Bangkok and Cambodia
11.08.2013 - 11.08.2013
All we need for 7 weeks in Asia. (Hopefully...)
So i'm sitting on a bench in a back alley hostel in Siem Reap and can't sleep. It is six AM. I can hear Jessica throwing up inside the room, over and over again. It's our fourth night in Siem Reap, Cambodia and we've had a rough time so far. First there was me being knocked out and sick. And now it's Jess' turn. After Cockroaches in Koh Chang and Ants in Bangkok, I've now been sharing my bed with bedbugs for the last four nights and only found out an hour ago, as they were kindly crawling all over my face. This is why i chose the bank over my bed (Garden Village Hostel Siem Reap: Full of bedbugs!)
But these are the challenges you have to overcome when backpacking and having the time of your life, I guess...
Also, Our lives are not as miserable as they might appear now.
We've had some amazing days so far. Starting in Bangkok, I was so happy to be back again. I've missed the buzzing streets of Bangkok, the food, cheap drinks and the amazing culture surrounding me. We spent the days getting ridiciously cheap Thai massages, pedicure or shopping, drinking, exploring, eating or just hanging around as the locals do.
Then we heard about a beautiful and unspoilt island just 5 hours away from Bangkok and we packed our stuff and off we went, taking a night bus to Koh Chang. This island is unspoilt indeed, very authentic and beautiful. We stayed at Lonely Beach (Sunflower Resort Euro 2,50 each a night, with a beautiful sea view. Cockroaches included!) and made new friends with pretty much each and every local surrounding us. Some Thai girls we met showed us around the island on their scooters and took us to places "normal" tourist wouldn't be able to see. We spent so much time with them and even had dinner with their families with loadfs of stuff we have never seen before. These people were so nice and gave so much, even though they own so little.
But After a few days it was time to move on to Cambodia. After a 13hour nail-biting bus journey, we finally arrived in Siem Reap. As soon as we crossed the border, we realised that this is a completely different world. In comparison to Cambodia, Thailand is well organized, highly developped and sparkling clean. Cambodia instantly reminded me of India, but less rotten and overcrowded. Nontheless, i soon fell in love with the country. I love watching the street kids running around bare foot, dancing and smiling, turning absolutely numb and shy the moment they noticed they are being watched. And I love how everyone is smiling at you. The people are pretty much laughing and smiling all day long, as if there was nothing they got to worry about. Yes, we fell in love with the country, even though it's been treating us so badly.
Cambodia in a nutshell (Part1)
After pulling ourselves together (and stocking up with plastic bags) we took a TukTuk to a village close to Siem Reap, where we were supposed to meet Song, a buddhist monk who set up an English school for orphanaged and underpriviliged children. We wantedt to stay a few days and teach English. All this was organized via people we met and without a foreign "aid" development organization. We spent a couple of days in the middle of absolutely nothing and taught English to beautiful and hardworking kids. We absolutely loved it! The kids were so happy, even though they ate plain rice and water for breakfast, lunch, dinner and had nothing but rocks and sand to play with. Western kids should definitely take a leaf out of this book.
our bathroom and shower.
The killing Fields in Pnomh Penh
I am really trying to rush through this, but there was so much happening that it is impossible to even come close to all of it now. So after Siem Reap finally let us go, we took (another) 8hour Bus to Pnomh Penh, Cambodias Capital. Stumbling out of the bus exhausted and sick we didnt rest (no rest for the wicked!) and took a TukTuk to the killing fields. We didnt have too much time, because we wanted to leave PnomPenh and head down south to Sihanoukville (BEACH BEACH!) just a couple of hours later. Yep, another 8 hours bus journey. Are we crazy? Maybe!
Anyways, the Killig Fields was one of the most terrible place i have seen so far. We wandered around the place, listening to our Audio guide, crying and almost throwing up. It was horrible. I wont give any further explanation now, as my blog entry written in passing wont do any justice to Cambodias interesting but heartbreaking history. It would take me several days to write about it properly and I dont have the time to do so and neither the strength to recall my feelings.