Cambodia Highlights

I only spent a week in Cambodia, but I fell in love with the country! Everywhere I went I met warm and friendly people, things were affordable, I had several wonderful and cheap massages, and the food on the coast was delicious! If I could get a teaching job in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap I would be one happy lady.  Until then, I wanted to share my experiences in this wonderful little country!
Below is a blog post from my old journal/blog from a couple years ago:
For Chinese New Year break the girls and I went to Cambodia. I love this country and I hope I can come back again. I have applied to a handful of schools in Cambodia but haven’t heard anything back other than, “I’m sorry but we have already filled all of our positions.”
We went first to Phnom Penh. We stayed at Sunday Guesthouse. It was in a boring and kinda of sketchy part of town that non of us enjoyed. The people at the hostel were really nice and able to book a tour and hotel for us. We went to the Killing Fields and a Torture Museum (historically important yet not very “happy” places).
Some of the skulls found in the mass graves at the Killing Fields of Phnom Penh

Some of the skulls found in the mass graves at the Killing Fields of Phnom Penh

From there we traveled to Siem Reap which I absolutely loved. We stayed at Rosey Guesthousewhich was very friendly, well priced, and in a great location.  I applied to the most schools here, none of which were American schools and thus very unlikely to want to hire me. It was from here that we went to Angkor Wat and all of the temples Cambodia is so well known for. We also went to Pub Street one night, a night market another night, and swimming at a resort another day.  Most of our time was spent temple hopping over a three day period, but I would still like to explore the temples some more. This town has a great international feel with cafes, bar life, expats, and really friendly locals. We also had our best massage of the trip here.

Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Sunrise at Angkor Wat

One of the guards at the temple in Angkor Wat had me give an Eskimo Kiss!

One of the guards at the temple in Angkor Wat had me give an Eskimo Kiss!

I no longer remember the real name of this temple in Siem Reap, only that they called it the Tomb Raider temple

Ta Prohm- the guides called it the Tomb Raider temple

We took a night bus from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville which looked fairly nice but was only marginally more comfortable than an economy seat on an airplane. Sihanoukville is a wonderfully relaxed beach town. We stayed at a place called Coaster’s which was just average and very overpriced for what you get- I wouldn’t stay there again. You lay on the beach and vendors come to you selling everything from threading (hair removal) to rambutans (my second favorite fruit after the mango).  This is where I made the mistake of getting a $10 massage on the beach with oil…that later turned into a nice sunburn of course. Lesson learned: do not get an oil massage on a beach!
Monk walking down the beach at Sihanoukville

Monk walking down the beach at Sihanoukville

 From there we went to Koh Rung Samloem and stayed at Lazy Beach. We basically had the beach to ourselves, only occasionally seeing two or three couples at a time on the beach with us for short periods. We relaxed and read on the beach for huge chunks of the day, played in the water, played Phase 10 and Taboo (which I love, btw!), ate DELICIOUS Kampot crab, and went snorkeling. Shhh!…I also went skinny dipping for the first time in my life here!  It was awesome because it was so dark you couldn’t see anything but the glow in the dark plankton when you splashed in the water. While the bungalow we stayed in didn’t have hot water or AC I was super comfortable and never too hot to sleep with a sheet over me and a bug net protecting me from the many mosquitoes and iguanas. 
Our deserted island beach at Lazy Beach on Koh Run Smaloem

Our deserted island beach at Lazy Beach on Koh Run Smaloem

Then I came back to Beijing… where I wasn’t worrying about a lack of AC but was instead wondering how many layers I needed to dress in to go to school.  I went from wearing a bikini for a week to wearing three layers of clothes, a down coat, a scarf, and gloves. This weather is supposed to continue until the end of March. They say it may even snow again.  Once I arrived and got such a shock to my system I immediately started applying for jobs in warmer climates…starting with Cambodia.

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