From Jamie's Philippines Pics

We have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bali. We have archived all of our travels and living experiences abroad; and if you wish, you can read about our adventures by finding the archives on the right of this page and by checking our Photo Album.

We appreciate all of our family and friends who have stayed in touch and emailed us with encouraging words throughout the year. We hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts as we continue our adventure of living abroad teaching at an international school. For those who have stumbled upon our site, check out the "About Eric and Jamie" section on the right for more information.

Thanks for checking us out!

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
- Mark Twain

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."
- Maya Angelou






Skype: "ericandjamie"



Saturday, October 4, 2008

Last Days in Cambodia

Jamie and I spent our last touring day in Siem Reap on Friday. We decided to go out and see a small temple that was 25 km outside of Siem Reap. It was one in which a king gave one of his counselors so it was unique. We then visited Cambodia's Land Mine Museum. They showed us a brief video and then had some exhibits. There are still millions of land mines in Cambodia and thousands that accidentally activate one each year.

We really wanted to go up in the hot air balloon and tried to wait out the rain, but it just didn't happen. We ate at a very Khmer restaurant. I think they served dog at this one due to the numerous dogs that were in the restaurant.

After the rain, we decided to end our Angkor Wat travels by seeing the one last temple, Phnom Bangkeng. It was where we supposed to see the sunsets, but we went during the day. The views from this mountain temple were amazing and we were able to see just as much as if we went in the balloon.

We told our tuk tuk driver to take us to one last spot, the Angkor National Museum. This has been labeled as the most modern museum in all of Asia, although we are not sure. It was nice and even had an audio tour to accompany it, but it didn't blow us away. We highly recommend anyone going to Cambodia to go here before going to Angkor because they tell you what many of the carving, sculptures, bas-reliefs, lintels, and structures mean.

That pretty much ended our day on Friday as we decided to relax and hang out at the hotel the rest of the afternoon/evening and rest up.

Saturday was by far the worst day of the trip. We had to be downstairs in front of the hotel at 6:30 am to catch our back to Phnom Penh. We woke up at 6:05 because our alarm didn't go off. We rushed and were still able to make it down there on time. We waited and waited and our transport didn't pick us up until 7:10, so no breakfast.

The other bus we came to Siem Reap on was an air conditioned bus that even provided us food. Not this one! No air con, no restroom (no big deal), and no food. It stopped twice to allow passengers to use the restroom and get drinks. Plus, it took it an hour longer to get back to Phnom Penh. We weren't very happy. To end this awful morning, our tuk tuk driver who took us to our guest house tried to charge us double the standard rate. I was fed up with everything and argued with him for a while before finally laying down my price on his tuk tuk and telling him that this was all he was getting.

We decided to go to Phnom Penh's royal palace, but we only stayed for a little while. Honestly, we were toured out and we hadn't eaten all day. Instead of going to out to eat, we just ate at our guesthouse and called it an early night at 6:00 pm.

I'll upload pictures of the last 2 temples, the land mine museum, and the Royal Palace when we return to China on Sunday evening.

This has been an amazing trip. Riding outside the city, you see the real Cambodia. Many times, we had what Jamie called "prosperity guilty." There were numerous children who would run up to any tourist selling their trinkets for just $1. I bought 10 postcards for $1 from some kid and several bottles of water and coke from others. Cambodia is still picking up the pieces after the Vietnam War and thier own civil war. The currency exchange rate is 4000 riel to $1 USD which is why they simply use the $1 USD as their currency for foreigners.

An unforgettable experience! We hope you've enjoyed the blog and the pictures. For anyone reading this and going to Cambodia soon, let us know because we can now fill you in on the do's and don'ts of Cambodia.

Gotta go catch a plane...

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