Did someone say margarita?

Bangkok Travel Blog

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margaritas!
If there's one place in the world that will never fail to awaken and shake all your senses - it's Bangkok.  It had been 5 years since I had been to this crazy city and it had changed so much : an all new, cool, glossy, crisp airport with large shiny adverts and celebrity faces looming at every turn.  I hadn't seen this stuff for months andI found myselft a litttle overwhelmed, staring wide-eyed at Lancome and Chanel - such a change of scene from Pema Sakya Monastary just last week!  ANd the airport had THE best toilets I had seen in a LONG time... I mean, the best.
Stepping out of the super-slick, air conditioned arrivals gate, is rather like running full on into a brick wall, how on earth could it be so hot, and at midnight.
$2 pedicure
  The sweat prickled on my skin in seconds and I realised jeans were a bad choice.  Finding a room was a liitle tricky, but sure enough there was a cupboard size, over priced sweat box with my name on it.  Driving around at that time in the city also gave me a chance to see the true presence of the Red Shirts in Bangkok... how topical.
Hollie joined me in the morning and a few more friends were in tow - Biker Ben and Nepal Aaron.  I think Hollie and I were a little dumbstruck that day at the change of scene and over indulged in shopping, cheap beauty treatments, reasonably priced margaritas and Boots the Chemist - we were giddy by it all.  The following days were a western bubble of face packs, Ray Bans, Starbucks and rude shop assisstants - it was almost like being back home.
Biker Ben again!
  Needless to say we had to get out, and soon enough we were on a bus to Siem Reap, Cambodia - for our third country in as many days, culture and the 8th Wonder of the world.
The journey was... interesting...Cambodians and Thais combining effortlessly in a proscrastination and non-communication showcase.  My first land boarder crossing was not one I'd want to repeat.
Siem Reap is an old colonial, beachy-feel town with old French architecture, squares with food vendors, alleys packed full of chairs spilling out of restaurants, bars and night markets.  It was a surprisingly nice place.  The following morning and it was another sunrise - at Angkor Wat.  Needless to say it is truly beautiful and has a mystic feel to it at that time of the morning (it's a shame there were quite so many others there, but still!), well worth the early start.
ladies what lunch
  The ancient Khmer complex is made up of hundreds of ruins over a huge site, so we took a day trip and took in the highlights.  At times, the queuing took me back to childhood days in Disneyland, which was a shame - but the ruins and statues are incredible in parts.  ANd a word of advice - don't go off the path there, it is jungle and the bugs are NOT friendly, remember Jumanji?
Next stop - Phnom Penn.  A mixed bag of reviews for this city meant we had to investigate for ourselves.  It was a buzzy city - lively, a little grotty in parts, but a good feel about it.  We took in to obligitary site - Royal Palace (from outside), S-21 Genocide Museum (eye opening and unreal) and walking the streets and markets.  We decided against a trip to the Killing Fields - not out of ignorance, but there are somethings you don't need to see to know they are there and what happened; we didn't want to have an entirely negative spin on our time in such a great city.
i know what you're thinking - cool
 
That aside, Hollie and I, and new roomie Sarah from Bath, had a nice time.  But it was onto some wuiet time on the beach with Hollie... she is the beach queen and did all the research in preparation for our trip to Sihanoukville - Otres Beach.  Wow. Wow, wow, wow. It was beautiful - fairly remote (we could only get there by motorbike), hardly anyone there, beach and shoreline on our doorstep and as much fresh fruit and fish as you could manage... paradise, thank you very much.  And that was us, for the remainder of our time in Cambodia - switching off, kicking back and enjoying the cocktails and food.  We ventured out into the local town - I turned my hand at shift gear scooters (sorry Mum, I was VERY careful though), we explored the local markets, selling everything you could imagine, and riding the coast road.
starbucks, WHAT?
  It was such fun, and before we knew it, we were bidding a tearful farewell to each other as we parted - Hollie to Ko Samet and me to Siagon.  We had the best time, I wish it didn't have to end quite so soon...
And so it was onto Vietnam... (and Katie visiting!)
L
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margaritas!
margaritas!
$2 pedicure
$2 pedicure
Biker Ben again!
Biker Ben again!
ladies what lunch
ladies what lunch
i know what youre thinking - cool
i know what you're thinking - cool
starbucks, WHAT?
starbucks, WHAT?
the boarder
the boarder
1,081 km (672 miles) traveled
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photo by: Deats