Wednesday, September 18, 2013

E-learning week

So last week was e-learning week, which stands for electronic learning week I think. During this week all classes are conducted online. Naturally, all the exchange students fled the country to go travelling around Southeast Asia. With two of my friends, we set off for Cambodia and Thailand.

Streets of Phnom Penh
First stop on the tour Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. While we were here we road a tuk-tuk around and visited the Royal Palace, the National Museum of Cambodia,the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Russian Market.

Royal Palace in Phnom Penh
Next stop on our tour, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Mode of transportation: a 10 hours bus ride through the Cambodian countryside. Our first night in Siem Reap, we got dinner "downtown" and went shopping at the night markets. The first full day in Siem Reap began at 5am when we got picked up from our hostel to catch the sunrise at the Angkor Wat temples. Even though it was cloudy, the reflection pool made the temples look even more magnificent in the early sun. From there, we spent the entire morning and into the early afternoon exploring them ancient temples which were built in the 12th century by the Khmer empire. There were so many temples built and our visit only scratched the surface.

Angkor Wat at sunrise
Ta Prohm: This temple was complete with giant
trees growing over it.
My friend Samiha and I at the Angkor Wat temple
View from the top of the Royal Palace
The next day in Cambodia included a tour of the floating villages. It was so strange to think about people living their entire life on a river; rowing to school and to the market without any of the luxuries of the modern society I am accustomed to. While in the floating village, we also went on a tour of the mangroves and visited the village school. Back in Siem Reap, we spent the rest of the day shopping the markets, eating dinner and ice cream and buying $10 bus tickets to Bangkok.

Kompung Phluk on the Tonle Sap Great Lake
At 8:00 am our bus left for Bangkok. After too many rest stops, a two hour border crossing into Thailand, switching from a Bus to a van (and right side driving to left side driving), speeding through the Thai countryside and a solid hour in Bangkok traffic we arrived to our hostel at 7:00 pm.
Bangkok Traffic
Bangkok was a busy city, with a lot of cheap shopping and delicious cheap food. We spent time shopping at some malls, visiting some Buddhist temples (getting there by boat to beat the traffic), getting traditional thai massages, eating Pad Thai on the street and visiting the famous backpacker hub: Khao San street.

Pad Thai in an Omelet
The trip wrapped up with spending a night in the Bangkok airport and flying back to Singapore. I still love Singapore the most and I'm so excited for my parents to visit me next week!


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