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Curious what backpackers do in Cambodia? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Day139

    Über den Bergtempel Wat Banan ist wenig überliefert. Fest steht, dass dieser im 11. Jahrhundert erbaut worden ist. Heute ragen die fünf Türme wie aus Bauklötzen errichtet in den Himmel, der gesamte Tempelkomplex wirkt mehr als wackelig. Trotz seiner Abgeschiedenheit gingen auch an diesem Tempel die Plünderungen der Kunsträuber nicht spurlos vorüber. Vielen Statuen fehlen die Köpfe, die über den Schwarzmarkt in privaten Kunstsammlungen in aller Welt gelandet sind.
    Hinauf zum Wat Banan führt eine Steintreppe mit 358 Stufen. Ganz schön schweißtreibend!
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  • Day91

    Projet lancé par Mr Tree pour protéger les éléphants de la surexploitation.

    Une journée formidable! Nous avons nourri les éléphantes: Lazy Lucky, Princess, Happy lucky, Sophie and Convine.

  • Day21

    Having a reflective moment as I head back from Koh Rong Samleom on the boat while the sun sets around me. Despite having one of the best weeks in my life and meeting some wonderful people it's undeniable I'm feeling very homesick and quite emotional.

    I almost feel guilty wanting to be back in my own bed or having Sunday dinner with my family or just being able to see my friends when I've been given the experience of a life time. It makes me realise the wonderful people I have at home and although it's been refreshing meeting so many people I connect with on such a good level it's also made me acknowledge the amazing relationships I have at home and how special each and everyone of them are.

    Travelling on my own is a unique experience. Its tiring constantly making friends and taking matters into your own hands, being the only one responsible for you. Anyone who I speak to in groups, when I say I'm travelling on my own say how brave I am. In all honesty, I didn't even think about how brave what it is I am doing. I just knew I wanted to travel and live a different lifestyle to what I was comfortable with and that was it. Despite occasionally wanting to have a friend there to just not have to try to hard with or know they will always be there if something goes wrong, I wouldn't change travelling alone. It's pushed me to do little things here and there that I would never have done having been in a group or with someone else. But I guess you could call this character building?

    My perspective is another thing that's changed. Previously, whenever I saw someone eating or doing something on their own I would think how lonely that must be. However, now I have a completely different view and I'm grateful for alone time, just getting to be at one with my thoughts, something I probably wouldn't have done as in depth if I was in the comfort of people I already knew.

    Taking things for granted is another thing I certainly did and still do. Clean sheets for one is something I dearly miss, especially having observed bed bugs for the first time in my most recent hostel. However, being here has made me realise how much I do take life for granted and spectating so many different lives (most less fortunate than me) and meeting other travellers with their own individual stories made me realise the bubble I live in and that now I'm out of it, the world is really quite big.
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  • Day43

    The (probably) final cooking class of our trip today. We were picked up by Ben from Cambodian Countryside Cooking bright and early at 7.30am. After a last minute cancellation it turned out we were the only 2 people on the course which is good cause you get lots of help but it does mean you can't quickly hide mistakes or fudge things.

    We started, as is the norm it seems, with a market visit. The moped loads never fail to surprise us. We saw one which had 4 people on plus two plastic washing basket strapped to the sides like makeshift side cars each with a small child in them. This market visit was probably the best one so far. It was quieter and as there were only two of us we had more chance to hear and ask questions. We learnt about how the stall management works, found out that Cambodians think we're crazy for eating coconut flesh (they feed it to the pigs) and that what they call a parsnip is very different to what we do. We saw a lot of fermented fish (apparently if it has maggots in it it's a sign off good quality?!) that our Western stomachs are too sensitive to eat and also a lot of live fish jumping out of their bowls and wriggling around the market floor. We also ate deep fried insect which was surprisingly delicious. It's good prep for when all the world's population need to start eating them.

    After the market we headed to the cooking school. The cooking school is a not for profit business, the money made is put back into the school/shelter that Ben and his team run for orphaned children or children who's parents can't afford to look after them. It started in 2009 with 6 kids and now they're at 71. He's currently training up a young guy called Ti who ran the class, with Ben keeping a watchful eye. It was clear he was just repeating back the English he'd learnt from watching Ben so if we asked questions he got a bit lost but he'd only been there 2 months and did a great job. We started on dessert first as it needed an hour to steam and made a coconut custard filled pumpkin. We had it in Thailand and it was gorgeous so we were keen to try it again. Matt scraped out the pumpkin and I squeezed all the coconut in water to make the coconut liquid. A few more ingredients and it could sit in a steamer till it set. Very easy.

    Next up was spring rolls. Our spring rolls were like snowflakes, no two alike! I kept thinking I'd got the hang of it and then would make a really crappy one. We began by peeling taro and 'parsnip' which took forever (they really need a spiraliser) and mixed it with egg, garlic that I had to smash by hitting it hard with a cleaver and pretending it was my enemy, and peanuts. Then we rolled them up. Despite them all being different they turned out ok out of the frier. After that we made Chicken Amok which I've wanted to learn since we got to Cambodia as it's possibly my favourite dish from the whole trip. It involved a lot of pestle-ing from Matt and a lot of chopping and smashing from me. Most of the ingredients you can get at home (hurrah) except the all important Amok leaves, but Ti reckons you can use spinach. I'm not sure I have the patience to thinly shred spinach, Amok leaves are lovely and long, easy to roll up but maybe I'll go crazy and try it was cabbage. We had to make little bowls out of banana leaves for it to go in. Matt had a lot more success. Mine was subtlety rejected! We enjoyed our Amok and pumpkin dessert in between lying in hammocks. It was a very nice morning.

    After being dropped back we had an afternoon by the pool. Highlights being margaritas at the in-pool bar and a loud, drunk American woman trying to argue with a Brummy family cause their very young son was playing with a pool jet and she thought he would break it. Words were exchanged on both sides so obviously I subtley turned off my headphones to hear phrases like 'entitled' and 'irresponsible parents' being thrown around. The family didn't stop their son but started ignoring her fairly quickly but her loud monologue continued for about 20 minutes. Very awkward but super amusing. Matt then came out which distracted her and, despite her husband being there, she started cat calling Matt and calling him eye candy. Cringe.

    Dinner was at a bargain Cambodian grill near the hotel where we saw possibly our favourite religious offering so far. Most businesses have a shrine to their chosen religious icon and there's usually food or drinks left. This one had a cup of coffee with a sugar sachet on the side. You know, just in case they want it. Then we met up with a woman called Eleanor who I work with and her new husband Matt who happened to have just arrived in Siem Reap on their honeymoon! (Plus a cat who had a seat at our table for a while) It's such a small world. We've had a few paths almost crossed whilst we've been here. I felt slightly bad for crashing their honeymoon but we had a fantastic time drinking lots of cocktails at Asana where we did the class last night. Probably at least one too many seeing as we had to be up at 6am for a flight...
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  • Day15

    My first island stop was Koh Rong, a beautiful island off coast of Cambodia. After hearing over 80% of people get sick going there, it made me slightly apprehensive and I hoped my immune system would hold up for the duration of my stay.

    Being known for its nightlife, it certainly lived up to expectations, despite being low season. This was made very clear when I first entered Bong's, the hostel I was to stay at. The first girl I met, who I later learned was called Jazz, hadn't yet been asleep and it was 11am, (might I add she didn't sleep until after going out that night). Then I met Ella, both of them are travelling together. Little did I know at this point they were the biggest nutters I have ever met and were about to show me one of the best times.

    On Koh Rong activities varied between soaking up the sun on the white sandy beaches, basking in the bath like water which was so clear I could still see my feet waist deep and then LOTS of drinking. On the 2nd day however we did do the zip line on the island which was an assault course in the trees, giving us the highest viewpoint of the island. It was breathtaking and I've mentally stored this picture deep within my memory so I never forget it. We also happened to wake up at 6am and managed to catch the end of the sunrise, another image stored permanently in my memory.

    Having only planned to stay for 1 night, after my 3rd I decided it was probably time to move on. My next stop was to be the neighbouring island, Koh Rong Salmoem. With a sore head I boarded to ferry to take me there.

    It was a sad depart nevertheless, having met some amazing people. These included this lovely couple from Los Angeles who had fallen in love with the island and decided to stay there. Everyone who worked at Bong's, always showing everyone who entered the place a good time. A gay couple, George and Hocin who had dance moves that could win Britain's Got Talent. Another lovely girl called Sadie who is from Canada and is the sweetest person you could meet. And of course, Jarzz and Ella, however it's probably a blessing for my liver that I departed from them... I still hope to see them in future (they live in Surrey)!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Kingdom of Cambodia, Kambodscha, Cambodia, Kambodja, Kambodia, ካምቦዲያ, Campuchia, كمبوديا, Kambodiya, Камбоджа, Kamboji, ক্যাম্বোডিয়া, ཀམ་བོ་ཌི་ཡ།, Kambodža, Cambodja, ཀམ་བོ་ཌི་ཡ, Kambodia nutome, Καμπότζη, Kamboĝo, Camboya, KambodĪa, Kanbodia, کمبودیا, Kambodso, Kambodza, Cambodge, Cambodg·e, An Chambóid, કંબોડિયા, קמבודיה, कंबोडिया, Kambodźa, Kanbòdj, Kambodzsa, Կամբոջա, Cambodgia, Kamboja, Kambódía, Cambogia, カンボジア国, კამბოჯა, ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា, ಕಾಂಬೋಡಿಯಾ, 캄보디아, کەمبۆدیا, Kambodya, ກຳປູເຈຍ, Kambôdja, Kamapōtia, Камбоџа, കംബോഡിയ, Kemboja, ကမ္ဘောဒီးယား, Kambodsja, कम्बोडिया, Cambòja, କାମ୍ବୋଡିଆ, Kambodża, کمبوډيا, Camboja, Kambuya, Cambodscha, Kamboje, Camboggia, Kämbôzi, Kamboodiya, Kamboxhia, கம்போடியா, కంబోడియా, Камбоҷа, ประเทศกัมพูชา, Kamboçiýa, Kemipōtia, Kamboçya, كامبودژا, کمبوڈیا, Cam-pu-chia, Kambocän, Orílẹ́ède Kàmùbódíà, 柬埔寨, i-Cambodia

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