by those who live it from day to ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Central Highlands » Lam Dong » Da Lat May 15th 2009

Geo: 14.0583, 108.277Last Friday I left Siem Reap in Cambodia. This had been my home for 3 months while volunteering for an NGO called Volunteer Projects Overseas. The building project I had been involved with was one of a kind. Cambodia in fact most developing countries are full of NGO's the majority of them concentrating their efforts towards orphanages, schools and education and health care. Our project involved going into a remote village, Bos Village, some 60km from Siem Reap, identifying families who where in the harshest of living conditions and providing them with fresh water a decent roof over their heads and an area where they could house livestock and grow vegetables.Its the teach a man to fish theory.The majority of the families that were identified usually consisted of a single mother and young children. ... read more

Asia » Cambodia April 19th 2009

Geo: 13.4691, 104.041Having had very little exposure to it I was looking forward to experiencing the culinary delights of Cambodia. I decided before arriving that I would relax my stance on being vegetarian so as not to miss out on the cultural experience that food offered. Never did I imagine what that would entail. Cambodians will and do eat anything. Its hard to know if this is the way it has always been, if it's a result of the French influence or because of the horrific living conditions imposed by the Khmer Rouge. Before the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia in the early 1970's it was one of the few countries in the region that was capable of producing enough food to be self reliant. It was an extraordinary feat by the Khmer Rouge to take ... read more

Asia » Cambodia March 26th 2009

Geo: 13.4691, 104.041Last week I had to take a trip to the border of Cambodia and Thailand to renew my visa, this can usually be done through a travel agent but as I was applying for a Business visa I had to leave the country and come back in again. The closest border to Siem Reap is a small grotty little town called Poi Pet (pronounced Poy Pay) about 150km away by road. It is renowned for its beggars ,its Casino's and for its "Ladies of the night" this is due to the fact that it is illegal to gamble in Thailand, so a lot of the Thai nationals come across the boarder into Cambodia to do it and of course this attracts all sorts of unsavory characters. Its not a place for sight seeing. There ... read more

Asia » Cambodia March 10th 2009

Geo: 13.4691, 104.041Sometimes the things you see here defy explanation. Here are but a few.For some reason, which nobody seems to be able to explain to me pajamas are not only a desired fashion item they are a sign of wealth and status.Most of the times they are extremely colourful with elaborate patterns and you only ever see them worn by women and small children.The concept becomes even more difficult to grasp when you take into consideration that during the horrific years of the Khmer Rouge everybody was forced to wear black pajamas which later inexplicably got changed to green (obviously a bold fashion statement on behalf of the Khmer Rouge, but they mustn't have had much taste because everybody knows red goes better with black than green)So when you walk down the streets here it's ... read more

Asia » Cambodia February 26th 2009

Geo: 13.4691, 104.041Sunday was like a trip into a parallel world, the people who lived in the village we visited are alive at the same time as you and I but live a life pretty well unchanged for centuries.A group of six of us wanted to go and see a place called Kompong Phluck which is a village that lays in a flood plane area on the North western edge of Tonle Sap the biggest inland lake in South East Asia.Because we are all working here there are opportunities open to us which are not open to the average tourists.Our co-coordinator contacted a friend of his who's family live out that way, his friend then organised for us to get to the village the "locals" way.Most tourists can only get to another floating village about 30km ... read more

Asia » Cambodia February 19th 2009

Geo: 13.4691, 104.041I will start with a notice that I read today at the reception desk which seems to sum up the Cambodian attitude to life. "It doesn't matter if things are good or bad they will change".We have been working out on the project everyday and the place is really starting to come together, these people waste nothing even the empty water bottles are collected by the children and then resold. But their use of available materials is ingenious and extremely practical, the last 2 days we have been splitting bamboo (a very valuable skill to know, well I think so anyway) and making walls out of it and palm leaves. These walls last about 3 years and are an incredibly effective insulator and excellent at keeping the rain out and they can be made ... read more

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