Gosandra travels round the world

Cambodia-Travelogue  |  Travel time: March - June 2007  |  by Sandra Goritschnig

Southeast Asia on a shoestring: Cambodia

Too many people say that you shouldnt take the overland route from Bangkok to Siem Reap, so I decided to stretch my budget and fly (also i didnt want to spend a whole day on the bus, what a waste of time if you're on a tight schedule). Unfortunately I managed to forget my camera on the plane, how stupid can one be? but there were signs leading to this happening, so I'm not overly surprised...
Anne was waiting for me at the two dragons hotel, very nice, very clean, with air condition!!! and after a quick snack we took our tuktuk driver (nr. 1990) to have a first look at the temples! Quite astonishing! beautiful, very many of them. I'll need a lot more time to give them all credit, but it really is an amazing sight. built between 9th and 12th century, one temple (or more) for each king, switching between hinduism and buddhism, covered with beautiful and very detailed stone carvings, partly in ruins and overgrown by the jungle (see Tombraider). Wow! Angkor Wat, Banteay Srai, Banteay Samre, Bayon, Angkor Thom, Phnom Breakan etc... I saw very many temples in the 3 days we spent there. Although we always got up for sunrise the beginning of the rainy season with big clouds all over did not allow for such glowy pictures, but still beautiful. It also always rained in the afternoon, cooling down the ohsohotandhumid air at least a little bit. Khmer food is also delicious, a bit like thai without the chili, so rather mild but very nice with herbs etc. beer is also cheaper than anywhere I've been in Southeast Asia, but other than that the fact that they use USdollars as their official currency (also comes out of ATMs), makes the country, or at least the tourist centres, very expensive comparatively. Or was it because I spend so much money on the markets, getting silk products as souvenirs (maybe some of them as gifts....)???

the many faces of Bayon

the many faces of Bayon

early morning in Angkor Wat

early morning in Angkor Wat

the catwalk to Baphuon

the catwalk to Baphuon

the many faces of Bayon

the many faces of Bayon

Angkor Wat, very moody

Angkor Wat, very moody

We were not the only tourists

We were not the only tourists

tuktuk....

tuktuk....

climbing up Angkor Wat

climbing up Angkor Wat

sunrise at Sra Srang

sunrise at Sra Srang

Anne, the tombraider

Anne, the tombraider

another way of preserving the temples

another way of preserving the temples

another overgrown temple

another overgrown temple

nice mood

nice mood

After 4 days, Anne's long weekend was over and she flew back to Singapore. I was in the meantime continuing on to Phnomh Penh by bus, the roads are quite good, but the journey still takes a long 6 hours for 300 km. Phnom Penh is very loud, dirty, colourful, with hundreds of street food vendors (mmmhhh Pho!!!!) and motorbikes and tuktuks looking for costumers (can get annoying some times). I did a boattrip on the Mekong (very nice in the evening, with a nice breeze, cooling you down a bit) and saw the royal Palace and silver Pagoda. What was most interesting though, and also very disturbing, was my visit to the former Tuol Sleng security prison and the killing fields of Cheung Ek, where tens of thousands of random people were massacred just because. I got some books on the history of Pol Pot's horror regime, and it is really quite disturbing. Mostly also because many of the high ranking Khmer rouge officials are still on and about, with no proper trial in sight.
Cambodia is a very nice country, full of very nice people, unfortunately also too many poor people. I'd very much like to go more into the countryside there, but that will have to wait for another trip. Now it was back to Singapore for two days, for camera shopping and Anne's Birthday party.

believe it or not, this intersection has traffic lights....

believe it or not, this intersection has traffic lights....

market hall in Pnomh Penh. very good food there, mmhhh

market hall in Pnomh Penh. very good food there, mmhhh

boardgaming a la cambodia

boardgaming a la cambodia

on a boat on the Mekong River

on a boat on the Mekong River

Inscription at the killing fields of Cheung Ek. Take the time to read.

Inscription at the killing fields of Cheung Ek. Take the time to read.

peaceful, but still you're walking over the buried remains of thousands of innocent people...

peaceful, but still you're walking over the buried remains of thousands of innocent people...

Tuol Sleng, used to be a High School. Then a prison, where only 7 people came out alive, and I still don't know how...

Tuol Sleng, used to be a High School. Then a prison, where only 7 people came out alive, and I still don't know how...

playing ground or graveyard?

playing ground or graveyard?

These were used to chain prisoners by their ankles

These were used to chain prisoners by their ankles

The Silver Pagoda

The Silver Pagoda

The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace

That's probably the coolest plant I saw during my travels: huge tree, lovely flowers that wilted in a matter of hours. but lovely looking, aint it?

That's probably the coolest plant I saw during my travels: huge tree, lovely flowers that wilted in a matter of hours. but lovely looking, aint it?

You are here : Overview Asia Cambodia Cambodia-Travelogue
The trip
 
Description:
Very exciting times ahead, I'm gonna do a trip around the world! Starting from London I'll do South Africa, Singapore and South East Asia, Newzealand and the North American West coast and back to London. Wow! I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences with you!
Details:
Start of journey: Mar 03, 2007
Duration: 4 months
End of journey: Jun 20, 2007
Travelled countries: South Africa
Singapore
Malaysia
Thailand
Cambodia
New Zealand
Canada
The Author
 
Sandra Goritschnig is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 13 years.
Picture of author