Monday, December 8, 2008
After falling in love with Cambodia, Mikaela and I decided to alter our travel plans and head to Sihanoukville instead of Koh Chang in Thailand. What awaited was a perfect white sand beach, crystal clear turquise waters that seemed like the world's most perfect and salty swimming pool, amazing new friends, and life-changing memories. We met most of our new friends on the bus from Siem Reap: two funny english guys from Darby and a german couple from Stuttegard. Nothing like a 10 hour bus ride to ensure group bonding. We got to Sihanvoukville and found a guest house and immediately wandered down the beach for some food. We had seafood barbeque almost every night we were there, and I already miss it. The idea of going to Sihanoukville was to celebrate my birthday on the beach, which we did with style. I couldn't imagine a better birthday. Our german friends introduced us to the custom of starting the party at midnight of your birthday, and continuing it for 24+ hours. One of our darling english friends requested a birthday song to be played at midnight, and the DJ obliged. With 25 cent drafts, it was a very happy birthday for everyone. The actual day of my birthday, we went to Otres beach. Don't tell anyone. I feel like I have stumbled upon a magical travel secret. Otres is a long streach of perfect white powder sand and amazing, amazing water. It's so clear you can see the beige crabs scuttling on the bottom several yards out. It's also almost deserted, there are a few beach bars with lounge chairs happy to cater to your every whim. We made a habit of frequenting the "I don't know" bar, where the staff spoiled us silly. After we discovered Otres, we went there every day. We fell into a comfortable routine of waking up and heading to the beach, comming back and grabbing seafood barbeque, then heading out for happy hour drafts. Sleep and repeat. It was so hard to pack, knowing that not only did I have to leave paradise, but that I was headed to Bangkok where I would fly back to Seattle. It was even harder to get on the bus that took me away from Sihanoukville and across the boarder. Now I sit in Bangkok, and every part of me wants to grab a bus back to Sihanoukville. I can't believe I fly home in 2 days. This will be my last post until I am home, then I will sum up Bangkok and post all the picture albulms.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Well, this post is a bit over-due. Cambodia is captivating, it's hard to force yourself in to an internet cafe. Our next stop after Phnom Pehn was Siem Reap, famous for its proximity to the temples of Angkor. And they are every bit as impressive as we were told they would be. Our first day (we got a three day pass) we attempted the grand circuit by bicycle, and did over 30km on old creaky bikes over bumpy roads. We ran into trouble at sunset, as the lights didn't work! So, we took a tuk-tuk for the remaining two days. Biking was fun, but we were so sore after the first day I couldn't fathom getting on one again. We went to several temples, but two stood out as my favorite. Running around Ta Prahm and Bayon was probably one of the coolest things I've ever done. Ta Prahm is where the movie Tomb Raider was filmed, it is a massive temple over run with trees growing everywhere. Just incredible. As soon as I get home, I will post the pictures. Bayon is famous for its big stone faces. And famous for good reason. The only reason we didn't visit for a second time is that it is immensly popular, and we were shoulder to shoulder for much of our time there. I took so many pictures of temples! Feel lucky that I will only post the best ones to the website, and not make you sit through them all....