Our first year cruising outside of Australian waters has included Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Some countries we sailed to and others we flew to; we even rode into one and caught a bus into another. This blog is a recap of our journey in 2015….. Thank you to all our followers. I hope you will continue to cruise with us in 2016, and that I will be able to carry on entertaining and informing you about the wonderful, exciting and sometimes bewildering places we visit.
Riding a motorbike around Cambodia was an exhilarating and hair-raising experience. It wasn’t always smooth sailing…. or in this instance trouble-free touring! Near death experiences were never far away! Such as the time, on a two lane narrow road, we had, coming straight for us, a van overtaking a bus that was overtaking a truck. So… two lanes, three vehicles and no room for us. Just managed to slow down enough before leaving the road and hitting the dirt! And then there were the breakdowns… and there were a few of those, but they were all part of the adventure…
As Exploring Cambodia on a Motorbike continues, so to do the adventures and dramas… including being taken to the wrong island and the near death of our beloved motorbike! Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh were the last two places we could visit before our time constraints compelled us to cross the border into Vietnam. For me, the highlight of this part of our journey was Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city. The eclectic array of buildings – including French colonial and Khmer architecture made riding around Phnom Penh very colourful and interesting.
Travelling around Cambodia on a motorbike for near on three weeks was an adventure in itself… eating some seriously crazy food, added yet another dimension to our adventure! We love to travel, we love to eat, and we love to try different foods! We didn’t get to try all the different foods that we wanted to, while in Cambodia, but the following five, I think, are the craziest we did eat. I’ll start with my favourite!
The decision to visit the Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre was difficult. After visiting the Tuol Sleng Genicide Museum I wasn’t sure I wanted to subject myself to another day of misery. But here I was in Cambodia, eating, drinking and enjoying myself. So I contemplated, did I owe it to this country that was hosting my visit, feeding me their delicious Khmer food, pouring ice cold beer and cleaning my room? Should I visit their past and show my respect?
Sobering, confronting and depressing, are only a few words that come to mind when experiencing the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Horrific, evil, heinous, nauseating, unspeakable and harrowing are just some that can be used to describe what went on there between 1975 and 1979; a 3 year, 8 month, and 20 day period in Cambodia’s history that decimated the population. Before Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge were driven out of Cambodia by their own defectors and the Vietnamese Army, Pol Pot’s regime had killed an approximately 2 – 3,000000 people… more than 25% of the Cambodian population.
Are you travelling on a budget? Always wanted to do a cooking class? Me too! I have always wanted to learn to cook food from a different country, in that country, by a native of that country… know what I mean? I don’t want to learn to cook Khmer food in Australia by a New Zealander for example. I’m a good cook, and I cook a huge variety of food. Thai, Indonesian, Italian, French and good old Aussie roo on the BBQ, to name but a few. BUT this was my chance to learn to cook Khmer food from a Khmer chef! FOR ONLY USD$10!!!! It was cheap enough that Dwayne also chose to do it with me. And let me tell you it is a lot of fun doing it as a couple.
Angkor Archaeological Park is an astonishing place full of ancient temples. The 400 square kilometre archaeological park became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. The park is home to literally dozens of ancient temples in varied condition from complete ruin to well conserved. We visited many of them during our stay in Siem Reap. Four of the temples stood out, each in their own unique way. Angkor Wat is immense, Bayon is known for it’s carved faces, Ta Prohm is only semi cleared of the jungle that encroached it, and Banteay Srei is small, intricate and beautiful…
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