Sweating in Cambodia

Trip Start Jul 14, 2011
Trip End Jul 12, 2012

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Where I stayed
Siem reap, Battambang, Phnon Penh, Takeo, Sihnokville, Koh Rong
What I did
Temples, more temples and some more temples

Flag of Cambodia  , Takêv,
Monday, May 14, 2012

Hello all.

Left Bangkok and arrived in Siem Reap at some point in March - losing all track of dates. After a sweaty walk (you'll notice a theme here soon!) we find Pub Street and figure our way around. We love Siem Reap - especially as we spent the rest of a very hot day lounging in a very posh swimming pool. So we decide to cycle the temples!! Not such a clever idea in 35+ degrees but we survive. Temples were amazing, our favourite was Ta Phrom (we actually believed we were Lara Croft for a while). After pedalling all day I decided to get a flat tyre which delayed us by quite a while but we somehow made it back for sunset at Angkor Wat. Not bad for a days work. Bec nearly made the biggest faux pas when she went in for a hug with a monk - that is soooo not allowed haha but she realised before the mistake was made, highly amusing for me. Spend another day temple sightseeing before moving down to Battambang.

Battambang is a very random but cool place. This is where we discovered what the Australia Channel has done to South East Asia, weird accents galore!! From here we moved onto Phnom Penh. Spent the day sightseeing around the killing fields and S21 prison which really hit home that we need to learn more about what has happened and is happening in the world! Pretty shocking stuff.

From here we moved down to Takeo, a small town about 2 hours away where we went to volunteer with NFO - New Futures Organisation. We were initially so worried about doing this as we had read so many things about orphanages being used as tourist attractions etc but absolutely fell in love with this place. NFO is an orphanage which houses about 50 kids from about 4 - 22 years old and funds them attending school. As well as that, they also support 8 voluntary village schools for kids that cannot afford to attend state school. We spent a week travelling out to the voluntary school in Little Po village where we each got given about 20 kids and told - teach them English!! No mean feat when the kids were actually pretty clued up. Facilities consisted of a whiteboard - which the kids carried for you, over to a space in a temple grounds. Yep, that's it!!! Often had monks, random drunk men or other stray kids sitting in which was often quite funny.

Our favourite day was by far when it poured with rain - mass hysteria ensued and we all ended up playing games in the rain which was so refreshing. When do we ever want rain in England?? Anyways, after a week we said a very emotional goodbye to the kids and the teacher Team - yes, one teacher to around 200 kids. Madness. Volunteers are always needed and very welcome so we'll put a link in here in case anyone has some time to spare and fanices helping a fantastic cause.

After school each day we would cycle back home and head to the orphanage. Me and Bec absolutely fell in love with the kids here and were seriously trying to pack some into our backpacks. Our last day here was brilliant; all the volunteers put on a BBQ and with the help of handyman Jake got a bouncy castle up and running which the kids loved. Me and Bec were balling it when we left - so bloody sad to say goodbye so we ended up having a very drunken night to drown our sorrows. Was sad to leave Takeo and all the people we'd met on the way but an amazing experience.

We then headed to Sikhanville feeling very deflated after saying goodbye to everyone but were so surprised by this beachside town. It was fab. We did lots of sunbathing, ate some gorgeous fish on the beach, got drunk - all the usual holiday stuff. Headed to Koh Rong island for a couple of days and found absolute paradise. Spent a whole day on 7km of white beach which was deserted!!! We hadn't quite expected to be there as long as we were though so by the time we trekked home we were both very burnt and covered in sand fly bites - not nice things!!

Spoilt ourselves to an air con room on our last night which was much needed. We honestly didn't know it was possible to sweat 24/7 but that has pretty much been Cambodia for us. Not glamourous at all but it has been absolutely brilliant. We've loved every minute of it and will hopefully definitely head back there one day.

So from here we head to Vietnam... as you may already have picked up from our facebook status' - let the carnage begin!!!

Until next time,
Rach and Bec xxxxx

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Eleni on

I am at work... reading your blog and looking at your photos. Now I am looking out of the window at the grey clouds and rain. I am now officially depressed! So glad you guys are having an amazing time. I look forward to your next post! X

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