december 2012: thailand & cambodia

Bangkok Round 2: the last days

My last two days of the trip were spent in Bangkok. I have to say I wasn’t really looking forward to going back to this city. After having such wonderful experiences in places like Siem Reap, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui, and now realizing in retrospect how...

Phuket Town

After five glorious days on a beach or in the water, believe it or not I was kinda sick of beaches and the crowds that go along with them. But I was already scheduled to travel to Phuket for one day, where I would then fly to Bangkok. So I made a last minute change of...

Christmas on the Island

It’s been a while since my last post (over a month, but who’s keeping track?) but I’ve met so many people that have been interested in my trip and the blog, I feel it’s only right to finish it properly. ¬†After all, there is a whole week left...

Christmas Eve on Koh Samui

Warning: this post contains nudity. Not appropriate for everyone:) It’s been a little stormy here the past two days (much more than normal for the dry season). I arrived here the 22nd, and Pat and Rivers met me at the resort on the 23rd. Our resort is between...

Chiang Mai by bike

On my last day in Chiang Mai, I had no plans and no place to be. I was enjoying a lie-in in my relatively soft hostel bed (everything is soft after two night of sleeping on hard bamboo floors). I woke up and headed down for my complimentary breakfast on the terrace...

Chiang Mai trek: Day 3

The last day of our three day trek, we woke up with the sun only to find a campfire already started and our toast and omelets almost ready. The omelets were made in bamboo, of course. Eggs were broken into the open end of bamboo and stood on end near the fire to cook....

Chiang Mai trek: Day 2 Part 2

The second afternoon and night deserves it one post and you’ll understand why. After our lunch or squirrel and noodles, we trekked for a few hours, mostly downhill along another narrow path that was clearly well traveled (if a bit precariously narrow and next to...

Chiang Mai trek: Day 2 Part 1

After a restless night’s sleep we woke up with sore backs and sleep in our eyes. Not for long. Our day began with more delicious food (we certainly didn’t starve on this trek). A westernized Karen breakfast was prepared again over the open fire pit in our...

Chiang Mai Trek: Day 1

Our first day was a two hour trek to a Karen village, eat with the locals and stay overnight with a Karen tribe host family. Tee, our guide, is Karen as well (although from a different village) so was able to explain the Karen culture and act as translator during our...

Chiang Mai: The touristy adventure capital of Thailand

I arrived in Chiang Mai Monday evening and checked into my hostel. Tired from the day of travel from Siem Reap and not having met anyone at my hostel (which is unusual since most hostels are bustling with travelers) I was stuck for what to do in this small northern...

Cambodia: The food

Sorry for the delay…since arriving in Chiang Mai I’ve been away on a three day trek near the Burmese border and a day of cycling around the city and have had no time (or access to wifi) to write my last post about Cambodia: the food. I’m sure many of...

The People of Cambodia

The people of Cambodia really do deserve a separate post. In a nutshell, they were fabulous. From the aggressive sales techniques adopted by children in the night market and by the temples, to the rice farmers we met, our tuk tuk driver and guide, everyone we...

Kampong Pluk: a floating village

There are a few floating villages around Siem Reap, but we were told that this was the most authentic, and it was on the way back from Beng Mealea so Melissa and I put this on our itinerary. It wasn’t at all what I expected. I partly expected it to look much...

Beng Mealea

Day 3 of my Cambodia stay, and we lost one of our travel buddies, Janet. She had already planned a bike tour from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh on Sunday so it was just Melissa and I for another day of adventure. Our guide and friend, Sokky, was busy today, so we hired our...

Bayon in Angkor Thom: temple of smiling faces

Of all the temples I’ve seen so far, this one is my favourite. It’s not the biggest, nor the prettiest. But to me it was the most spiritual. And part of that might have to do with the fact that its symbolism is simple. There were once 49 towers in the...

Ta Phrom: the Tomb Raider Temple

This one we visited towards the end of the day today. It’s known by most foreigners as the Lara Croft Tomb Raider temple because although the movie was filmed at different temples in the area, the majority of filming occurred at this one. This temple is not...

Banteay Srey: the lady temple

This temple was on our list of places to see for sure. We are, after all, three strong and single women who happened to meet in Cambodia. Where better to visit than the temple best known as ‘the lady temple’. The temple was built in the 10th century and...

Cambodia: Angkor Wat

So after touring many of the smaller temples yesterday we had finally built up to the largest temple: Angkor Wat. The sheer size of this temple is amazing. It is a Hindu temple, which was built over 37 years. Although the structure was completed, the carvings...

Cambodia Kbal Spean: a trek

After seeing a few temples on day 1 (The north gate of Angkor Thom City and Preach Khan), we decided to do the 45 minute, 1.5 km uphill trek to see ‘the carvings’. The place was about a 45 min tuk tuk ride from the main temple area, so we were afforded a...

I heart Cambodia!

End of day two of my three day stay in Cambodia, and all I can think is that I should have planned for more time in this country. The people are so friendly, the countryside is beautiful and the temples are plenty….and stunning. Yes, I will definitely be back...