I’ve just returned from a 3-week trip to Southeast Asia, including 2 weeks in Cambodia, 5 days in Laos, and 2 days in Hong Kong. Overall, the trip was really fantastic – I met a lot of great people, got to meet up with friends from Hong Kong, saw amazing historical sites, had fun travel buddies, and ate yummy food. So as not to overwhelm, I’m breaking up my posts by city. Today’s adventure: Siem Reap, Cambodia.
The temples of Angkor Wat are the reason why people travel to Cambodia. Built over 800 years ago, these temples are absolutely fascinating. Many of the structures were unfinished and left to ruin. In the 19th century, French explorers rediscovered the temples and since then the historical buildings have been the go-to destination for Cambodia.
There are many temples that make up Angkor Wat and you can choose to explore most of them with multiple-day passes. You can hire a guide to drive you around and explain the historical significance, bike around the complex, or simply hire a tuk tuk driver for the day. We chose to go for one day with a tuk tuk driver who took us to the four main temples we were most interested in visiting.
The most common way to visit this temple is at sunrise. It’s a 5:00am pick-up so you can enter the park at the 5:30 opening time. It definitely is worth the early alarm.
Continue reading Asia Adventure: Siem Reap
I’ve just returned from a 3-week trip to Southeast Asia, including 2 weeks in Cambodia, 5 days in Laos, and 2 days in Hong Kong. Overall, the trip was really fantastic – I met a lot of great people, got to meet up with friends from Hong Kong, saw amazing historical sites, had fun travel buddies, and ate yummy food. So as not to overwhelm, I’m breaking up my posts by city. Today’s adventure: Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, is home to the Killing Fields & the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. A brief history lesson: the Khmer Rouge seized power over the Cambodian government in 1975, with the intent to make everyone “equal”. They forced many people out of their homes, either brutally killing them or pressuring them to do break-backing work with little to no food. The Khmer Rouge’s reign over Cambodia lasted 4 years in which an estimated 1.5 to 3 million people died.
Continue reading Asia Adventure: Phnom Penh
In exactly two months from today, I will be hopping on a plane to Asia!! First stop: Hong Kong! For the past three years, I have been dreaming of the day I get to return to my favorite city in the world. The layover will be less than 24 hours, but I’m planning on packing in as much as possible: cupcakes at Sift, xiao long bao at Crystal Jade, a peek at my old apartment, a jaunt through Hong Kong Park, and hopefully a ride up to the Peak. I am beyond excited about the entire trip, but these mere 40 hours (20 on the way there, 20 on the way back) are what I’m the most geeked about. Hopefully, I’ll even get to catch up with friends (if that’s YOU and you’re reading this in Hong Kong, save Dec. 10 and 29 on your calendar!).
I’ll be traveling with my friend Lindsay from Chicago for 10 of the 21 days I’ll be gone. Our flights were awesomely cheap. Get this – to fly direct to Hong Kong is $1,040; to fly to Phnom Penh, Cambodia through Hong Kong is $840. It’s $200 cheaper to take two additional flights. I don’t get the logic, but I love it!
Continue reading Here I Come (Again), Asia!