This month South East Asia was invaded by a couple of old university Friends. Frankie and Olly arrived at the beginning of the month, a week before the break for Chinese New Year. They spent the first week at my pool and exploring KL while I worked. That was harder than I thought it would be, as all I wanted to do was join them, but every evening we went out for dinner somewhere fun. As soon as I was done working, we headed to Cambodia. We visited three places: Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap.
With a 3am wake up we flew to Phnom Penh on Saturday morning. The first thing we noticed was that the beers were a dollar each! Olly had one for breakfast. Wasting no time we gained a lovely tuk tuk driver that took us to the Killing Fields, Genocide museum, Russian market and Royal Palace. Arriving at the Killing Fields I had no idea that in my lifetime Cambodia was torn apart by the Khmer Rouge regime led by Pol Pot. Basically he killed thousands of innocent people because he thought they’d be a threat…. he wanted a communist like society so he got rid of all intelligent people, foreigners etc. You are given a audio machine to listen to as you walk around the different places. The most haunting part for me was the fact that clothing, bones and teeth are still surfacing now, but it’s a very clear reminder.
The Genocide museum was equally horrendous which was an old high school with cells unchanged from the regime. There were also lots of survivor stories and photographs. Hard to see but so very important to know.
In the Russian market I felt right at home, it was very similar to the markets in Dakar…. Everything you could ever need all piled together, car parts next to tourist souvenirs, fresh fish next to electronics. I loved haggling for things I didn’t need.
The next day we took a 4 hour bus to Sihanoukville (6am wake up… lie in!) which is south of Phnom Penh on the coast. The journey was surprisingly easy, the bus even had wifi which kept Olly happy! When we arrived we took a tuk tuk along the coast to a beach called Otres. It was lush. Our hostel consisted of little cabins right on the beach (ours was a jump away from the sea), a bar which played the chilled out Kygo remixes which I love, and sun beds.
We were absolutely back in my happy place. Barefoot by the sea. We watched the sunset with a beer.
We spent the next day bumming about on the beach until we took a flight to Siem Reap. Yes, we could’ve taken a bus but we only had 6 days to explore! That evening we explored the massive night market. On our first full day we took the tuk tuk sunrise tour (4am wake up) which was absolutely gorgeous.
For the rest of the day we explored numerous temples and ruins. I can’t understand how there are super old trees that are still alive and kicking on top of these ruins! How?
In the evening we found pub street and celebrated pancake day with a one dollar banana and chocolate pancake from a cart. Absolutely exhausted, in our final day we mostly hung out at the pool and ate rice for every meal. Hello carbs!
The next morning we flew back to KL. And just like that our 6 days were over. The following morning Frankie and Olly returned to the UK. Malaysia misses you both!
This trip was one of the best so far. I’m addicted to flying. Trying new things. Working out where and how we all fit in. Watching the sun rise and set. Wearing bright clashing colors. The beach is most certainly my happy place.. wading into the water on my own in an empty sea is where I feel closest to God, the most peaceful and my soul is calm.
Counting down the days until the next holiday, and the arrival of my Mum and Dad!