The final leg of my journey in Asia
Khlong Song, Thailand
After more than 8 months of traveling/wandering/adventuring around Asia, I am nearing the end of my journey and will be flying back to Canada in 3 weeks. I have seen and experienced some amazing things, and met many wonderful people. There is so much beauty in this part of the world and I have the pictures to prove it. When I started out on my trip back at the end of September on a 1-way ticket to Tokyo, I was planning to travel for 3 months but when January rolled around then thought "if I can do 3, why not do 6 months?" (and avoid the brutal winter everyone was having back home)
To do a trip like this you need 2 essential things: time and money. Luckily I had both thanks to teaching in Japan for 2 years, being self-employed, and not having a family yet. You also need to have an adventurous spirit and a willingness to get out of your comfort zone and try the unknown.
So here I am in Bangkok, Thailand. I arrived here a couple of days ago after spending 16 days in Cambodia. I really learned a lot about this country and at. times it was sad and depressing. I didn't know much about the civil war that took place in the 1970's where innocent people were tortured and slaughtered by the Khmer Rouge regime. Cambodians killing Cambodians. I visited Tuol Seng Museum(a converted high school made into a prison) where innocent people were tortured and forced to make false 'confessions' before being sent to the Killing Fields, an area 14 km from Phnom Penh, the capital city. It was a very powerful experience, especially seeing the mug shots of each and every prisoner upon arrival and also the cell blocks which were unbearably hot. Each cell still had an original foot shackle that they were tied to.
The people in Cambodia are friendly and smile a lot. I enjoyed speaking to them and was surprised at how many of them could actually speak English. There is a lot poverty there and that was really sad to see. That's a common thing you see in Southeast Asia. At times, people (including children) beg for money and look hungry and dirty. Others are constantly trying to sell you something, especially the tuk tuk drivers, 3 wheeled motorcycle taxis. If I had a nickel for every time I heard "Tuk Tuk? Boom boom? Smoke? Opium?" I'd be rich. I also spent 6 nights in rural Cambodia in Kampot, which I really liked a lot. Every day i would watch the sunset by the river having an incredible view. The water was nice and cool and refreshing. The temples of Angkor, outside of Siem Reap, were even better than I imagined. I even bought some oil paintings to take home with me.
Throughout this month I will write about my experiences and share my thoughts and feelings at any given time. I encourage anyone reading this to make comments and make this as interactive as possible.
Tomorrow morning I am flying to Mandalay in the county Myanmar (Burma). This is the last country I have yet to see in Southeast Asia and I have a feeling it will be one of the best.
Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you will enjoy.