Sunday, July 11, 2010
Indochina 1: The Cambodian Rangers
the Indochina adventures
Once upon a time, 10 rangers, were set out from the Peninsular of Sweet Potato to explore the land of Wonders, the Khmer kingdom of Cambodia. Armed with nothing, but travel gears, Riels and cameras, we were bold, unexperienced adventurers in the land of Khmer.
Enough of the bedtime story kind of starting. This is about a graduation trip of 10 NTU students, from different states of Malaysia, in Cambodia and Vietnam.
Let's not describe how amazing is Angkor Wat and we hop to 4th day of the trip, where we took a 6 hours van to Phnom Penh. Fear that the van might crash into the traffic coming from opposite, Neo was unable to take a nap at all and just covered her eyes every time the driver made an abrupt slow down.
I wonder why, whenever we went, we were greeted by colours from the sky, be it rainbow or colours in between the clouds. Good sign, but an omen to Archer, who got allergy all over her bodies.
After putting down and checking in the hotels of Sinh Tourist (our agent who would arrange for transport and pick up from Phnom Penh to the Mekong Delta later), we were out of the hotel, to explore this town that was full of monks in orange robes, carrying bright yellow colour umbrellas.
Riding on the 'Duk-Duk' hired by us, we went to the town, saw some of the Phnom Penh landmark such as the Independence Monument, Golden Royal Palace, Wat Phnom and museum, took some photos, that was all for the day. As we got into headache about dinner (as compared to Siam Reap where we could find nice food so easily around our hostel), the Duk-Duk driver brought us to the night market.
Oh, there was a space, covered by floor mats, and was surrounded by food stalls. We saw locals sitting on the mats and enjoying food while chatting happily. So this is how the Cambodian people savour the local delicacy? Interesting, let's try out too! Among the exotic local delicacies, one which almost made us puke is the Fertilized Duck/Chicken Fetus Egg... Yap was the ranger who dared himself to try it. According to his feedback, he said he could feel the crunching of that poor little creature's little bones inside his mouth.
This was a journey of learning about Cambodia. We would move on to the pain of the Khmer's pasts in our next day in Phnom Penh.