Cambodia: Impromptu Road Trip

Tet sunk its revelatory glee into Vietnam with the effectiveness of a spanner in the works. Everything has ground to a halt, with it my motivation. In between looking for work lethargically and whiling away the days in Go Vap I haven’t accomplished as much as I’d like, or as much as I should have accomplished.

I see CWB blogging like a pen possessed and networking like a mafioso, while Kate continues to attempt and succeed at the ambitious picture-a-day-for-a-year project and travels it in a beautiful fashion. Whereas I’ve been lounging in the tropics. It’s not a bad gig if you can get it though.

Cambodia's beautiful and informative National Museum... Done! (Dec 2009)

Something snapped two days ago. My feet got itchy. My wanderlust kicked up. Pictures of Bali giving insight into some boy’s life. Screw it. Time to go… somewhere. I spent a day or so trying to pick the right location. Somewhere I could visit in a week (or so) and see at least some of the sights, get a good feel for the place. My first search leads me to Laos but being last minute over Tet the prices proved a bit steep, not expensive just more than I wanted to pay to feed my adventure addiction. Thailand beckons and while a week there would be glorious, I don’t think I could do it justice. I could hit a beach or mooch about Bangkok, no Thailand requires more than a week. Then it struck me, Cambodia. Cambodia waves from up the Mekong, beckoning me on, inviting me to revisit her and go places I haven’t been before.

Stupa at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh... Done! (Dec 2009)

Perfect!

My last trip there accidentally started my love affair with Vietnam. Finishing up my first contract in Korea in Dec. 2009, it was time to go home… only Vancouver, in West Coast Winter fashion offered up 40 days of continuous rain. (Somewhere Noah yells “SEE! Biblical Bitches!”) All I really wanted to do was see Siem Reap but didn’t think I needed 3 weeks for it.
(Note: I could have happily spent nearly 3 weeks wandering the temples and shrines scattered about Siem Reap.)

By the time I completed the long trek from Hanoi to Saigon time was running short, so it was up the Mekong and into Phnom Penh, before 3 glorious days in Siem Reap amongst Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and the Bayon, as countless other Angkors.
There is a lot of Cambodia unknown to me. Time to rectify that. Tomorrow I hop an early(ish) bus from Saigon to Phnom Penh, there I’ll spend a day going through the atrocities only man may inflict upon himself by visiting PS21 and the Killing Fields, before I essentially backtrack south to Sihanoukville for some beachside lounging, a bit of snorkelling and perhaps a trip to an island, from there I’ll be visiting Kampot to go up a hill where a decaying abandoned French resort stands in bullet-riddled ruins or going atop another hill where a king in the 20s surveyed his kingdom from atop elephant back.

I don’t exactly know the itinerary, which is how I love to travel. Tomorrow I go to Phnom Penh, I’ll be there two days, then I’ll head to the beach to unwind and then, as Tet winds down I’ll make my way back to Saigon to start teaching again, finding enough work to continue to fuel my love of exploration and adventure.

And write about.
Backpacks on… time to follow that path.

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