not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I <3 Kampot, Cambodia.

I have really enjoyed every bit of Cambodia. I appreciated starting my trip in tourist-friendly Siem Reap- got my feet wet, saw the beautiful temples and enjoyed cheap prices for food, boarding and shopping. Battambang was sleepy, but the boat ride there was beautiful, and I gotta say that I enjoyed visiting the winery!! Next was Kampong Cham- another sleepy town, but on the beautiful Mekong and with a few really yummy restaurants. In Kratie I saw the are Irrawaddy dolphins, relaxed on the docks with my feet in the Mekong and discovered my favorite Cambodian treat: bananas steamed with coconut rice! Ban Lung was cool and peaceful, and or bungalow in the trees was a real oasis. Trekking along the Ho Chi Min trail in the Ratanakiri Province was an adventure, and though it was freezing at night, sleeping outside in a hammock was great! Also a special treat was meeting Chris who took us into very remote, "never seen a tourist before" villages where he was building schools. Playing Proud Mary for 118 Khmer kids was wild, something ill never forget. Phnom Penh showed me a whole new side of Cambodia, the progress that is in the process since the devastating Khmer Rouge. Visiting the killing fields and S21 makes you appreciate the Khmer people even more- because despite their tragic recent past, they always meet you with a smile and kind words. It was great to relax on the seashore at Kep and eat crabs & prawns til near explosion-- it made me feel like I was back at home, picking crabs round the table, washing em down with beers. Now we are in Kampot, which I think is my favorite place in Cambodia. Out of the places I've visited, it is the one where the Khmer Rouges destruction is most, destroyed buildings, homes that are just a pile of rubble, and skeletons of haunted buildings. But it's also the most beautiful- with the mountains, the river, and the people. The food here is excellent and the pace is just right. The last stop for my stay in Cambodia is Sihanoukville. Every single person that has mentioned this place has nothin but awful things to say about it. Skankville. Sinville. Dirty, crowded, touristy and unsafe. SO: we will be passing up the town for a trip to some of the outlying islands. Then- I'm off to Thailand. Round II of the journey is just round the corner...

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