November 2012

Tips for surviving Ankor Wat

Snacks, water, tickets, maps and Tuk Tuks

Ankor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia is well known as being a must-see on the Southeast Asian travel plan. With its splendid temples, draped across hundreds of kilometers, visitors won’t be disappointed after paying their $20 entry fee. Though many things can be said about the history and which temples to see, those avenues are saturated. A simple Google search will render you the necessary results.

Essential beach to-do list for backpackers on a budget

Beach games, drinks, rooms and romance

Ah, the beach life. Isn’t it great? Doesn’t it just warm your heart, and make you never want to return to the “real world?” Well, for this guy, it definitely makes the idea of sitting behind a desk seem really difficult. But like any journey, visiting a certain destination comes with the small responsibility of having a must-see or must-do list.

The Killing Fields and the Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, Camobdia

Tasteful memorial for visitors and locals

While traveling in Cambodia can be filled with trekking, sitting on beautiful islands in the Gulf of Thailand or the Mekong River, or visiting the ancient temples in of Angor Wat, it is important for tourists to learn about the not so distant history of the Khmer Rouge.

Yeak Loam Lake in Banlung, Cambodia

Shimmering blue lake is a holy sight and home to a magical creature.

While not one of the most visited sites in Cambodia, the northeastern region, known as the Ratakari province, is home to beautiful, lush forests. Visitors can escape the hustle and bustle of the cities like Sihanookville and Phnom Penh, and spend their days lounging at waterfalls, trekking in the jungle, or even seeing true and authentic Cambodian Markets.

The capital city of the province is a small town known as Banlung. The city isn’t too large, but with a few streets of commerce, a relatively large central market, and some really cheap, while also really accommodating, guest houses, it is a great place to start your trip. For those looking for a guest house with a backpacker feel, try out the Lakeside Bungalows just west of town.

While the town itself is sleepy and fun, the most interesting sight in Banlung is the 700,000 year-old volcanic lake known as Yeak Loam. The shimmering blue lake is believed by locals to be a spiritual and holy sight, as well as the home to a monster (or magic creature) living in the nearly 100 foot depths in the center. The lake itself is around 1K long, and is completely surrounded by dense jungle.