Another lonely plane ride... but this time, I was meeting Jenn’s good friend, Ed (I call him Big Guy). My plane route was Singapore to Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. I had a car from the guesthouse I booked with to come get me from the airport. When I got to the guesthouse, all I wanted to do was sleep because I had to leave my place in Singapore at 3 in the morning. I had no sleep the night before because we went out for some frog legs, Thai food and beer!
I waited for Ed for what seemed like forever, but then he finally showed up! He said originally that we would be getting to Phnom Penh at about the same time, so waiting for him was unexpected. He told me that while on his bus ride, the time that they got to the Cambodia-Vietnam border, the border was closed and they had to wait a few hours till it opened, and that was why he was so late.
That afternoon we headed to the S-21 Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Tuol Sleng was the main jail during the Khmer Rouge regime. It was a place of torture and death. There were thousands of pictures of those that were imprisoned there. I read that they wanted to keep records of everyone so that the Khmer Rouge leader, Pol Pot, could read all the information. Out of the thousands that were imprisoned there, only seven had escaped.
That night we went to the night market and got some beers.
The next day we headed to the Killing fields, with our new buddy, Vicky. She was going there as well and so we all shared a tuk-tuk. She was telling us about her travels and her crazy experience in Nepal. Let’s just say, get a guide! While at the killing fields we watched a video and followed a family that had a tour guide. The killing fields were where they took the prisoners of Tuol Sleng. Before the Khmer Rouge, the killing fields used to be a Chinese/Buddhist cemetery. There were holes in the ground all over and those holes were the mass graves. They had built a beautiful memorial with the bones of those found in killing fields.
Later that day we headed south to Sihanouk Ville. Sihanouk Ville is amazing, quiet and quaint beach town. We arrived late and headed straight to bed. The next day we went to the beach for some noodles for breakfast. After hanging out on the beach for awhile and I made a new friend, his name was “Red, White and Blue Boy”. He gave me a red, white and blue bracelet, and we were the best of friends... he loved to stare at me while I read my book. Then we rented scooters! We booted around for while and stopped at a lovely, British owned pub for lunch. Ed got chicken and mash potatoes and those potatoes were AMAZING! I had Lok-Lac, again. Eventually I had that dish, about five times during the whole trip. I really like beef and rice ;) That night we headed back to the beach for some good bbq and drinks. We had an amazing $3 bbq seafood dish, which included BARACUDA, shrimp and squid, some rice and salad. Nom nom! Then we met some people while eating and hung out with them for the remainder of the evening. The girl that we met (she reminded me of Kerry Paterson), later she threw up on me because she had two “sandwich”* drinks and didn’t know that it take 2-3 hours for “sandwich” effects to kick in when you ingest it. Great night, other than getting puked on!
*Please watch How I Met Your Mother for sandwich reference
Then we took a bus back to Phnom Penh, where we shot guns! Ed and I shot an AK-47 and Ed also did a machine gun! They even let us purchase coconuts to use as targets to shoot at! Super fun!
Then we went to Siem Reap. On the way to Siem Reap I watched a lightning storm, it was beautiful!
The first day in Siem Reap, we checked out the temples and they are beautiful! Absolutely amazing. I loved the temple with all of the faces. That night we headed to the restaurant that Janette and Rob recommended, Touiche Restaurant. The owner picks you up in his old French war jeep! We ordered some delicious steaks and cheap beers! After we headed out to go exploring and to have some more beers! We found pub street! It was perfect, exactly what we were looking for! We went to Angkor What! Pub and we ran into some travel friends of Ed’s and met some people who were on tours. I went into the bathroom to relieve myself and when I got out of my stall, there was someone who looked strangely familiar! It was Judy! We had emailed back and forth a few days before because she knew I was in Cambodia. We drunkenly stared at each other for a couple minutes and then realized who the other person was! Good ol’ drunk times! We drank and hung out for a couple more hours then headed back to our guesthouse.
The next was a very early day. My aunt Dina, put me in contact with a group called Caring for Cambodia and they help children with schools. Whether it is getting them into school or providing materials for them in school, these guys do it all! They are helping 7 or 8 schools, and one of them is a high school! We joined Meghan and Ciara for the first day of school celebrations! There was a parade the children took part in and speeches for the parents. The speeches were to help parents understand what the goals and aspirations of the schools and Caring for Cambodia are. The speeches were mostly in Khmer, but it was still pretty awesome!
That night we went out with Judy and her roommates at her hostel. Delicious and not expensive dinner, I enjoy some Cambodian Amok curry. We had a wonderful night out with some dollar margaritas and I think I made a few new friends that night.
The next day was a little dull, but I think Ed was coming down with something and I was missing Jenn a little too much to bear so it was nice to have a quiet day.
Then I headed back to Singapore dark and early. I headed to the airport and hour before I wanted to because I have my watch set on Singapore time which is an hour ahead of the rest of Southeast Asia. I got to read my book; First they killed my Father by Loung Ung. Then Judy and I enjoyed each other’s company all the way home!