Cambodia and the Majestic Temples of Angkor Wat

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Going to Asia has literally been a dream of mine but never, in a million years, did I think I would visit three countries on one trip! I’ve country hopped before but in a country that I had visited in the past.  Asia for me was a HUGE deal!  I have some amazing friends that are from a little country in South East Asia called Cambodia!  They asked me if I wanted to come for a trip with them and I had my bags packed the next day!

One of the longest flights I’ve ever taken. I remember it was BOS to HKN and then HKN to CAM. The first leg of the flight left a cold early morning in February at1:30am and the flight alone was about 20hrs, direct ! Because of the time difference, when you arrive, you are a day ahead and from there, you grab another 4-5hr flight down to South East Asia. Flew in with Cathay Pacific and the amenities were incredible. We landed in Phnom Penh at around noon on the next day. Cambodia is 12hrs ahead during the time of year I went. They don’t have a daylight savings, so it whenever you go, the difference will depend on whenever or whenever you fly out from.

The easiest and most economic way to get around is what they call a tuk tuk. They are all over the city! Cabs nearly exist and the majority of the traffic is due to motorbikes. The majority of the cars you see in the city are either working cars or people with businesses that need to get around faster. It also depends on the town your in. Some times, the amount of cars is the one you’re in and the one in front of you! We were lucky enough to travel with friends which made it easier to get around but we still took advantage of the motorbikes & tuk tuks. Literally like a dollar wherever you want to go!

We decided to stay in a few different locations in order to try to experience the full effect of what living in Cambodia might feel like. We were there for about 15 days so we were able to really get comfortable with those locations and see how different the lifestyles can be within the country. We used Air Bnb, stayed in 3 hotels, 1 beach home, a city home & a country home. One of the most memorable was the home in the country. A lot of their homes are up on stilts because of the heavy rains that occur during their rainy season. Also, light is very limited. And its hot ! The hotels were a lot more offering than one you’d see in the states. Regardless oft he hotel star rating, they offer the best service. The beach house was amazing because well, it was at the beach. The beaches in Cambodia are majestic and have a certain haze to them that is hard to explain. Very calm and with some of the best sunsets I have ever seen in my life. Stray dogs are frequent and are sure to come and visit. Because of where Cambodia is, there isn’t very much of a stretch of beach but we went to one of the more popular ones in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Sokha Beach & Roh Kong are two of the ones we visited. Very unique in their own ways. Water sports or relaxation are available at both with drinks and delicious food. Very laid back environment, very hippie feel, similar to what Tulum or Bali would offer.

Over the past couple years I’ve been opening up a little bit more to some new dishes but for the most part I am an arroz con pollo kind of guy. Typically every where you go you can find that & rice is my thing so I am always satisfied with where every Im at. Theres likes 40,000 varieties of rice so Im sure I’ll find a plate. Cambodia is BIG on rice. They eat A LOT ! From seafood to meats &their very own delicacies like spiders and grasshoppers! A lot of those foods you hear about are true! You’ll find the at little kiosks along the road, their street & their night markets. contains tropical fruits, soups and noodles.Key ingredients are kaffir lime, lemon grass, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, curry, tamarind, ginger, oyster sauce, coconut milk and black pepper.

The MOST iconic location which in many ways puts Cambodia on the Map is the Majestic Temples of Angkor Wat among many historical temples that throughout the years have been heavily visited by tourists from all over the world. It is located about 5-6 hours outside of the capital of the Country, Phnom Pehn, and can be easy accessible by car or plane which takes about 1hr. There are usually, normally, about 2.5 millions visitors every year because there is about 1000 temples to be visited throughout the city. The most popular being of course Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ba Yon Temple & the Ta Phrom. These temples were all created with sandstone and the only thing holding them together after all these years is gravity! There’s no cement or any type of adhesive keeping these bad boys together.  You will notice when you visit that there are many statues that have missing heads and this is because they were stolen to be sold. There is also a few that have unfortunately been ruined because of weather and natural reasons. You can go in and discover so many hieroglyphics and take pictures for Instagram that are unique because as unified and symmetrically structured these temples are, it's a different shot every time. And one of the neatest things you’ll see in this part of the country are the animals. Unfortunately, they do have elephant sunder captivity but they are well kept. They have a TON of monkeys that areVERY social, to say the least. They have crocodiles, tigers, panthers, bears.Those I wouldn’t say are as social.  They also have a very fun night life there where you can get all kinds of foods, drinks specials, entertainment.  Our US dollars goes very far there as the exchange rate Is really good. 1 us dollar is equivalent to 4,030 Cambodian reil. With 1USD you can buy yourself a nice dinner with a drink! Everything Is relatively cost effective so its actually  a great country for a young person to visit if you’re looking for a country on a budget.

 

Kevin Sandoval

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