Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cambodian times

Life has been a lot more active since my last update. 

When i finally made it back to Phnom Penh from Sihonoukville i went to the doctor and found out i had a temperature of 39 degrees...and was ordered to stay in bed... which only lasted about 2 days. 

After that i headed up to Siem Reap to check out the temples (angkor wat etc). The main temple in the angkor thom area was my favourite. I got a 3 day pass so i could do a couple of sunsets in different places and watch the sunrise over angkor wat....with about 1000 other people...but it's easy to cut them out of the pics and pretend like you're on your own. On my last night in Siem Reap i went out drinking/clubbing/karaoking with a bunch of Khmer people - one of which i had vaguely met at my hostel. The clubs are pretty similar to Aus ones - although they'll be playing music for ages, and then suddenly a band will appear and play a really different style of music....we moved on at that point. Karaoke was weird because we were in one of those private rooms. Just after we arrived the owner walked in with about 20 girls so the boys i was with could choose their 'company' for while they were there. The guy who had invited me out with them explained to me that in general khmer girls are only after money - so this is an arrangement that works out for everyone involved....aparently. 

After getting about 1 hour of sleep i had to get up to take my 8 hour boat ride from Siem Reap to Battambang. It was a beautiful trip, lots of floating villages and kids waving at us etc....Although getting picked up at sunrise and dropped off at sunset did make it a rather long trip...the only bad thing really was going over a particular choppy area for an hour...which made me seriously rethink the fact i had a mixture of beer, tequila, vodka, johnny walker and coffee in my stomach... :-s all in all it was very relaxing...and a lot nicer than taking the bus (even if the bus was only about 4 hours) 

In Battambang i met up with Adam and we attended a Khmer wedding - the bride and groom being people he works with. It was a very colourful affair and one that apparenty takes around 2 days in total - we just attended the lunch on the second day. There were about 8 courses of food....all of which were meat...but it looks like it would have been good. There was lots of dancing after the meal - everytime someone asked me to dance i had to accept (although i didn't sometimes) due to the fact (as adam kept annoingly reminding me) it is culturally rude not to. However it was fun to learn some traditional Khmer dance moves....and even funnier to watch what they said was their 'western style' dance. 

The next day we went sightseeing in the morning with some people from Adam's work and then embarked on our 5 hour bus trip back to Phnom Penh. 

Monday was a public holiday in Cambodia - although not many people seemed to have the day off. In the afternoon Adam took me cycling around Phnom Penh to the olympic stadium (which has never held an olympics) to see hundreds of people doing areobics all around it. From a distance it all looks like they're doing it in time - not in several different groups. Cycling around wasn't as scary as i was expecting - and it makes the city seem a whole lot smaller. 

Yesterday i caught the bus up to Mondulkiri province (9 hours on a bus...ewwwww). Tomorrow i'm hoping to go on an overnight elephant trek though the 'jungle'. Hopefully i can find someone else who is doing it on their own - as the price is per elephant rather than per person - so if i do it alone it's going to work out very expensive indeed. 

I can definitely say i'm not looking forward to going home and entering the 'real' world again. So i'm going to makesure i make the most of my last (less than) week. 

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