May, 2009

Cambodia & Thailand in 7 days

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

jing1.jpgDuring our recess week in late February (also called reading week because it is right before the midterms), we planned an exciting trip to Cambodia and Thailand. Our seven-day-trip was packed but enough to let us indulge ourselves in the local cultures and heritage.

I will give you a summary of what we did in Cambodia and Thailand. We spent our first day in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, and we visited the Killing Fields, the Royal Palace, the most famous temple in Phnom Penh, and watched a traditional puppet show. On the second day we took a bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, where we watched the sunset and sunrise at the Angkor Wat, tasted more delicious Khmer food, and bargained at the market. On the fourth day, we took a bus to Cambodian border and crossed over to Bangkok, Thailand. We had read bad reviews on crossing the Cambodian-Thai border on bus but thought things would be better now; we were wrong. I recommend you travel by air if you can afford it. But maybe we and all other foreigners on the bus were just out of luck and had a jing2.jpgno A/C bus where one of my friends had to sit in a plastic chair in the aisle, suffer the burning sunlight, and breathe in the flying dust from the mud road. Nonetheless, we arrived safely in Bangkok, where everything is very very inexpensive. We visited the extravagant and beautiful Royal Palace, visited temples, shopped, and had a nice dinner overlooking the Bangkok city. On the sixth day, we flew from Bangkok to Phuket. Phuket is a very touristy place; there are pubs and clubs everywhere. And finally on the eighth day, we flew back to Singapore and started studying for the midterms.

We read an article dated a year ago that said you could watch the sunset and the sunrise at the Angkor Wat and have the beautiful scene all to yourself, your tour guide, and some mosquitoes. But when we were there, we had to watch it with 300 other tourists who came with tour groups. But the other tourists leave for breakfast after the sunrise so you can enjoy a peaceful morning walking around Angkor Wat with just a few others. These amazingly beautiful sites in South East Asia attract a lot of tourists every year, so just try to avoid the peak seasons and go early, you won’t regret it.