Sunday, April 28, 2013

Holiday in Cambodia

So, I arrived at Nha Trang for the Vietnam Lindy Exchange, which was definitely a highlight of my month overseas. A weekend of dancing, swimming and hanging out with 80 or so other dancers from all over Asia and beyond. Then on Monday, I travelled through to Saigon, and succumbed to bit of a nasty cold, which is not the most fun in the soaring heat that I encountered there. After a few restful days, I boarded the bus, which took me over the border to Cambodia, and on Thursday evening I arrived in Phnom Penh.

Phnom Penh is definitely a very charming city, with beautiful architecture and friendly smiles everywhere I went. I couchsurfed for a couple of nights with some young engineers, and in one of those freak coincidences, found out that their team leader was a former librarian whom I worked with in Darwin about five years ago! On the Friday evening, we all headed up to the city stadium, and joined in on the public khmer-pop aerobics, which was, strangely enough, one of the most awesome things I did in Phnom Penh.

Saturday morning took me on another bus to Siem Reap, and once I checked into my hotel, I jumped on a hire bike, and took myself to Angkor Wat. The temple region is a lot bigger than it looked on the map, and it was a good half hour or so before I reached anything resembling an ancient temple, but it was a lovely way to experience the grounds. Being late in the afternoon, it wasn't so hot, and I could avoid the bustle and pollution of roaring around in a tuk-tuk.

Then, the next morning, I rose at 5:30am-ish to make the obligatory visit to Angkor Wat to watch the sunrise. Along with hundreds of other people. It was still worth it, and once the sun was up, it was the perfect opportunity to ride around to some more temples whilst the morning air was still cool. Three hours later, it was starting to heat up, and I started peddling back into town - past the dozens of tuk-tuks all queued up on the narrow streets, waiting to take their passengers in.

With my flight leaving that evening, I found a nice hotel that had a swimming pool that they allowed casual visitors into, and relaxed with some much-needed relief from the afternoon heat. One last mango smoothie later, the time came to bid farewell to Cambodia, and bring an end to my month of travelling around South East Asia.