Cambodia was a really quick getaway. A colleague of mine had found cheap air tickets to Phnom Penh and off we went. It came at a really good time as I was pretty burned out from work the weeks leading up to the trip and was working all the way until I left for the airport.
We spent most of our 4 days and 4 nights in Cambodia sleeping, or on a bus to and from Siem Reap. Sounds kinda sad but really, the rest with a little bit of sightseeing was what I really needed.
The main form of transport within cities are the tuk tuks. During our trip, we took many tuk tuk rides, and were constantly amazed at how traffic even works in Cambodia. You'd think by now I'd be used to seeing 4 vehicles squish into one lane or one lane having 2 different flows of traffic, but all this seemingly random yet purposeful movement is always incredible.
It seemed that my colleague and I were permanently playing this game "Where's Tuk Tuk?", which is quite like "Where's Wally?" Our hotels would often assign a tuk tuk driver to us, who would drop us off and pick us up at a predetermined location. Unfortunately, we were terrible at remembering our driver's faces and often we had to hunt for our tuk tuk driver amidst zillions of other drivers. More often, the driver found us first before we found him.
I saw many locals wearing face masks while on the roads, and I soon knew why. Both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap were dry and dusty at this time of the year, and dust clouds would fly around the roads amidst traffic. Worse still, exhaust fumes from all the tuk tuks were pretty strong. I made a mental note to get a face mask if I ever get the chance to come back to Cambodia...
The main attraction of our quick getaway was Angkor Wat. At 5am, we took a tuk tuk ride to the main temple and waited in the dark for sunrise. I have to admit the day's actual sunrise wasn't that impressive, but with a little help from some photo enhancing tools, anything is possible...
We are embarrassed to admit that we hired our guide on the wrong day, so we did the whole place without a guide. My colleague and I decided that we were more visual people, and that sometimes we are oddly more interested in foliage (our park manager jobs never leave us) than ruins.
After 7 hours of ruins, we were ready to call it a day as we were exhausted from all the walking, and many other tourists started coming in and crowding us out. Easily the highlights of the area was the main temple, the Bayon temple, and the palace.
I also had my first massage in Cambodia, and the lady doing my massage pointed to my skin and then hers and exclaimed "Same same!" and started laughing. Even our tuk tuk drivers thought I was Filipino...
Same same - SE Asian pride!