My mom has been hassling me to get some of the photos from our trip up on the blog, so here is a start : ) We flew from Raleigh-Durham to Ho Chi Minh City, arriving a day later. Stayed in Ho Chi Minh City for two nights and continued on to Phnom Penh. It was quite random as my mom actually had a friend’s daughter who was doing a 6-week dance exchange program in Phnom Penh, so we met up with them and it was great to have some “locals” show us around : ) Our tentative plan was to stay in Phnom Penh two nights and then take the bus to Siem Reap. It ended up being three nights after a short (yet excruciating) bout with food poisoning. I can luckily say that was the final bout with food poisoning on this trip as well. Although Jake was fine and never got sick and we all ate family style…so who knows!
phnom penh—Royal Palace
I went ahead and booked our guesthouse/hotel in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in advance, and I found this really cool spot in Phnom Penh. All the furniture was made out of concrete! It was a slight splurge for our travel style but I thought it would be cool since Jake likes to make stuff out of concrete (ie. our countertops, planters, etc.) It was called Blue Lime.
Our new friends Amanda and Tobin took us to a traditional Cambodia dance performance that was being presented to the Ministry of Culture.
and the start of siem reap!
the view (on the right) from across our awesome guesthouse, River Village Manor.
the main angkor wat temple:
I need to research more to find the exact name (maybe ta som or ta nei?)
i like how the buddha head is looking at me : )
entrance to angkor thom.
at the entrance to ta prohm (it’s claim to fame is the location where the movie Tombraider was filmed)
you will probably see way more bikes than interests most people, but I like them and this is my blog, so i think it’s ok : )
us in ta prohm : )
another view of angkor wat.
another entrance to angkor thom and unfortunately I cannot recall exactly where the photo on the right was taken (we saw A LOT of temples!) I will research though and update the blog (at least so I can remember in the future!)
So it was really, really HOT in Siem Reap, and this it was actually their “cool season,” which was about 95 degrees each day. After walking around the temples for hours, we went into town and ate the most amazing chocolate fondant cake, which had to be documented.
the market in siem reap.
We decided to walk back from town (about a 15 minute walk), and I thought it was so interesting how they store petrol for the motor bikes—in old liquor or soda bottles!
this man lived directly across from our guesthouse. We really loved staying at River Village Manor, because it was a little ways out of the town and more so in a neighborhood. If you look closely, you can see his Khmer Rouge tattoos—I did a little research (but correct me if I am wrong) and the tattoos were actually “magic tattoos” and thought to protect the soldiers.
after touring the temples for two straight days, we decided to spend our third day touring a silk farm and taking a boat ride to a Vietnamese floating village. And producing silk is an amazingly tedious process.
dying the silk once it is unraveled from the cocoons. they use mainly natural elements to dye the strands.
MILKFRUIT!! This was such a strange fruit—when you break it open, it actually produces a milky substance and it is so, so sticky! It actually gives you a sticky “milk mustache.”
these are from the croc farm, which is really a complete tourist trap. I was a little nervous to say the least to be standing on a rickety platform with these fellows below us, but I suppose if this little girl is brave enough to wrangle (cuddle) a little snake, then why should i be worried?
we stopped at a lotus farm on the way back into town and munched on some of the lotus seeds that are in the pods. You can eat them raw, but this little girl’s mom gave us some boiled ones, which were really tasty. Almost similar to boiled peanuts?
we were taking a walk around our “neighborhood” and found this really cool art gallery (on the left) that was conveniently having an opening. Check our their website for more info: 1961. we went back into town that night and found another fun gallery.
We had a really amazing time in Siem Reap, and I feel like we owe a lot to our amazing driver, Mr. Sim. He drove us around the entire day to each temple, and every time we exited a temple, he had cold bottles of water waiting for us. Anyways, we really enjoyed hanging out with him and he also provided a lot of information about the temples and general cambodian history. We asked him if we could meet his family on the last day, so he brought by his two boys and wife!
these little ones lived across the street from the guesthouse were having fun playing (torturing) these kitties.
we really had an amazing time in cambodia if only for a week. the people are wonderful and the food is tasty : )
stay tuned for the next segment of our adventure: vietnam.