All posts filed under: Cambodia

Life lessons from Cambodia

Travel is a great teacher. And I feel that every experience has opened my eyes to some important life lessons, which no classroom education or job could ever teach me. And while one may not necessarily need to travel to realize these life truths, at least for me, the true acceptance of these has happened only through my time on the road. Cambodia is a country that had a profound impact on me for many reasons – its history, people, beauty affected me in good and bad ways both, and below I share some of the lessons I learnt during my time there. Never Generalize I had read a lot about crime in Cambodia and the lack of safety before I visited it, and while I will admit to having certain not so great experiences, I cannot deny that I had many more wonderful ones. Like the Tuk Tuk driver who stopped his dinner midway to drop us to our hotel late into the night. Or the owner of a hotel on Otres beach, who went …

The paradise that is Koh Rong!

There is a certain beauty in wilderness, it is all-consuming, brazen and unapologetic. And for me, no place embodies this spirit better than Koh Rong – a beautiful Cambodian island in the Gulf of Thailand, this place overwhelmed me in more ways than one. When I was planning my itinerary for Cambodia, this island particularly stood out – it seemed so far off, so secluded, so beautiful in pictures and still fairly undiscovered, I just knew that I couldn’t go back without a stop here. The fact that just getting to this place would be fairly time consuming on a 10 day trip wasn’t a deterrent. So I landed in Sihanoukville and an hour’s ferry ride later, I was in Koh Rong. And in spite of all my online research, I just wasn’t prepared for what I saw 🙂 . Clear crystal waters in various shades of blue, an open expanse of a limitless sunny sky, powdery white sands, and that feeling of discovering something that not many have access to. We got off at Tui …

Why I wouldn’t go back to Phnom Penh

The bus ride from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh was fairly uneventful, the so called highway was nothing more than a never ending dusty stretch of land, and by the end of it, we were pretty glad that we hadn’t attempted to drive around on our own. A short Tuk Tuk ride from the bus stand took us to our hotel, The Plantation. I had read rave reviews about this hotel, as one of the best places to stay in this city and I wasn’t disappointed. The hotel is really artistic, the staff is very friendly and helpful, the buffet breakfast is fantastic, and the spa, totally relaxing (we were offered a discount which I obviously availed 😛). But the absolute best part is the huge pool with cabanas along it’s length, where you can relax endlessly with your drinks and books, and when the sun gets too much, just walk down few steps and jump right into the pool! I had two days in Phnom Penh which I spent mostly at the pool and spa in our …

The best eats in Cambodia that you just cannot miss!

Cambodia is a food lover’s paradise, and no matter what part of the country you are in, there is always that café around the corner, that stall on the street and the cool bar in the city center that you are tempted to check out! The variety is immense, the flavors are explosive and the prices, fantastic. Below are my top picks of the most drool worthy dishes, drinks and restaurants that you should definitely try out while you are there – 1. Khmer Fish Amok  This is undoubtedly THE most popular Khmer dish, and you will find it on the menu of every restaurant serving local food. A thick fish curry, steamed in banana leaves, with strongly flavors of coconut and galangal, this dish is to die for. I observed some variations in how this is cooked and served in different places. Though the traditional way is to serve this as a really thick, mouse like fish curry in banana leaves, some places also serve a more runny version in a green coconut shell, accompanied …

Siem Reap Beyond the Angkor Temples – My Top 5 Things To Do !

I was met with confused stares every time I mentioned visiting Cambodia to friends/family/colleagues, most didn’t really know enough about the country but almost everyone mentioned the Angkor Temples in Siem Reap, the prime tourist attraction in Cambodia. And if you are not particularly fond of architecture and monuments (like me), you will be a tad bit concerned with this feedback, wondering if there is anything more to this city than its world renowned sites. I did make it to Siem Reap and am totally glad that I did ! It is a busy, bustling city, full of travelers who throng to see the temples but it does have more to offer than that – an easy, friendly vibe and a mind blowing variety of food, both of which made my experience incredible. Below are my top 5 things to do in Siem Reap – 1. Ride in the Tuk Tuk The tuk tuk is basically a bike to which a carriage/wagon is attached and you will finds loads of these throughout the streets of Siem Reap. These are convenient, airy …

Exploring the best of Cambodia in 10 days

With the holiday season around the corner and a significant stash of leaves available, I began an end minute (and very frantic) research in December for yet another place to explore. Since I had barely two weeks off, anything beyond Southeast Asia seemed too much of a stretch, so I started digging up places close by. And as I read more and more, something about Cambodia intrigued me – maybe it was the history, maybe it was the beautiful pictures of the untouched islands, I still can’t put my finger to it. But one thing seemed clear, that this country was far more than its world renowned temples, and definitely worthy of a visit. Believe me when I say that creating an itinerary for Cambodia isn’t easy – the more you research, the more you get lost, distances are significant, internal flights quite expensive, and intercity transport options limited. I spent 10 days in Cambodia, and by no stretch is it enough to see the entire country. But I tried to make the best use …