December 5: In Bangkok, Ready For CambodiaIt's Monday... and, well, it's the King's birthday and so Thailand is pretty much "closed." I was suppose to take off today and head for the Cambodian border, but I'll do that tomorrow. After having arrived in Thailand the latter half of November, and desiring that beach experience (dreamt about it day and night while on Ama Dablam!), I spent a week on Koh Chang -- one of the islands SE of Bangkok. But I came back to Bangkok to check out flights to Kyrgyzstan... but it's too expensive for a fly-in and fly-out. I'll travel properly through Central Asia sometime in the future. And with a month left before I return to the States, I decided to hop over to Cambodia -- see Angkor Wat and The Killing Fields. Off tomorrow...
December 8: Finally Got To CambodiaWell, I had planned to wake up at 6am Wednesday morning... but that didn't happen. I woke up and saw my watch... but then turned off the alarm. Screw it. Cambodia can wait, I thought. I finally dragged my butt out of bed by 10am and was on the road by 11am. Caught the city bus to the bus station... and found the bus to Aranya Prathet, the Thai border town to Cambodia. Unfortunately, I arrived there late in the afternoon... and so decided to stay in Aranya Prathet because I didn't want to cross the border and be in unfamiliar territory with darkness so near. Found a decent place to stay for the night... at least until I realized that there was either a karaoke bar next door ...or a concert hall. Really bad singing all night! By midnight, I was going nuts and so went out and grabbed a large bottle of beer. Like a drunk, I drank in my hotel room by myself... with crappy Thai singing in the background.
I woke up this morning feeling groggy. Found my way to the border and made it through to Cambodia's Polpet, the border town opposite to Aranya Prathet... and also the town where the refugees stayed during the Khmer's reign of blood -- see "The Killing Fields," a good movie about what happened.
I'm currently in Siem Reap, where Angkor Wat is. I'll check it out tomorrow. It took me 6 hours to get here... and it was only 160 km! The road was crappy! It's amazing to see this country... with what happened with the Khmer Rouge just only 30 years ago.
December 11: Headin'to Phnom PenhI spent the past couple of days seeing all the temples of Angkor Wat -- quite amazing! 3 full days of going from one temple to the next -- hope it's not going to all be a blur later on! My favorites were Ta Prohm (Raider's of the Lost Tomb scenery) and another one that I can't remember -- see, it's already turning into a blur! I'm off tomorrow morning for Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. I'll chill out there.
I'm reading a lot about the recent history of Cambodia. It's amazing! The Khmer Rouge should really really dig deep into their dead hearts to find any sign of human-nality! If you don't know what happened, YOU SHOULD! Read about the Khmer Rouge and what they did to Cambodia when they took control of Phnom Penh in April 1975. Yikes! y truck.
December 15: In Phnom PenhI've been in Phnom Penh for 3 or 4 days now. It's one of those places where you have to see it to understand it. Describing it just doesn't do justice. Incidently, I had frog legs for dinner last night. They were really really good! Kinda like chicken, but even better! Kinda like chicken wings... we should eat more frog legs back home. Can you imagine -- you're at a bar chewing on some frog legs and trying to pickup a gal? :-)
I went to see the killing fields yesterday. It is now a pretty nice place, which hides the grotesque massacres during the Khmer Rouge regime. There was, though, a memorial filled with skulls that remind people what had happened there some 28 years ago. I also saw the high school that was converted to an interrogation facility, aka torture facility. That, too, was eerie. It's amazing how people could do such things to each other. But it continues to happen -- in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Iraq in the 90's and probably is happening now somewhere in the world. Sad.
December 21: In Sihanoukville, CambodiaWell, it's official: I've forgotten what work was! Sihanoukville is a beach town on the southern coast of Cambodia. The breeze is refreshing and the warm weather, even in mid-December, is hypnotic. Together, they make you forget about a lot of things... like work! I've been here for 3 or 4 days now (I can't remember) and it's been relaxing. I may stay here for Christmas, but I may also just hop back to Thailand. I don't know... I'll see where I am on Christmas morning.
October (Tauru in Nepal)
November (Tauru in Nepal)
December (Tauru in Cambodia)