China and Cambodia: Part 13

Then the final day of our trip was upon us. We had most of the day in Phnom Penh before it was time to make our journey back home.

Our first stop was the National Museum of Cambodia. What a lovely museum! The first hall is filled with all sizes of bronzes, which is pretty impressive. Other halls have many stone sculptures of gods and goddesses from Hindu and Buddhist traditions. There’s even a little section of the courtyard with linga and yoani!  One side of the museum had more recent artifacts from the 19th century such as wooden sculptures and a caravan. One of my favorite parts of the museum was a section of contemporary Cambodian artists. I love seeing the mashup of contemporary and older art. Just beyond the contemporary art was a room filled with Buddhas, which was really great. Sadly, photos were not permitted without an extra fee (don’t ask me why I didn’t pay it. Foolish choice!)

The main section museum centered a courtyard with a Buddha statue in the middle surrounded by four lakes filled with fish. You could buy fish food from a vendor in the museum. And obviously, we did. (With all the cats, dogs, and birds of this trip, it was time to give fish a turn). We had a lot of fun wandering from pond to pond distributing tiny bits of dried food. Can’t say I’ve done that at a museum before!

Afterwards, we decided to wander the area a bit, something we hadn’t done a lot of. Around the museum, there were stores selling art, sometimes large sculptures that I wished I could have taken home. We also ended up at a market, less touristy and more everyday. It was a fascinating experience walking through the halls to see the various household goods and food on sale. Sadly, no fried crickets to redeem myself.

We took a little trip to Wat Phnom that we had seen on the first night. It was well worth the trip. It seems to have been built on a hill so there are various levels to explore as you climb up. We saw beautiful shrines filled with offerings. It was lovely. My friend paid to release sparrows back into nature from vendors at the Temple.  When we left, I bought a durian popsicle from a vendor on the street. While it wasn’t fresh durian, it was absolutely delicious. At least, I got a taste of it in this part of the world. Next time, my mission will be to get fresh durian!

We eventually found ourselves on the riverfront again for lunch. Once again, our food was amazing, fresh and incredibly cheap. I had another coconut with lunch. So tasty and refreshing. We decided to go back to the Foreign Correspondents Club for a final drink before heading to our hotel. We shared a few drinks while watching the boats float down the river. What an amazing trip.

We took a tuktuk back to the hotel to rest a bit before our midnight flight back to Shanghai. We ate the remaining candy we had from Shanghai and watched Cambodian TV. We hired a car to take us to the airport. We were a bit early so we found a series of chairs nearby and had some pastries from the Blue Pumpkin. Eventually, the gate opened, we checked our bags (giving a silent prayer that we would see our bags again), and entered the main part of the terminal. I managed to have one last coconut before our flight!

We were slightly delayed, which made me a bit nervous. We were the last plane to leave Phnom Penh that evening so there’s always the chance that they’ll cancel it. Thankfully, our flight took off. When we landed in Shanghai in about 5 in the morning, we played the eternal game of who do we trust. When we checked our bags in Phnom Penh, a sign informed us that we had to collect our bags in Shanghai and recheck them. However, when we got to the desk in Shanghai to get our boarding passes for the next leg, we were told that our bags were checked through. Shades of South Africa again. We decided to trust the Chinese official and made our way to gates. We had a final meal of dumplings at a cafe, which was pretty good for airport food.

We flew home and collected our bags without an issue.

What an amazing, exhilarating trip. Can’t wait to go back!

That’s all for now!

China and Cambodia: Part 12

Our first full day in Phnom Penh. What a city. It’s bustling with people; motorbike outnumber cars on the road. It’s growing quickly. I know that when I return, it’ll be completely different with the fast pace of development. I’m glad I got to see the city now.

Our first stop for the day was quite serious. We decided to start our visit with the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, about 15 minutes from the center of town. I had studied the Khmer Rouge in graduate school and had wanted to bear witness to the past. So we hired a tuktuk driver who drove us to the site. Through twisty roads and past little stores, many selling gasoline from bottles, we made our way to Choeung Ek.

13765668_10100890121336530_3778632479927105901_oFor the next three paragraphs, I’m going to talk about some very upsetting things. If you wish to skip, I’ll bold the section where you can start reading again.

We paid the fee and received a headset that would led us on the tour of the fields. As you walk in, the first thing you see is the Memorial Wat, filled with skulls and femurs of people who were killed and buried there. But it’s the last stop on the tour. The audio guide explained the stages; how people entered the facility, where they were killed and their bodies burned with chemicals to remove them quicker, and then the various burial pits. The process of death. There’s also a small museum that you can wander through to read some of the history. But the thing that struck me the most was the case filled with tools of death. Farming tools. Day to day tools turned into implements of death. I had forgotten that the regime had used these tools to kill because bullets were expensive.The kroma scarves, traditional Cambodian scarves, used to bind people’s hands, blindfold them. There was a tree that the audio guide pointed out was where babies and small children would have their heads bashed against it. The everyday turned grotesque. The banality of evil. As soon over and over again in other genocides and massacres.

The audio guides were really effective at telling the story. One of the most inspired parts was how they had people (or actors) tell the stories of events they experienced or partook in. I’m also a big proponent of giving voice to people to tell their own stories. It made it even more alive and more brutal.


The final stop was the Memorial Wat. It has skulls and femurs of folks that were uncovered in the pits surrounding the area. They had little colored dot stickers on the skulls that let you know how they suspected the person died. You can buy flowers right outside to leave as an offering.

Our next stop was the Russian market. We thought it might be good to do something frivolous after the seriousness and sadness of Choeung Ek. We were told that we had to go to the Russian Market. We got back on our tuktuk and drove there. It’s a covered market, that was a bit like an oven that day. It was more than a tourist market; there were sections for food, auto supplies, clothing. We wandered and shopped, a contrast to the hefty history we had just been to. It was a great place to find intricately made shadow puppets.

But it was hot. We ended up leaving a lot sooner because of the heat. As we got outside of the market, we decided we needed an air conditioning break. The only place we could easily find: a KFC. Yes, a KFC. I’ve never been to one before. (I can’t eat fried chicken). But it was the answer to our prayers. I got an ice cream with jelly and my friend got a soda. We sat there for an hour, enjoying the sitting and the air. It was what we needed at the time. Oy!

After we were sufficiently refreshed, we headed off to the National palace. What an incredible palace. The architecture is astonishing. The area is a giant garden with buildings all over. Reminded me a little of Topkapi with the various courtyards. The throne room building is amazing; you can’t go in but you can look into it through the windows. As we were looking into the throne room, the rains came. We waited it out underneath the roof for about five minutes. When it seemed to clear, we left the safe confines of the roof.



As we wandered next to a substantial tree, the rains came back. So we hid underneath it, which was not the best move since it wasn’t exactly a dry location. After about five minutes, a guard nearby waved us over to an off limits building with a overhanging roof. We ran over through the pouring rain. We took a seat on the steps and watched the world around us. During the storm, we noticed tiny frogs jumping around the courtyard. It was kinda magical. Like the time in the Japanese forest, where we were stuck in the rain with the sounds of taiko drums in the distance. Moments you’ll never forget.

After the rains stopped and held off, we wandered some more. In another courtyard, it was lined with these beautiful murals of scenes from the Ramayana. Very cool. We sat a little bit and fed the stray cats in the area. We also toured the silver pagoda filled with treasures. The floor is lined with silver tiles. There’s a beautiful Baccarat Buddha with over 2000 diamonds in the center of the room. We also found a statue to Napoleon III that was nearby.


Our final stop for the day was the Mekong river front. We wanted to get some dinner and check out the Foreign Correspondents Club. We found a place that had rooftop dining. I had a coconut, which was delicious as always. Again, the food was amazing. Fresh and delicious. We watched the sun go down on the river. In contrast to other city rivers or waterways, it was relatively quiet. But in less than five years, it will be filled with boats and the banks of the river will have giant hotels and business skyscrapers.


We ended the evening at the Foreign Correspondents Club. What a trip. Here was where journalists gathered after a long day reporting. We got seats at the balcony so we could watch the world before us as we sipped our various drinks. There are old pictures and plaques on the walls talking about the not so distant times. What a place!

That’s all for now!

China and Cambodia: Part 11

It was a travel day. We were going to our final destination of the trip: Phnom Penh, the capital city. We took it easy in the morning and got up a little later than prior days. (no 4am wakeup!) We then found a cute breakfast place and I tried my first avocado toast (thinking briefly on the journey of the avocado to Cambodia). It was tasty and a relaxing start to the day. We finished packing and waited for our ride to the bus station.

My friend had wanted to take a bus instead of flying between cities. I’d never really traveled much around Asia by car or bus so it sounded like a plan to me. We rode the Giant Ibis bus, a fairly luxurious bus. We got a snack, charging stations, and even Wi-Fi. It was about 6 hour trek to Phnom Penh, where we got to really see more of the country. It was a fascinating ride. There were many houses on stilts; some were really bare bones while others seemed luxurious. Fields and rivers passed us by. We saw a few funeral processions to local temples; many were on foot while others were on bikes or motorbikes.

There didn’t seem to be an interstate highway like we have here in the states. It was a fairly local road to get to Phnom Penh. We had several pit stops (the bus doesn’t have bathrooms). At one place, I bought a coconut from a lady who hacked it open with a machete. Unfortunately, it was room temperature and had fermented just a tiny bit. Alas. Still worth the dollar.

We got to Phnom Penh as the sun was setting. We went by one of the biggest traffic circles I’ve ever seen with a lovely statue in honor of Bayon.


We passed astonishingly lit up Wat Phnom, one of the main temples of the city, as we got to our final stop. When we got off, there was a bit of crush but we grabbed our bags and hired a tuktuk driver to take us to our hotel. When our guidebook had been written, it had mentioned that some tuktuk drivers would hook up the passenger cart to their motorbike but most used bicycles. Within years of that being written, every tuktuk driver we saw used a motorbike.

Traffic in Phnom Penh was crazy, almost crazier than Shanghai. The vast majority of vehicles on the road where motorbikes. There were few stoplights in the city. So to cross large streets, you had to go slowly. Unlike Shanghai, everyone was fairly slow and let people in. Shanghai is crazy times when it comes to traffic.

Once we threw down our stuff, we decided to find food in this new city. It was quite a change from Phnom Penh. We had to fend off the tuktuk drivers right outside the hotel’s walls. We wanted to walk to dinner. We wandered a few streets, found one that seemed right out of Michigan avenue, with big glittering stores. But we found an area filled with restaurants and chose one.

It was clearly a tourist area but the food was good as always in Cambodia. I had chicken in a coconut that was delicious. We watched this new world around us. Big and busier than Siem Reap. It was exciting. I couldn’t wait to explore the city more.

That’s all for now!

China and Cambodia: Part 10

The following day we took a day trip to Kulen Mountain. Our driver had mentioned it the night he picked us up from the airport. So we decided it might be a really neat thing to try. But we had a bit of a time frame to do it. We had to get to the mountain before noon.

We started off early to try to squeeze in a ride on the hot balloon near Angkor Wat. I really wanted to ride a hot balloon and see Angkor Wat from the air. However, both times we tried to go, it was not operational. Boo urns. We were the only people there so I suspect they didn’t want to do it with so few customers.

We headed off to Kulen mountain. It was a lovely drive through the outskirts of Siem Reap. We saw dragon fruit farms, houses of all shapes and sizes on stilts, spirit houses outside all of them and more. After a half hour drive, we were at Kulen Mountain. Our driver told us that the reason we had to get there by noon was that there was only one road up the mountain. So traffic could only go up in the morning and go down in the afternoon! It was a bumpy route to the top of the mountain since the road wasn’t paved but there are amazing views.

Our first stop was the sandstone Reclining Buddha. We found ourselves in a little town around the temple with the Reclining Buddha. We wandered up this incredible staircase with nagas flanking the balustrade. The Buddha at the top of a giant sandstone structure. It was carved into the rock with a structure built around it. To access it, you had to ascend a flight of stairs to find the Buddha taking up the entire room. It was astonishingly beautiful. There were little Buddha statues flanking the larger Buddha. Very impressive that someone was able to carve it up here!


After we descended the stairs, we got a tasty drink, the name I don’t recall. It had these chartreuse colored fat noodles, rice flour?, that was in a coconut drink. Very refreshing.


Our next stop was the RIver of 1000 Lingas. For those of you who are unaware a linga is an abstract representation of a phallus while a yoani is a representation of a vagina in Hinduism. This river had lingas carved into the river bed with a few yoanis around. This was an astonishing thing to see. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of something like before. It was really neat to see it.


Our final stop was a swimming hole with a waterfall. It was the real reason for the trip. It wasn’t something I would normally think of doing but since my friend was keen to try it, I was open to trying something very new. And boy, it was worth it. We parked the car and walked downhill through a village, catering to folks who go to the waterfall. We weren’t alone by the smallest stretch of the imagination.

When we got to the base of the waterfall, it was astonishing. Beautiful scenic area. There was the waterfall before us, roaring and sending off a light spray. We changed in a tiny corrugated tin hut without a light source and put our belongings into a cabinet. To get to the water, you had to climb over some large rocks to get in (no easy beaches here like at Lake Michigan). Once in the water, it was the right amount of cool. There were tiny fish in the water that would nibble if you didn’t move enough or wiggled your fingers in the water. It was a strange feeling to get nibbled on. It didn’t hurt at all but it was a weird feeling. I eventually crawled onto a rock and took it all in. I felt like this was a thing I’d read about in travel books or see photos but never do myself. I felt relaxed.


After we got our swimming and relaxing time in, we decided to head home. We tried to stop at a dragonfruit farm on the way back but the farmers said they had already sold all the good dragonfruit. Oh well.


Where dragonfruit come from. The ones on this succulent look sad.

When we got back to the hotel, I decided to use our free massage from the hotel. It was one of many perks. We had also gotten lunch and snacks made up in boxes for our journey to the mountain. We made the mistake of doing both at once since it was so much food! The massage was great save one small detail. It wasn’t until the end of the massage that I realized that I had gotten a pretty good sunburn on my back! Whoops!

Afterwards, we decided to head to the circus in Siem Reap. It’s a socially conscious circus that has themes in its shows. They train young impoverished kids to give them skills and a way to learn a living. We took a tuktuk to their space, which was a tent. THis was my first time on a tuktuk. Now, the carriages are hooked to motorcycle or scooters. It was a novel experience. Soon it would be normal to travel that way in Cambodia. THere’s something special about a tented circus even to  this day. The title of the show was “Influence.” It was a wonderful show. I saw some of the best tumbling I’ve ever seen. They had live music too, which is always a bonus. All the materials and costumes were made from everyday items: brooms, rice bags, and more. It was magical using these everyday things in such creative ways.

After the show, we headed back to Pub Street to find some more food. I saw a vendor selling fried crickets that I wanted to try. I then made a mistake. I wanted a chaser to have after the crickets just in case. Instead, we found a place and had a full delicious meal. After dinner, I had lost my appetite to try the crickets. Very disappointing! Next time I’ll have to try it again. Also, no durian vendors that night. Boo urns.
All in all, a great day despite my cowardice about fried crickets!

That’s all for now!

China and Cambodia: Part 9

After our wanderings through Angkor Wat, we moved on to another archaeological site in the Angkor Wat area known as Angkor Thom. There’s a series of several temples and the Elephant terrace. We spent several hours wandering around the area. It’s really impressive. I have to saw that i liked even better than Angkor Wat. But let’s get to that in a minute.

Bapoun was our first stop. This temple has an interesting history. Archaeologists were trying to restore it through a method of taking the entire temple apart and putting it back together. They kept plans of the pieces but the plans were destroyed when the Khmer Rouge came to power. OUr guidebook calls it the biggest jigsaw puzzle in the world as archaeologists are trying to piece it back together. We climbed the steep stairways to get a magnificent view of the surrounding area.


Our next stop was Phimean Akas, another tall temple surrounded by a moat. We couldn’t wander around this one like we had Bapoun. It was kinda like a series of increasingly smaller squares stacked on top of each other. One source says that “According to legend there was a gold tower (Phimeanakas ) inside the royal palace of Angkor the Great where a serpent-spirit with nine heads lived. The spirit appeared to the Khmer king disguised as a woman and the king had to sleep with her every night in the tower before he joined his wives and concubines in another part of the palace. If the king missed even one night it was believed he would die. In this way the royal lineage of the Khmer was perpetuated.” (


Then we got a bit lost looking for the next temples. We ended up on the Elephant Terrace with amazing carvings of elephants (my favorite). We also stumbled into the Terrace of the Leper King as well.

We eventually figured out where we were and found Preah Palilay, a temple that the jungle has taken over. It has trees and other plants growing out of the temple. There were fewer people around so it felt more peaceful to see how nature was taking over.


Then we made it back to the biggest temple in the area: Bayon. The guidebook described this as one of the most curious buildings in the area. It’s my favorite. There’s a series of hallways and courtyards at the base where you can really just get lost in. We got turned around. There’s amazing carvings and lingas found all over. Throughout Bayon, there are these carved smiling faces, as you get higher they get bigger. Some estimates put the number over 2000 with 54 towers. Like Angkor Wat, there are active shrines within the temple complex so be respectful. You can visit if you take off your shoes and hat.


I think Bayon matched my mind’s idea of what Angkor Wat would be like. The large faces are really astonishing. I also loved getting lost below. It honestly felt otherworldly.

One thing I will say about Angkor Thom: it is hot and humid in July. We were definitely keen to get back to the car after our wanderings and enjoyed the air conditioning and the wonder of cold water that our driver gave us. You can go to Angkor Wat area in a lot of different ways: tuk tuk, car, bus, even walking. But hiring a car for the day was a great idea.

We decided to take a lunch break to recoup and enjoy a little air conditioning. We had our first encounter with Cambodian cuisine. We ordered some curry dishes and it was heaven. The food is made from very fresh materials with simple but incredibly good sauces. It was the perfect pick me up after our wanderings in the heat.

Then it was Ta Prohm. It’s a temple complex in the jungle. It’s best known as the Tomb Raider temple but it deserves more than that. This was where the jungle has fought back. All over the area, giant trees grow out of temple buildings. It’s really astonishing. It felt a little like this is what an explorer would have found encountering for the first time (yes, I know it would have been a lot harder to walk around safely and easily if it had really been found recently. Clearly, they’ve removed stones, supported roofs and whatnot to make it safe for tourists). It was another temple where you can easily get lost at, wandering hallways and courtyards.  And like other temples, it is still in use. We met a man who lived in the temple area. I’m sorry we didn’t find out more about him.


After Ta Prohm, we decided to head back to the hotel. THere are more sites in the area but we were content with the three major sites we had seen. At the hotel, I saw by the pool and read while we had our evening rain shower. I had a cool drink and enjoyed the cold towelettes that the hotel gave me.

Then it was time to explore Siem Reap. We walked to the touristy section of the city. Our hotel was well situated to the Night Market and Pub Street. There aren’t a lot of sidewalks so you have to be cautious about traffic but it was generally slow. The Night Market was a tourist market where vendors sell t-shirts, scarves, wooden objects, and more. It reminded me a little bit of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. You could also get a foot rub, back rub, or have small fish nibble the skin of our feet as a “fish massage.” It was fun wandering around the area.

After some shopping, we decided to find some dinner and headed towards Pub Street. On the way, we saw more vendors including folks selling fried insects (I wanted to try) and durian. One of the few regrets of this trip was not stopping to get durian. I love durian but I had never tried it in a place that actually grew it. I’ve only had it in the States. Boo urns.

We eventually found a little place off the main drag with lots of people. We once again were delighted by the freshness of the food. I ordered a fried fish that wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. But my friend’s dish was phenomenal. We did have these egg rolls as an appetizer that were out of this world. I had wintermoon soda; it was a little smoky for my taste.


Before heading back to the hotel, we wandered through Pub Street, where there are lots of bars, restaurants, and clubs. It reminded me a little of Bourbon Street but less raunchy and less obnoxious.

That’s all for now!

China and Cambodia: Part 8

We woke up in Cambodia. What a wonderful feeling! Granted it was about 4 am since we had elected to see the sunrise over Siem Reap. We groggily got ready and met our driver at the appointed time. We still couldn’t see a tremendous amount of Siem Reap since it was dark. We first had to buy our tickets at a ticket area that was not near the Angkor Wat temple complex. It reminded me of Machu Picchu where you had to buy the tickets at the bottom of the mountain; you couldn’t buy them at the entrance to the park. We along with lots of other tourists waited in lines, got our photos taken for our tickets, and then trundled back into our modes of transportation.

Now, the light was beginning to rise; we could see a little bit more of buildings and trees. What a difference from Shanghai! No skyscrapers dotting the sky. The buildings were shorter and there was more vegetation. Then we approached the Angkor Wat complex. A large river or moat surrounded the temple complex.I learned that Angkor Wat refers both to the specific temple complex and the entire archaeological site. There are several temple complexes to explore in addition to the famous one.

Our driver parked us near the gates and we crossed the river, transfixed by the balustrades showing impressive nagas. We hurried to get to a good viewing spot for the sun to rise. We weren’t along; lots of tourists were also there to watch the event. We did some preliminary exploration but I was keen to find the right viewing place. We eventually found a section of the lawns in front to watch as the sun slowly rose up. I was actually not as blown away as I had been when I had seen the sunrise over Machu Picchu. It was only after the fact that I realized we were on the wrong side of the temple to see it light up.

Angkor Wat was impressive. It’s a series of temples that began to be built in the 12th century. They are still in use; we actually passed by several religious ceremonies. So it’s important to be respectful and dressed properly while you wander around. We were told that women should bring sweaters if they had bear arms; shawls were not sufficient. There are carvings all over the complex, showing gods and goddesses from Hindu and Buddhist traditions. There were lots of Apsaras, dancing female spirits. We headed towards the highest tower, where if you are dressed properly, you can climb to the top and get a great view of the entire area. It’s a steep climb up but well worth it.



At one point, we were looking out and I remarked, “Oh look. There are a bunch of cats wandering on the roofs.” To which my friend explained, “Those aren’t cats. Those are monkeys.” And she was right. There were monkey. I had been noticing the smell of what I thought was cat urine but it was actually monkey urine. These monkeys were actually a little frightening. We saw a few up close. One climbed up steps and growled at another person, making it very clear that there were boundaries. Later, a monkey crawled on a woman and stole an egg from her. It’s very apparent; don’t have food out around these animals. They will get very aggressive.


Monkey climbing a monkey

After wandering the endless halls, we decided to take a short walk on the far side of Angkor Wat to see what lay in the area. We found a little temple there, also still in use as evidenced by the offerings. It was time for a mid-morning snack. I had gotten these little fig cookies where we bought our tickets. We did a monkey survey to ensure I wouldn’t have an issue. It was really lovely, sitting on the steps of the temple, staring back at Angkor Wat through the woods. It’s these moments that resonate forever.


That’s all for now. Next time I’ll talk about our adventures at Angkor Thom and Ta Prohn!

China and Cambodia: Part 7

And then it was our last day in Shanghai. We had a early evening flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. So we had to make the best of our last day there: more art!

We dragged our suitcases through town to go to the Rockbund Museum, another contemporary art space. They were kind enough to keep our bags behind the front counter as we explored. They had an exhibition of 11 artists from all over Asia called “Tell Me a Story: Locality and Narrative.” I really liked a few of the pieces. One was a video installation of ancient artifacts being lit up by firecrackers. It was wonderfully spooky and surreal. The piece was “Fireworks” by Apicahtpong Weerasethakul. Another piece by Au Sow-Yee was about a fictional movie studio in the jungle with an archive of ephemera including advertisements to go along with it. The artifacts even had index cards that you could flip through. It was called “The Kris Project I:  The Never-ending Tale of Maria, Tin Mines, Spices and Harimau.”

On the very top of the museum, there was a little deck with a partial view of the river. We could see parts of the skyline peeking over the buildings in front. We also could see a building that was in the process of being torn down save for the facade. We enjoyed eating our Chinese candy that we had gotten at a store in the Oriental Pearl while watching boats pass. I always need to remember how nice it is to slow down and observe the world around me.


Before we went off to the airport, we stopped by Yu Gardens area again to walk down Old Street. I wanted to do a little bit more shopping before we went. Old Street is so much  more pleasant than the area closer to Yu Gardens! But Qibao was best of all for shopping for souvenirs. So much less bustle!

Before we stepped on the train to get to the airport, we got passport photos for our visas for Cambodia. We did one of those photobooths in the station. Boy, was my heart slick back from the sweat!

It was a jaunt of the subway, involving a change even though we were on the right line. At the airport, it was pretty painless. We had a spot of dinner of an Udon soup that was pretty good.

And then we were off to Cambodia. It was a longer flight than we had originally expected. Over 5.5 hours. There was some prank show on the tvs overhead which was sort of hormusifying.

When we landed in Cambodia, we were astonished by the beautiful airport. Wooden roof with giant statues of Buddha everywhere. Crickets jumped all around us. Getting our visa was easy; we just bought it before going through customs. The hotel we were staying at had a driver waiting (with bottles of water).

We decided to stay at the Golden Temple Hotel. It was the best choice. When we got there, we were greeted with cold towels, refreshing drinks, warm sticky rice wrapped in leaves, and sugared peanuts. They also handed us a local phone if we needed it. We got coupons for a free 60 minute massage, snacks, and one free meal. We felt like queens.


We arranged to get a very early start so we could see the sun rise over Angkor Wat. 4:30 wake up!

That’s all for now!