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Cambodia, Chom Bok

Chom Bok

sunny 22 °C

We went to Chom Bok the next day for our home-stay with a local family. We went there by public bus which was surprisingly better than the private buses we have been going on - it was very clean with air conditioning.
We got to the house which had lots of animals outside, ranging from dogs, cows, roosters, chickens and ducks. We shared a room with another couple, the room was very clean and comfortable - we were expecting to sleep on the floor so we were pleasantly surprised.

We got there and the owner went up the tree to get some coconuts for us (it's customery to give that to guests instead of the usual tea and coffee we give).

We went to a canteen near the house where we had dinner prepared by local people - which was very tasty. When we got back to the house, the owner told us about his life story during the war and we asked him lots of questions, when we asked him 'what is your dream for the future?' he said 'I just don't want anymore war, just peace'. They were a very humble family who kept apologising about the facilities not being up to scratch when they were actually a lot better than we thought they would be. Our leader, Phalkun then told us about his life during the war, about how he lost his mum during the war, how hard he had to work just to survive and how he had to steal to fill his stomach - was very sad and we all had tears in our eyes by the end of it - really makes you think about what these people had to go through during the war.

The next day the roosters woke us up bright and early and we went trekking to a waterfall which took two hours, but was worth it as the waterfall was so beautiful. We then got on the bus and made our way to Sihanoukville.

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Posted by rohitnisha 22:19 Archived in Cambodia Tagged bus Comments (0)

Cambodia, Kompong Cham

Kompong Cham

sunny 23 °C

We left the hotel at 7:00am to go to Kompong Cham - the hotels in Cambodia don't generally believe in having shower curtains so everything ends up getting wet when you have a shower. We went to the Man and Woman hill by tuk tuk (like a rikshaw). The story behind the man and woman hill is that the men and women both decided to build a stupa on the hill. The women built a big fire which the men took for a rising sun and gave up work. The result was that the women obviously won and have a much bigger hill than the men.

We also went to see a cultural show performed by kids who are part of an organisation that help children stay off the streets. The kids were really sweet and held or hands as they escorted us to our seats and the dance performances was very impressive.

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Posted by rohitnisha 22:07 Archived in Cambodia Tagged bus Comments (0)

Cambodia, Siem Reap

Siem Reap

sunny 25 °C

We met our tour leader and our group of 16 and went for dinner together at a traditional Cambodian restaurant which surprisingly had nice veggie food. It was interesting to meet the group and start getting to know people over dinner, everyone seemed really friendly and everyone was there for the same purpose - to have fun and make the most out of the trip.

We woke up early and left at 7am the next morning to make our way to Cambodia. We crossed the border and we could straight away see a massive difference between the 2 countries - it really did feel like we were going into a third world country with the buildings, smell and the pollution. There were very bumpy roads on the way, but when we got to Siem Reap, it looked like we were in a really developed country as it was clean, had lots of tourists and international restaurants.

The next day we woke up really early so that we could see the sunrise at Ankgor Wat temple (which is meant to be amazing). We got there at 5am - waited until 5:30am and then 6:00am - by which time it started to become daylight which meant that the sun was already up and the clouds were covering it so unfortunately we didn't get to see the sunrise which was a bit disappointing but we made the most of it by starting our tour of all the temples early and got to see things without as many people being there as it was so early in the morning. Ankgor Wat and its surrounding temples were amazing - its like paradise watching the views from the top of Ankgor Wat - its surprisingly still in good condition as it was built in the 12th Century. The other temples were also beautiful - one of the temples had 300 steep steps to climb up which was tiring. There was a theme of hinduism in all of the temples, and a lot of stories around the Mahabharat and Ramayan so it was interesting to hear about the hinduism influence in Buddhism.
We got back to the hotel at 6pm after seeing all the temples. We then went for a Japanese Shiatsu massage by blind people, which did hurt a bit as they use their natural body weight to apply weight and they focus on various pressure points in the body - it was a different experience. We then went for Pizza with one of the other girls on our tour as she fancied some pizza rather than Cambodian food too.

The following day we went to the floating village, where we saw houses, shops and schools floating in the water. We then stopped on the way to see some crocodiles - they were all sleeping on top of each other and were a lot smaller than we thought they would be. We had dinner at an Indian restaurant - never thought we would find one in Cambodia but was really delicious food, even though Rohit wasn't too pleased that they didn't give mukhwas at the end of the meal (as that was his main reason to go to the restaurant in the first place :)).

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Posted by rohitnisha 21:32 Archived in Cambodia Tagged bus Comments (0)

Thailand, Bangkok

Bangkok

sunny 28 °C

We went to the weekend market soon as we got there on Sunday - the market sold everything from clothes, jewelery and shoes to food, furniture and plants - didn't buy much as most of it was the same kinda stuff we had seen everywhere else in Thailand.

On Monday - we went to see some temples around Bangkok in a tuk tuk (their local rickshaws), we then wanted to go to the Siam square (where the shopping is) and the driver wasn't having any of it and wanted to take us to a jewelery shop - when we refused, he said he wouldn't take us anywhere, we were then left stranded in the middle of nowhere - we asked around and managed to get a taxi to the Siam square.
There's a scam in Thailand with Tuk's Tuk's - they persuade you to go into jewelery shops and if you refuse to buy anything - they lock you in and insist you buy something before letting you out - luckily we didn't fall for it and that was the last time we took a tuk tuk again!

We finally managed to get to Siam Square - there was 2 shopping malls - one full of designer clothes and the other was the MBK centre which sells local goods and is massive with 8 floors. We had falafel there (which was a nice change to the usual thai food) and then we went to watch 'The Day the Earth stood still' which was good.

On Tuesday we went to see the floating markets in the morning - this is where all the locals do their trade by boat - they sell all fruit and veg there - its more of a tourist attraction now than local's actually doing their shopping there. We then went to see the bridge over River Kwai and we went to WW2 memorial.
We then we to an indian restaurant called 'Indian Hut' - indian food has never tasted so good - we have deffo been missing it.

On Wednesday, we went to the Grand Palace - which is deffo worth seeing - saw the lavish palace and the throne - was really nice. We then went to a few bars to celebrate xmas eve.

On Thursday we joined our tour to go Cambodia.

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Posted by rohitnisha 00:44 Archived in Thailand Tagged air_travel Comments (1)

Thailand, Chiang Mai

Chaing Mai

semi-overcast 20 °C

Our first night in Chaing Mai was not great as our hotel was full of ants, so our first priority was to change hotels so we found a travel agent and managed to change hotels for the next day.

The next day we went on a jungle trek - was a three hour trek around the jungle - was tiring but really fun.
We were also meant to go white water rafting that day too but got too late and cold so decided to give it a miss.
We then got to our new hotel (which we had checked into that morning) and found the room infested with mites - our bag full of food was the worst, so we had to throw a lot of our stuff away and changed rooms which was a lot cleaner.

The next day we went to the golden triangle (where the 3 countries Thailand, Berma and Laos meet) and we saw the long neck tribes too - apparently they believe that the more gold rings that women have around their necks - the more attractive they are (very debatable!) - was really good, a long day though.

We then went on a half day tour to see Doi Sethup - one of the famous temples in Chaing Mai and then to the kings palace (Bhuping Palace) - wasn't that great, the one in Bangkok is meant to be a lot nicer.

On the last day, we treated ourselves to a Thai massage - was different to what we both expected - as it was a lot of stretching and pain rather than relaxation! but was an experience - not sure we would do it again though.. We then went to a traditional Thai dance show in the evening which was below average- it was basically just women waving their arms around and tribe villagers walking around a fire in a fancy way - wouldn't waste our money on that again!

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Posted by rohitnisha 00:32 Archived in Thailand Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

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