Trip to Cambodia + Thailand '06/07
Couldn't possibly have imagined how I felt when I saw rainclouds and mist gathering outside of my cabin window... oh I do miss the tropical rain!
Welcome and I hope you have a pleasant read... this post will be updated from time-to-time and with photos up next week!
Cambodian time is one hour earlier than Malaysia
For lunch, we went to GreenHouse restaurant nearby, and had banana leaf fish (pic), Khmer style beef, and rice for 3 (USD7). The food in Cambodia was good, kinda like the more peculiar Chinese dishes in Malaysia, although as we slowly found out, overpriced due to tourists.
After lunch we did some walking around town, down the street to the Royal Gardens (looks eerily like cemetery grounds), the Angkor Shopping Centre, and bought some fridge magnets/ keychains at the central market.
At 2pm, the Camry came to fetch us for a boat-ride on Tonle Sap (in Khmer, Tonle stands for Lake, while Sap for Freshwater).
Looks like the sea! -Tonle Sap, the Great Lake
On the way to the Great Lake, which, I thought was exactly like what I saw on National Geographic a few months back... a realistically painted picture of poverty of the Cambodians who lived in wooden stilt-houses on the river banks leading towards the lake. The waters were muddy and the land was barren, where young babies lay suckling their mothers with no foliage from the blazing hot sun. I asked the guesthouse owner whether the banks would be flooded during the rainy season, but he smiled and said no, those were good floods... and some of the houses-on-stilts served good seafood delicacies during those seasons. For now, the waters were subsiding towards the Mekong Delta, as it was the dry season (November-January).
After the Great Lake, we started on our adventurous journey... to the Angkor Wat! It's at an even heftier sum, but we did come here to see it, so... grit your teeth and pay up USD40 for a 3-day pass. Words can't describe the feelings when you stand in the presence of that great monument for the first time... so behold the pics!
On the pathway to Angkor Wat
Dancing Apsaras on the wall
Then we went inside the central temple complex...
We walked around the balustrades before the fall of dusk... standing in the lonely shadows of days gone by...
After visiting the Angkor Wat we ate our cheapest dinner in the whole world... just USD1.50 for food for 3 + 1 can of Coke! Then we decided to do something out of routine and went for the weekly Beatocello concert, held every Saturday night in aid for Cambodian children. We felt a bit displaced, but in that modern hall in the midst of a country stricken with poverty, disease and corruption, we beheld one of the most amazing and giving doctors... and had a flashback into the days of what Malaysia used to look like to our grandfathers, 30 years back.
Travel Tip 1: Don't wear contact lenses! It's too dusty in Cambodia for beauty!