Home > Southeast Asia Trip, Uncategorized > Cambodia is My Nemesis

Cambodia is My Nemesis

It’s A Small World Afterall

First of all let me start off my saying it is indeed a small world.  After finishing up on the computer for my last post in Siem Reap, 4 English-speakers walked into the lobby being bugged by a tuk-tuk driver.  I get to talking to them once they check in and it turns out there also from Ontario… even crazier 3 of them also gradded from my University recently (McMaster).  Ryan, Daryl, Rigel (Mac Grads), and Ryan (Queens).  So we went out for dinner with them on pub street.  Basically $3.50 for dinner (1 free beer) and 50 cents for extra beers.  After grub Daryl and Rigel Heading to the night market with us before we all headed back.

In Rough Shape

The next day I was heating up bad, and not really sweating.  While the four other Canadians headed to the Angkor temples, me and Duncan hired a Tuk-Tuk for the day for $30.  An hour long drive brought us to our first stop: The landmine museum.  When pulling up we were happy to see it is co-sponsored by Canada.  It was a fairly small establishment set up my a former Khmer Rouge member, who after their fall began using his expertise (mining) to de-mine his country, which he now does with his wife.  There is a circular pond with a round building in the middle filled with landmines.  Around the pond is a walkway leading to 3 different rooms that go in depth into the details of the mines used, and the Khmer Rouge’s tactics – basically a form of terrorism directed at their own population to frighten the people into their ways.  Behind the facility is a building housing children who have lost limbs to landmines.  Being very respectful of their feelings there is a big sign stating tourists that they are not permitted to take pictures of the children.  On the way out I immediately regretted my previous days purchase of a “Cambodian Landmines” shirt from the market, when proceeds here went to the children.  So instead I bought 2 bracelets apparently hand woven by the children.  My good deed for the day.

After this we headed to the Siem Reap killing Fields, which was really a letdown.  It’s basically a temple enclosure with 4 glass pannels showing the bones of victims of the genocide.

Next we headed another 20 mins outside of town to go to the silk worm farm.  Me and Duncan had our own guide, but immediately after stepping into the first room I began to feel weak and started burning up.  I had to prop up a stool and rest beside the workers, and both the Tour Guide and Duncan looked at me kind of worried.  I was really close to passing out, so I downed all my water and we rushed through the rest to get back to the hotel.

I rested for a while before attempting to go out for soup, which I managed at pub street.  I then quickley walked the 50 meters to the Night Market to pick me up a traditional Cambodian scarf for myself (use as headscarf to protect from sun) and 2 frige magnets for my Nagymama to add to her collection.  All for a mere $1.75 thanks to my bartering skills.

July 9th we woke up early along with the 4 other Canadians as we caught our bus to the capital of Phnom Penh.  Much to our delight the bus that picked us up had a 1 foot hole in the middle of the walkway (yes- all the way through showcasing the blacktop) and the door didn’t close… But honestly what did we expect for $5?  Much to our delight this was merely a shuttlebus (still not street-legal in my opinion.  The actual bus was nice, new, and clean (cleaner than anything in Canada).  Only problem was they were blaring these little sing-along music videos (not exactly Karaoke).  I was shocked to see a full-blown retarded individual on a comedy show, actually getting pushed and hit as part of the laughs.  He seemed like part of the show, but still… Not something I really approve of.  Different strokes for different folks I guess.  Also on our bus was a solo female Australian backpacker, who decided to tag along with us around Phnom Penh.

Upon arrival our first choice hostel located downtown looked really grungy (even though Rigels Lonely Planet Guidebook really recommended it) AND it had limited rooms left that couldn’t really accommodate us (no desire to share beds on the part of the guys) AND was kind of pricey. So we decided to head to the Soi Ou Russei (spelling likely wrong) area which was around a 1km walk.  After about100 m I said we should just stop in every guesthouse along the way, and it paid off after the second one.  A nice clean, new hostel, cost us only $8 for a room with a fan.  I began coughing pretty bad earlier in the day, so we suspected it was a cold from the drastic temperature variations due to AirCon.  Me and Duncan quickly dropped our bags off to squeaked in to the Vietnamese embassy 30 mins prior to it’s closure to get our Vietnam Visa’s.  In Canada it cost around $60-65, but here we were happy to discover for $35 each we could get a 15 day visa IMMEDIATELY.  After 10 mins out popped our passports.  It was too late to meet up with the other 5 who went to the Royal Palace so we headed to look for dinner.    Food and Beer here turned out to be just under double the price of it in Siem Reap, so we spent a great deal of time looking.  We found a little BBQ place, where I ordered soup.  All of a suden my right arm started tingeling, then my face started, then over to my left.  I was really worried, so downed a water, and we quickly left to get me back to the room.  We picked up some gatorade and a bunch more water, then checked that a local doctor would be open at night in case I needed it.  We got a hot class of water and mixed me up some neocitron which I started to drink.  5 mins later I promptly started peuking my guts out.  Then this morning I woke up with  what the Thai’s call Thai-dal wave (look it up).  So I basically opted to stay in my room rather than risk it on the 18km drive to the Killing Fields and the Genocide Museum.  Duncan went solo.  Around noon we went for a quick walk to find the royal palace and stock up on water at a local market.  Then we hired a $4 tuk-tuk to take us to the Russian Market (lame – all knock off clothing and such), before chilling in the room for a couple hrs.  We then Ate pasta at a locall mall, before heading to the net cafe.

Off to Vietnam tomorrow, where I will hopefully seek medical help (I hear better hospitals)… And yes, made sure to have a toilet for the 5.5 hr busride.

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