Monday 19 August 2013

A holiday in Cambodia...

No, we haven't just been to Cambodia but we have been planning our next trip, this time we want to go to Laos and hopefully sneak a couple of days in at Cambodia too. So, I expect you are wondering what is with the random post about Cambodia doing on the blog, well that is because when I got back from the in-laws I found an email in my inbox for a competition to win cash for a holiday from Holiday Postcards. Of course I had been thinking about the holidays so I just had to enter, the money would be very helpful!

Back to Cambodia, we went there the first time, for the millennium, it was a great trip, we fell in love with the place and the people and so when we decided to get married in December 2003 we decided to go back and stayed for almost 2 weeks. I have blogged about the wedding before so I will share a few other things that I loved about it today.

Although it had become more touristy over the three years since out first visit, we still felt totally safe and well looked after by the locals. Everyone is so smiley had helpful, the kids are absolutely adorable. Many of them worked, they would sell things to the tourists in the morning then go to school in the afternoon or vice-versa. The government had put a stop to the kids harassing tourists at the ruins in Angkor but we made many little friends when we hung out at the beach for a week.

Cambodia I suppose, is best known for the Khemer Rouge and Angkor Wat but it has a lot of other great things going for it too. The beaches for starters, they were clean and with little bars dotted along the place and kids selling snacks, fruit and fresh lobster. My step dad adores lobster but after about a week he had his fill! I am not really a beach person but it was nice just to hang out, play cards or read a book and watch the world go by.

There is plenty of adventuring to do too, of course the ruins to explore and places like the killing fields but you can also take a boat ride on Tonle Sap lake or a jungle trip, which strangely enough, that is when my uncle met his partner, a fellow Brit on an adventure. Around Siem Reap we went up in a tethered hot air balloon, visited both a butterfly and a crocodile farm and sailed along the lake, spotting Vietnamese floating villages and boys fishing.

We actually wanted to have the wedding ceremony at the ruins of Angkor but BoBo, our man who organized everything told us that we would have to pay officially bribe money of $500, we didn't agree with paying the bribes and feeding corruption, especially as the government we trying so hard to quash it so we decided that rather line some officials pocket, we would donate the money to a school instead. BoBo told us that his daughters school were raising money for a back wall to be built to stop people stealing the kids bicycles, many of them have to travel quite a distance to get to the school.
We also bought a whole load of school supplies and when we got to the school, it was like being royalty, they had a big banner hanging up welcoming us, we got given a bouquet of flowers and a guided tour of the school and got to see some classes in action.

Of course, you can't go on holiday and not mention the food, despite the fact that Cambodia is a poor country, their hygine around food is very high (unlike other countries I have visited), obviously being sensible about what you eat is always a good precaution but I have to say that apart from some soup that nearly blew my husbands eyeballs out (too spicy) all the food was delicious. Having a French influence and a definite Asian flair made for some great meals.

Not too sure about the deep fried giant spiders though...

Our holiday to Cambodia, wasn't your typical holiday but it has the best memories, that is why we want to go back for our 10th wedding anniversary, and this time take Ebi-kun. I have heard lots of good things about Laos too, so that will be the main part of the trip and if money and time allows we will pop over to Siem Reap for a few days, I am sure he would love to explore the ruins and try lots of exciting food, maybe even deep fried spiders!

I can't finish this post without introducing you to Song, she was such a cutie, every day she would pop by and see if we wanted anything, there was never any pressure to buy and she always had a big smile on her face. She would tell me about her family and school and in return I would help her out with her English, which was pretty darn good since she was pretty much self taught.

Now it's your turn... where, when and why was your best holiday ever? Share in the comments section.
And if you happen to have been to Laos, let me know, I would like to pick your brain!


  1. Deep. Fried. Giant. Spiders. Please tell me you at least tasted a leg? :-)

    I've never been to Laos or Cambodia but would love to go someday. I'm sure you'll get there with Ebi-kun, and that you guys'll have a blast. It'll be so cool to take him to a place that has history for you as a couple!

    1. I have to say, I chickened out with the spiders - maybe next time :D

  2. What a fab holiday. I couldn't say which was my best one - I'm one of those annoying people who loves every holiday, even the crappy ones.

  3. I'll take the lobster and hold the spiders!

    My best holiday was last year, one week in the UK seeing friends and family and no kids or work or husband asking me for things. Beautiful!

    1. Sounds like bliss! Must have been strange not having the little folk pestering all the time though :)

  4. Ah, happy memories. Are you SURE it was ten years ago?

    My favourite holidays have been New Zealand, Cambodia (of course!), and our honeymoon in Argentina and Brazil. And 4 trips to Japan have been pretty splendid too!

    Good luck in the competition!

    1. almost Di, almost!
      Doesn't that make you feel old. Those kids we met at the beach probably have their own kids by now!

  5. That was a lot of fun to read Jo! It has made me curious to visit Cambodia too, not sure if I will, but I know I'll be looking up stuff about it to know more! Thanks!


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