Before and after the plankton we traveled through Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It was a short stay, but it was during the Khmer New Year. We witnessed some of the celebrations on Koh Rong Sanloem but the celebration last for three days.
The Khmer/Cambodian New Year is the traditional lunar new year that signifies the end of harvest season. It is a time to enjoy the prosperity of their labor before the rainy season begins. During the three days, people pray, light candles and incense, give to charity and dedicate a ceremony to their ancestors. It is also tradition for people to wash statues of Buddha. Washing Buddha symbolizes washing away bad actions and will bring good luck, happiness and prosperity. Children also wash their parents and grandparents to obtain their best wishes and advice on life. (Moms and Dads: we thought we would just stick to dinners, phone calls, and asking for advice! 😘)
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We went to Koh Rong Samloem, an island near Sihanoukville, Cambodia. It took a bumpy plane flight, a bumpy minibus ride, a bumpy ferry boat, and a long walk with our backpacks on the beach (the last only because of bad directions), but we got to a nearly deserted island.
Continue reading “How we saw Bioluminescent Plankton”
After arriving in Laos we had a great dinner.
Vietnamese was our least favorite food thus far, although almost everything was pretty good. Everything was very fresh in Vietnam, even to a fault. There seems to be a southwest-to-east gradient in southeast Asia; with the best and most spicy in Thailand and the mildest in Vietnam.
Other notes about the Vietnamese food:
Not enough ice in shakes;
Some Jasmine tea, and very good, but rare; nothing like the ubiquity of tea in Japan;
Our favorites involved fresh spring rolls with some cooked fish or tofu inside;
The coffee was both the best and on occasion, the worst so far, but usually fresh. Not nearly so much instant coffee;
Do as the Indian guys we met do-bring your own bag of spice!
We got up well before the crack of dawn to go to the see Angkor Wat and the other temples and sundry buildings located outside Siem Reap (called Angkor Archaeological Park). The site stretches over 150 square miles and is the home to numerous historical structures. It is considered the largest religious complex in the world and was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1992.
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We are in Cambodia! Siem Reap is the second largest city in Cambodia and it is the city closest to the Angkor Wat complex. After a busy two weeks we scheduled ourselves in a nice hostel with a pool. We have enjoyed some down days with reading and pool time. They also have a great night market that is about a block away. That is where we have eaten most of our meals.
We spent a day biking around town. For those that know me (Megan) well, you know that biking is not my favorite thing. Chris and I rode bikes last summer around Dublin to practice to feel more comfortable. Guys- nothing we did in Dublin, Ohio was going to make me comfortable with biking in Cambodia! The traffic is crazy and follows few rules. There are no rules to cross intersections, you just go for it. The cars, buses and motorcycles are all whizzing right by you. Chris really enjoyed the day biking and I have promised to give it another try when we get to Vietnam.
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