Thursday, January 05, 2006

Siem Reap High

Back from Siem Reap! I had such an amazing time that I didn't really feel inclined to sit down in a cyber cafe and blog about my experiences because there were so many anyway. Instead I wrote e-mails to friends and chatted online whenever I could - it helped dispelled some of the initial loneliness when I first arrived. But I quickly acclimatized to solo travelling and truly enjoyed going around on my own and meeting new people.

Took tons of pictures -- over 300 photos! Quite a feat considering that I had forgotten my rechargeable batteries and ended up being ripped off by buying batteries that were repackaged as new (and sold for a price!).

Funnily enough, my favourite moments weren't just of Angkor but rather the wonderful opportunity I had to visit a floating village on Tonle Sap lake, and learn more about the community project that this local ngo had started. I loved the kids at the floating primary school that we stopped by. I'm so glad that I got to see these kids first compared to the beggar kids at Angkor.

I had such a great time in Cambodia that I do want to go back -- and see more of it, and less of the touristy areas (like Siem Reap). I really want to explore more of IndoChina: Laos and Burma especially.

And oh yes, the temples are indeed an experience that you have to see for yourself. The hordes of tourists didn't ruin it for me because there were enough temples to explore and contemplate their vast history, art and architecture. I'd wake up at around 4:30 a.m. and be on the road by 5 a.m. and you certainly would often have parts of the famous temples like Angkor Wat or Angkor Thom for yourself.

I ought to blog about it soon, if only for myself. My favourite temples are of Ta Phrom (fig trees growing on the ruins of the temple) and Angkor Thom. If you get to Ta Phrom early enough.. you could have it to yourself.. Absolutely magical! And Angkor Thom is just gorgeous.

And if I had a dollar for every Cambodian man who proposed to be my sweetheart, why I'd have... maybe five dollars. Hmm...

I can't wait to travel again. What can I say.. I've been bitten by the travelling bug.

A good friend commented to me today that solo travelling is so lonely but I beg to differ.. You could meet so many people while travelling on your own, plus you get to do whatever you want without worrying about the other person. Plus, there's this great sense of adventure! Imagine telling your kids one day, "mamma travelled to Cambodia on her own and saw and did lots of interesting things!" Don't get me wrong, I still think it would be great to travel with the right partner -- someone who is not too clingy and we could do separate things doing the day, when it's called for, and then meet up again for dinner to share our experiences.

I'm addicted! I can't wait to go again!

p/s I know that a few people commented on my last posts -- I apologize for not getting back to you. This blog has been neglected due to interest in other areas, plus a little more appreciation for privacy and well, edited posts of experiences I probably wouldn't want to share with the rest of the world. Heh.


At 3:09 AM, Blogger [The User] said...

Looks like you had a great time! Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia (beyond Angkor) are high on my list of places to travel. If you're interested in Burma check out the flickr user awfulsara, she's got an absolutely stunning set of photos from there.

I think solo travelling can be a lot of fun. You have to be outgoing though, if you're shy it can be harder.

I spent 6 weeks in Thailand (with a brief dip into Cambodia) and I never spent more than a week of that time by myself. I was always meeting and hanging out with other travelers or locals. It was an amazing time.

At 9:04 AM, Blogger Dee M said...

Am excited just by looking at the photos.As for solo or group travel,either way it can be fun I guess.There's pros and cons definitely but so what!Am counting the days for my upcoming trip.HeHeHe :)

At 9:36 AM, Blogger q said...

oi i am so jealous haha! it shall also be one of my destinations this year... and looking forward to more of your travel photos, of course.

At 12:51 PM, Blogger Eduardo said...

Welcome back.

At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Funky_Diva23 said...

i travelled to Cambodia and Laos for all of 17 days and LOVED every single minute of it :)

Laos i loved more, and felt some parts of Cambodia a little too "tourist-y".

Here's a link to see if we both visited the same places!

~ Funky ~

At 4:38 PM, Anonymous cayce said...

Thanks for your comments, guys!

[the user]: yes, am very familiar with awfulsara's work.. she's an amazing photographer! I wish i was only as half good as she is!

funky: you are quite right about the touristy aspect of Cambodia. I am so keen on visiting Laos now. Your pictures are great -- there are some shots of Angkor that I wished I had taken! Laos looks so lovely as well. I am also envious that you've visited quite a few places as well!!

At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Daniel said...

Welcome back!

At 9:55 AM, Blogger Colin said...

Forgot to tell you look up Sinos from Kuching who works at the airport. He has been living there for over 10 years and would render assistance to needy fellow Malaysians if need be

At 7:46 PM, Blogger Cayce said...

oh interesting!

well, i didn't have any hassles at the airport. immigration was professional. (with very expensive computers and webcams! -- explains the USD25 departure tax).

At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if she had botox injection :S She looked completely different

At 5:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous from above,

I note your sarcasm, but if you have a problem with the aforesaid blogger, then you might as well state express your concern here and now.Failing that, i take it that your eyesight is poor or you're short of a few marbles. Thanks

A Salleh


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