My top 5… Cambodia was an easy top 5 for me this week. I really had some distinct things that impacted me during my visit to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Besides the fact, I love to get away from the routine of home, I Crave interaction with new people and to learn of new things. Cambodia made this easy and I highly recommend a visit. (For more on Cambodia click here for my previous post)
One: Tuk Tuks. We were picked up from the airport on a tuk tuk. It took 2 packed to the roof, to get us to our hotel, and three to comfortably get us back, but the tuk tuks gave our family the feeling of living in Cambodia. It is the main form of travel for visitors and quite fun, scary, and exciting, all at the same time. Quite a hi light, and still a topic of conversation around our home!
Two: Old Town Old town gave you a glimpse into life in Siem Reap that has existed for hundreds of years. It also gave you a glimpse into a new Siem Reap. One that is frequented by visitors, ex pats living there, and people adapting to the income of travelers. We found fabulous shopping, ate at restaurants that felt like we were home, and had conversations with fascinating people. We found ourselves there both days we were in town, and spent more hours than anticipated. We also were able tot get foot rubs for 30 minutes for $4 USD. Yes please!! I could get used to this every day. Love Love Love, Old Town.
Three: The Kids Taking my kids to Cambodia gave me the desire to show them how children their ages lived and survived. Our guide Chamrong, arranged a visit to a local orphanage, where we were able to take supplies, talk to the kids, and play some soccer/football with them. It was a magnificent experience for my kids, and so good for them to prepare for the visit with the collection of supplies the Orphanage had requested. There is a dark side to Orphanges in Cambodia so if you are looking to visit, make sure you find a reputable one that does not use the kids as a tourism attraction but is helping to change the kids lives.
Four: Church. I am Mormon. I also love many other religions, and respect everyones different ways of worship. I have had my life deeply enriched by learning of so many different cultures, the way they live, and the religion they honor. In Cambodia, our church has local branches. As we learned more on Buddism, and Hinduism, I was also excited to attend our church on Sunday and feel a little of home. It was so fun to talk to the members, learn of they differences there, Sing with the kids, and show my kids that no matter where you are in the world, there is goodness!
Click here for a small Video of the Village. IMG_6392
Five: Floating Village. I had not put this stop in our itinerary but it was added by our guide. I absolutely loved this visit. All the culture and experience of everyday life in Cambodia was very clear, and available to see here. The adaption to the lake and the way of life was fascinating. My family walked away, in awe, with so many things to talk about, and an experience they will never forget!
Cambodia is one of a kind. It is beautiful, full of history and wonder, challenges your mind, and creates wonder and the need to know more. All of these things make a destination worth a visit to me. If in the area, see Cambodia, you may just find yourself loving every second of it!
Travel Notes: Here are some links to a few of our trip details.
Bunwin Boutique: Click the link to read my review on Trip Advisor.
Tours by Locals: Chamrong: Chamrong is a great guide in Cambodia. He was able to arrange a van to fit our large family. He planned the itinerary based on my list of sites we wanted to see, and was flexible with our schedule due to the needs of my kids. He provided a lot of information, and was very patient with my younger children. He is definitely one of the best. He is polite, kind, spoke clear English, and was very attentive to our needs. Chamrong is a great guide and one I can recommend to adults as well as families.
Viva Restaurant: Located in Old Town Siem Reap. Read my Trip Advisor Review here.
Cafe Central: Click here for review