Thursday, May 27, 2010

Road Less Traveled

The rest of our time spent at Siem Reap was great. More temples, an elephant ride, an amazing massage, Tonle Sap, and our service project. The temples are just indescribable. Just the size alone of Angkor Wat is something to marvel at- to imagine each individual stone being carried in and placed specifically to create something so massive is hard to imagine. The other temples were the same way- some weren't as big or as famous as others but obviously they all take a great amount of time to create. We also got to ride elephants up the mountain which I have to say was a bit expensive for what we got- but to say that I've ridden an elephant is well worth it. We also got to see the temple where tomb raider was filmed. I don't really remember much of the movie so I can't say that I remembered seeing specific things from the movie at the temple but it was still an amazing sight. Our visit to Tonle Sap Lake was one I'll never forget (not that any other part of this trip is forgettable) The houses in that area (and all over Siem Reap) are not houses you would ever see in the US. It's kind of what I pictured when I first learned of the trip to Southeast Asia- bumpy dirt roads, flat land, and poverty. The ride on the boat to see one of the villages on Tonle Sap was quite eventful. I had already been feeling very sick before- but add a boat ride that's an hour each way and it makes things 10 times worse. I really tried to suck it up and just focus on what was going on around me but nothing really seemed to work. Anyway it was still a good experience and I've taken away alot from it.

Yesterday was an incredible day- after taking a walk around a local village, riding an ox, and visiting a local elementary school, we started on our service project- building a compost toilet for house in the village. We laid brick, dug the trench, drilled holes in the pipe, and created walls and a roof out of their materials. It was probably one of the best experiences so far because we were able to interact with alot of the people in the village- the children in particular who seemed to be fascinated with whatever we were working on and some of them actually helped.

Although I think all of us were a bit sad to leave Siem Reap and have to say goodbye to the awesome staff and our Tuk Tuk drivers, we came to Phnom Penh today- after what was possibly the worst bus ride ever. With the way they drive around here, honking is everything. They pretty much pass whenever they want and out of courtesy to the driver they're passing, they honk to let them know. So every few seconds out driver would pass someone, and therefore honk. But he couldn't honk just once, it had to be several times. Anyway The Billabong is amazing and their salt water pool was just what I needed when we got here. We did a little shopping (ok I lied it was more than a little) but we got some great deals. Tomorrow we have quite a bit planned- the killing fields, S21, possibly the royal palace, and the Russian market. We leave Saturday for Ho Chi Minh City and only have the afternoon there. Sunday we fly to Bangkok- our plans changed again because apparently Bangkok is fine now. We will spend the remainder of our trip in Bangkok. It's all going by faster and faster now. Will blog again soon.. I hope.
ps my spelling might be off since I'm doing this from my iPod :-)

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