Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Khmer Memos

I finally realized my travel goal for this year a few weeks ago when I visited Siem Reap to see the majestic Angkor Wat. :) I wasn't able to cross the border of Cambodia and Vietnam as planned but I think it's a good idea to visit them separately to focus more on getting to know them more.

I blogged about some little details that I remember the most about Siem Reap (please click the links to read the full details). I haven't finished everything yet but here are some random things that I've compiled so far:

Since I love coffee and sitting in the cafe always help me understand the place where I am by listening and observing every passersby and their way of life, I wrote about the best cafes that I found in Siem Reap. 

The Bloom Cafe at night

The "cool lounges" of our favorite, The Blue Pumpkin

Chilling (with fast wi-fi) with Indonesian lovely friends, Dita & Chichi

I rarely shop when I travel but this is the first time that I feel so regretful that I didn't hoard this wrap around pants. I swear, for $6, this is one of my best buy ever!

Meet the new addition to my blogging network, the forgetful blogger--Kris. :)

I love being Asian. I love being Southeast Asian more because there's something unique in ASEAN's traditional clothes that I find so elegant and full of characters. Meet some of my favorite fashionable and lovely Southeast Asian bloggers.

Traveling to Cambodia anytime soon? Then, learn some of the useful words that will save you from hunger and other more inconveniences.

Som OrKun!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Siem Reap: some pieces for home

"The air is different here," that was my first description of Siem Reap, the home of the largest Hindu temple of the world, (and the place that I was dreaming about exploring by boat for the past months) and a place for the second largest airport in Cambodia and most "touristy".

As I wander around the town by foot and by the usual Tuk Tuk that they offer you in $1, I battled with my feeling of doubt. Am I in the right place? 

I looked at the architecture, tried to converse in Khmer,  asked curious things to prove my doubts wrong, then yes, I was lost. 

The image of Cambodia that we traditionally grasp from the media that's available to us feels different and surreal. I'm sure Angkor Wat is amazingly beautiful but talking about the "Cambodia now" doesn't become a topic for most of us. 

Cambodia is beyond temples.


I was surprised that there's a tour to see the poverty in Cambodia in floating villages. I was asking myself if Cambodia is doing this to gather more NGOs and minimally solve the problem of these settlers for now by inviting the tourists to donate something to them to support their basic needs

We didn't go to the traditional tour and decided to see how the family living in floating houses in Tonle Sap River near the street. 

It was amazing how they move their houses from one place to another whenever they needed to especially if someone will park their boat or use it. Men of the families are usually in the water checking everything that they could do to support the family.

I find the Kitchen very efficient and neat.

And since I could never tell a story just by looking at them, I tried going around the river with some Filipino bloggers as we shout from time to time as the boat sways.

I have seen kids going to school in barefoot that shows how the current situation promises a wonderful future for Cambodia.


Like how we Filipinos adapt to the changing demands of our current society as the BPO Industry promises growth and slowly replaces our own language with English, I am seeing the similarity with Cambodia as it uses USD more than their Riel because of its growing demand in the tourism industry.

I feel sad at times that we, Filipinos, often speak English than our language but I feel the same whenever foreigners ask Cambodians why they don't use their money most of the time.


Traveling is always a learning experience. When you travel, there always a time when you will realize that the world is big that keeps your humility.

As I travel to see the world and show the how it is to be a Filipino to the world, I'd like to bring some pieces of my Siem Reap visit to the Philippines by wishing that we have the following:



I still need to see the temples and the picturesque sunrise in Angkor Wat tomorrow but yes, I'm loving it here in Siem Reap- good conversations, beautiful people, wonderful merge of cultures and laughter. I'm truly grateful to have this opportunity to spend time with my neighbors, BlogFest Asia 2012 made it happen.

Twitter: @blogfestasia12


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...