Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cambodia: Prologue

Hi Friends,

This is not going to be a full entry about every part or trip. This will be like the trailer for that, but we're having such a good time already that we thought we could do a like snippet of our time. That and the fact that if we don't our entry will be so so so long you'll get bored and not finish reading. I get sad when that happens so we'll try to avoid that. OK, so Cambodia.

The whirlwind version of the vacation so far:
Phnom Penh
Tuk Tuk rides and Incense:
We hired a tuk tuk for $25 and he drove us around all day. Tuk Tuks are very exciting. Each country has it's own style, in Cambodia, They're like mini 4 seat carriages that are pulled by a scooter. The sides are completely open so it's easy to hope in and out. It's also easy to taste the flavor of the city in a tuk tuk. I mean this quite literally. If you keep you mouth open it will be filled with dust and city grime. MMM! However,while there are all the city smells that you would expect: exhaust,restaurants cooking delicious things, garbage, road-side BBQ. There's a pervasive smell of incense. Anytime another smell fades away its almost immediately replaced with incense. When you get out into the country with less traffic and population, it is almost the exclusive smell. It's really lovely and pleasant.
We believe this is because of the next nifty thing we want to mention. Temples and Shrines. Cambodia is almost 90% Buddhist and there are always little shrines around. Almost on every corner and even when you are driving through the country side with farmlands and small ramshackle houses you will find a beautiful temple. Anyway, in almost every shrine, and certainly every temple, there is lit incense. Making the smell of Cambodia unique and pleasant.

Siem Reap
Boatrides and Where's Waldo
Shunning the advice the that the boat ride from Phnom Pehn to Siem Reap was not worth the extra money we paid our $35 dollars a piece and hopped a Tuk Tuk for our 7:30am departure. We settled into the boat with a resigned fate thinking that perhaps we should have taken the advice. We sat in our enclosed and uncomfortably warm seats eating our picnic breakfast and gazing out the grimy windows to watch the men load the boat. As we finished the last our grilled tomatoes we watched the french tourist run outside. Not speaking French but not wanting to miss any excitement we followed them. To our delight they had discovered you could sit on the roof of the boat! LOVELY! And that's what we did. We sat for our 6 hour boat ride on the roof watching the city fade to country and playing "Spot the waving child." I think Jamie and i waved to more than 100 people on our boat ride. It was certainly fun and helped to pass the time. When they were wearing brown or red shirts it was like camouflage but i feel we stepped up to the challenge. When we realized we were both facing the same side of the river we sat back to back so as not to miss any waving opportunities. When we came to the large lake that had no people around we decided it would be smart to try and sleep. Smart for our tired eyes, not so smart for our pale pale skin. Anyway, Shannon's got a burn on the lower half of her legs, Jamie's got a strip burn on the part of his belly that got uncovered by the wind. But we feel that they are nice souvenirs of the ride.

So what did we do in Phnom Penh and when we finally arrived in Siem Reap?'ll have to read the day by day adventures that we will post later.