(Updated January 11, 2013 with photos)
My site is still a little buggy after the great crash of 2012. I will update soon with some photos and links to illustrate the story but for now here is just the story.
Cambodia, Cambodia, Cambodia, what can I say… well Phnom Penh was just too much for me. So much of travel depends on what mood you are in and I was not prepared for the chaos of Phnom Penh. Crossing the border from Vietnam was very easy but when we stepped off of our bus from Ho Chi Minh City we were in a busteling intersection with lots of tuk tuk drivers asking us “Where you go?, where you go?”, there was no escape by foot because the city is not made for walking, I needed to visit an ATM to get US Dollars and we had no lodging reservation. I was interested in visiting the museumes and historical sights that tell the story of the Kimer Rouge and how the Cambodian people endured but now was not that time, Toby and I agreed that we would take an early bus on to Siem Reap to escape the madness.
Siem Reap was just what I was looking for on this trip, it has a small town feel and it was easy to get out of the tourist area and interact with the Kimer people and a bicycle is all it takes to get around.
I’ve written an entire post on how to bike Angkor Wat, it can be found here http://www.flipouting.com/how-to-see-angkor-wat-on-a-bicycle.
We stayed at the Bou Savy Guest House which had exelent service and very nice accomidations. Upon arrival from Phnom Penh we were picked up at the bus station by a driver holding up a sign with “Flip Chavez” on it, just that there made me feel special. The town is easily navigated by bicycle and it felt like the best way to see the sights at a slower pace than racing around in a tuk tuk. We found lots of locals making their way around town on a bicycle slow and steady while avoiding the busses, mini busses, cars, trucks, tuk tuks and scooters. While biking I would sometimes put my arm out and a passing moto or tuk tuk would let me grab on for a free ride and I would take a moment to rest my legs before releasing (don’t worry mom and dad they were going kinda slow). There were many occations where I would chat with locals who were excited to use their engilsh, most conversations were not very deep, Hello!, what your name?, where you from?, the best part was the smiles that were shared and the laughs when I would jokingly say that I was Cambodian. The Kimer smile had such a luminence to it that I can’t really explain, but it was my favorite thing about Cambodia. Kimer food was delictable, when I get home I would like to attempt to make Chicken Amok.
After 7 days in The Kingdom of Cambodia we meet up in Thailand with the missing Chavez brother… the infamous Rodlofo.