cambodia, you were good to us

wow, its been a while since i posted, but we have some free time today & i felt the urge to write.
we are currently in sihanoukville, we board a bus tomorrow morning at 8 to bangkok. 
we are cutting our trip short by about a month & a half due to family matters. my grandfather has fallen very ill recently and my family needs me and i need them. 
we have officially seen cambodia & what it has to offer and we loved it.

we began in siem reap, visiting the angkor wat temples and taking a few days to relax and explore, then we moved to phenom pehn where we stayed for a week. we needed to just stay put after all that traveling. it was so much fun in phenom pehn (besides the fact that i got sick!) but we loved it there. we hit up 2 markets, going back to the central market a second time, we ate well, stayed in nice places- the first place was called number 9 & it had a pool and pool table which entertained us almost every night, the second place we stayed at was a small family-run guesthouse in the middle of the river-front action. both places had nice showers and tvs & were just all-in-all great experiences. we went to see impossible at the movie theater in phenom pehn & that was cool. there was also a ceremony or something going on for the king that lasted the whole time we were there basically. every night the main street that runs in front of the palace was closed off to cars and locals were out there lighting candles and incense and praying. it was such a pretty sight (& smell!). we also took a day to pamper ourselves with massages and spa pedicures. it was amazing! after our week of rest & fun in phenom pehn, we bussed it down south to sihanoukville where we stayed 1 night before we got up and took a ferry to an island called koh rong. google that shit right now and tell me its not paradise. i could not believe my eyes. as our boat approached i pointed out to dekel a long strip of white sand beach that looked deserted & sure enough the next morning we hiked to it through the jungle and NO ONE was there. we had the whole strip of beach to ourselves. i kept blinking thinking i would wake up from a dream, it was THAT pretty. we had the whole day to frolic in the clear water and lay on the pristine sand, but later that evening i got a text from my brother saying i needed to call him asap. i did & he suggested i come home as soon as possible due to my grandfather’s situation. i called my mom and she said the same. i knew it was serious just by the tone in her voice. 
so here we are, dek & i have changed our flight from march 27 to february 9, arriving to dallas feb. 10. it’s sad that our travels are ending, especially on these terms, but i just need to get home and hope my grandfather is feeling better by the time i get there. 
 it’s going to be a weird feeling being home, a home in which i have not lived in for 4 years, but my home nonetheless. hopefully there will be an easy transition for me & especially for dekel.
so i guess this concludes my travel blogging…for now. 
but i guess i will go back to regular blogging when i get situated in dallas.
for now, here are some photos from the last 10 days:

about to explore the wonders of angkor wat
sunrise @ angkor wat

angkor wat impressive grounds

 our tuk-tuk driver for the day. 
he was the cutest guy ever!
 .35 cent beer! 
cant beat that!
 the royal palace & silver pagoda in phenom penh
 how the cambodian’s “do” weddings: they put up a giant tent in the middle of the street and decorate it with flowers and banana trees (& they paint the bananas silver)
 arriving to the busy & hectic central market in phenom pehn.
ps- there were more rang rovers in phenom pehn than probably all of dallas! it was weird.
so many stalls in the central market
@ the “russian market” where you can find clothes and shoes hot from the factory, i saw things from forever 21, mango, gap, nike, colombia, etc…
memorial bracelets at the killing fields in phenom pehn
  memorial bracelets on a tree where the guards beat little babies to death. so sad.
 clothing & rags from the victims of the civil war that took place in cambodia
 eerie hallway at s21
barbed wire was used so victims being held there could not jump from the 2nd & 3rd floors to commit suicide
 wooden chambers
 brick chambers
 riverside in phenom pehn
a ceremony for the king
 monk on a cell phone
 happy pizza from happy herb’s
 a delishious mexican meal we had one night…because we were just craving mexican 🙂
view from lunch
 we loved angkor beer!
@ koh rong island

 the sand was so white, it looked like snow!

 the main area on koh rong where the boats dock and most of the bungalow resorts are located
 hiking up to our bungalow
 leaving the island  🙁

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