Siem Reap - Angkor Wat
After officially ending my short lived career as an English teacher in Thailand, I decided to first embark on a journey to Cambodia. My first stop was Siem Reap with my friend Marci. To get to Siem Reap you must get a bus from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet - get a Tuk Tuk to the border - walk across the border - get a bus to a bus station out of the city - and then get a two hour taxi to the city. Not so difficult or frustrating at all.
I spent my first night in Siem Reap partying with some fellow travelers. Day two I was walking around ancient ruins at Angkor Wat incredibly hungover. I do not advice this. It hurts. It's hot. And you don't appreciate the Wat to it's full extent. Luckily the hangover began to sweat itself out and I was able to enjoy the last 3 ruins a little better.
Also - checked out the Tomb Raider temple. I have walked in Angelina Jolie's footsteps. Sweet.
Phnom Penh - Genocide Museum and Killing Fields
Next was the capital city of Phnom Penh. I've officially become an ignorant tourist for the first time. I went with no knowledge of the city - just following the crowd. Turns out there's some pretty brutal history going on there. I was familiar with the Khmer Rouge reign - but let's face it - schools don't really touch on that subject very well back in the States. I spent a depressing yet knowledgeable day walking around the Genocide Museum that was once a prison and the Killing Fields where all the bodies were poorly disposed of.
Other than that, I just saw a lot of prostitutes and had a massage.
Sihanoukville - Beggars
Lastly in Cambodia, I traveled to a place called Sihanoukville. Don't try to pronounce it. I'm pretty certain that unless you are Cambodian or French - you will screw it up. It's a beach city. So far it's a pretty disappointing beach after being in Thailand for so long. From what I can tell there's a hundred times more beggars and children trying to get money from you. It's unpleasant trying to have a nice meal on the beach and having crippled bums walk up to you or a swarm of children harassing you to buy a bracelet. I had hoped maybe the nightlife would make up for this - drinks are amazingly lower in price when compared to Thailand. However - they are still rather weak.
The highlight of this town was the hotel - a "resort" for $12.50 a night and a swimming pool that has no street bums or children to be seen. I like it.
So that's Cambodia in a nutshell. Next I will be getting on a plane to see Laos for approximately 1 week. There I will tube the Vang Vieng River and visit Luang Prabang.. Let's hope it's a "Happy" experience.