November 13th, 2008 – by: yoghurt28s
I have always wanted to visit Cambodia aka Kampuchea for a very long time. And I am thankful that I have made this trip as it indeed opened my eyes to how many are living their lives in other corners of this world, should one be blinded in the pursuit of neverending luxuries of a materialistic life. How often do we spare a thought for the less fortunate or do we really give a hoot about throwing food away?
Anyway, I woke up really early that morning and took a taxi to the Eastern bus station in Bangkok. I only have a rough idea of the duration and did not want to be late for my 0800 hour bus. Fortunately, my journey from my hotel, ibis Sathorn, was quite fast really and i reached really early, bought a ticket which cost 221 baht, travelling in aircon comfort.
Another TB arrived shortly and we set off for our journey bound for Aranyaprathet or the Poipet Border on the dot. We reached the destination around noon time. The clearance at the border was considered acceptable, albeit with a number of people. The weather was sunny then. Even before my travbuddy and I, joined by another 2 travellers from the States, crossed the border, we were greeted with another sight, quite unlike that of Thailand, especially Bangkok which i departed from. The manual work that the people were doing speaks of extreme hardship indeed. Meanwhile, I was pulling my luggage with one hand, camera in another, and trying to catch up with my friends who were walking a distance ahead of me.
While I was engrossed in taking pictures, a little girl came up and walked beside me and gently pulled the plastic bag that i slung over my arm.
She had seen the packets of candies. But I ignored her and proceeded taking pictures. But she kept following me and was begging me in fact. Continually interrupted in what i was doing, I stopped in my tracks at last, took out a packet of candies and handed it to her briskly. With a impatient frown on my face. Now, the main reason for me visiting Cambodia is to visit the children and the packets of candies i have bought from Bangkok are obviously not for my own consumption or my friends'. I have planned to give to the children here. Yet, why did I , just why did I behave in such a way when she came to me, not wanting much but just a packet of candies costing 5 baht from me? Is it too much of her to ask for that? Have I still not fully understood that a little kindness goes a long way which can bring joy and a smile to faces, especially those of the poor children's? Till this day, I still reproach myself for that; I feel really bad and wherever the girl is, I just wanna say that 'I am sorry for that and beg for your forgiveness, and I wish that life will get better for you soon...'
She is the first child i have encountered and my Cambodian adventure has just begun...
November 13th, 2008 – by: yoghurt28s
After more than 4 hours plus of journey from the border, we finally arrived in Siem Reap
city. What's remarkable about the journey is none other than the bumpy dirt and mud track. As we approached the heart of the city, there was an intersection point. Surprisingly, after that intersection, everything looks so different. The road was smooth, well paved with road markings and dividers. Everything looks so fine here that i could not resist looking back at the bumpy mud track behind us. It was already nearing dusk then and we were not in time to catch the sunset at Angkor Wat as we scrambled out of the taxi to a few tuk tuk drivers eager to take us to some guesthouses which they recommended. After some haggling on the price for the service which they would be rendering us the next day, we got 2 tuks tuks to take us to view 2 guesthouses of our choice. My TB and I settled for Ivy 2 after seeing Watzup guesthouse. The latter was actually quite good, but we did not take it as we feel that the drivers surely have a bit of commission from our fees as they were pushing eagerly for us to take that. My room in Ivy 2 comes with fan but without hot shower (Burrrr... Chose wrongly) at US$8. We arranged for the tuk tuk driver to come to our guesthouse at 5 am the next day so we could be in time to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat.