Counting Down

Trip Start Feb 01, 2004
1
37
43
Trip End Jun 01, 2004


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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Saturday, May 8, 2004

Well, unfortunately we are counting down the days now as we head to our last real destination, one we have most anticipated: the temples of Angkor Wat.

We are in Sihanoukville right now which is Cambodia's "beach town" on the Gulf of Thailand. The good news is that the roads here were paved all the way. The bad news is that consequently the driver thought he was Michael Shumacher, driving like a fiend and overtaking other vehicles on every blind corner. The choices are to watch and pray or sit in the back with a bunch of valium!

The town has a laid back and beachy atmosphere, but the beaches are narrow and kind of scruffy. The touts are pretty aggressive, particularly the moto drivers and peddlars. We have never been called sir and madame so much: Madame, look in my shop; madame, buy my fruit salad; madame, buy lobster from me...These are always the first approaches...once you convince them that you don't want salad or a moto they always then ask You want to smoke something? Kind of like in Burma where old ladies followed Paul around to ask him if he wanted Opium...

Oh yeah...at least there is cheap seafood..we had four little spiny lobsters for a buck and had about a kilo of crabs and a jug of beer for only about three dollars! There are lots of places selling good Cambodian food out of little wooden shacks and plenty of deserted beaches and islands. As a matter of fact, we had the beach and several restaurants all to ourselves.

And we had french fries! Not that we were really craving western food, but it must be the same all over the world, when you see a plate of good looking hand-cut fries, it is hard to resist. This was the first real Western food we had (other than McDonald's 49 cent cones back in Singapore and Malaysia)since the pizza and wings with Lauri and Mike in Buffalo"on Superbowl Sunday!

People have asked about our packs and about what we miss from home...

First of all, our packs have been great. We have thought many times about what we might ship home, but there is really very little (although we are now accumulating some "souvenirs"). In fact, the only things in the pack we have not really used are the travel hammocks (never any room) and the mosquito nets (Provided). That's one for the foolish file...bought them on ebay from Allalabad India, had them shipped to Canada, only to bring them here, to never use them! Most useful things in the pack are without a doubt the phrasebook and the sarongs!

Things we have not had for almost four months and miss a bit include soft towels (dried outside on a fence they are often hard and sour smelling too!); ice cold drinks (Paul has been able to source ice everywhere but it is always iffy, has been dragged on the ground, and melts too fast); cheese (there is a real lack of dairy products, mostly cheese); and of course, sharing all the great times, great food and great drinks with you guys!

We head to Angkor Wat tomorrow, then back to Thailand and eventually back to Singapore for the long flight home. See you all in June!
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