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Travel & Tourism

Flexiroam X Travelouge – 38 day Journey of Finding Myself

Hey there fellow readers!

Ever since the launch of our new product, Flexiroam X, we’ve aimed to change the way people roam! So here we have, one of our contributors Sam’s (who is also an ex-Flexiroamer and is traveling now) travelogue while he roams with Flexiroam X!

Day 1 – Travelling to Pattaya from Kuala Lumpur

This shall be a journey to find myself, but before that play hard first.

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Day 2 Pattaya – Arrived at Koh Larn Island

Nothing but sunshine and parasailing in light speed.

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Day 3 Pattaya – Thailand the Country of Smiles

Nice talk with Q and his family! Kob Khun Krap for teaching me Thai!

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Day 4 Pattaya to Bangkok- Khao San Road aka The Backpacker Hub

Said goodbye to my bros who are going back to the reality. I almost got lost in this big and jammed city, but fortunately Thai people are always friendly and helpful. Tired of night life, need to recharge.

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Day 5 Bangkok – Chao Phraya River, Khao San Road

Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, China Town, Siam Square

Walked for 25km today. From Ancient to Modern; From River Boat to Sky Train; From Sightseeing to Party. Now I’m just idling at the airport, with the after effects of a hangover

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Day 6 Bangkok to Krabi – Krabi Town

It’s a chill day. Spent half day at the airport because I arrived way much earlier. The hostel is super nice though.

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Day 7 Krabi – Elephant Trekking, Tiger Cave, Temple, Hot Spring Waterfall, Cultural Walking Street and Work Out Day!

Exhausted. Today is the first day I’m actually travelling alone.

I went Elephant Trekking in the jungle. It’s really a new experience for me, but they should consider the rude way they train and command the elephant. But I’m glad that my elephant was compliant and was not beaten.

Tiger Cave – Sweated like crazy cause I climbed 1,237 really steep stairs. Even though the view was good, I was not that amazed. Met and chatted with many people because we really needed to rest several times.

Emerald Pool and Hot Spring Waterfall are really not that impressive.

The cultural walk street is on every Thursday and the great thing is that it’s right in front of my hostel. Cheap local food, with some dancing and singing.

Fortunately, I found a dumbbell and a barbell, so I worked out my shoulders. Unfortunately, the cultural walk night market started closing at 8pm.

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Day 8 Krabi to Koh Phi Phi – Long Beach

Amazing low tide in Long Beach. Walked about 60-70 meters towards the sea and the water was only reaching my knees. Stood in the middle of the sea for more than one hour, waiting for the sunset. (I thought once the sun goes behind the mountains, the sun will set. But after the sun went behind the mountains, the sky was still so bright. Finally, I realized that it is not a sunset because the sun didn’t go down the horizon, it just went behind the mountains -.-). But the view was amazing!

I lost my contact lens box at the beach party, so I had to go to all the clinics and convenience stores looking for one. I was tipsy at that time. In the end I just put them inside a dental floss box.

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Day 9 Koh Phi Phi – Sunset Trip

Phi Phi Island is a paradise. I had to boat jump and swim to the Saamhaad Beach.

Saamhaad Beach

There was a high tide and not many monkeys at the beach. The monkeys in Thailand are super friendly, they play and climb on people.

Viking Cave

There are bird nests from cave swifts and people were allowed enter in the past. But as there are more and more tourists these days, the cave is now restricted, which is pretty sad.

Pi Ley Lagoon

Gorgeous! I went snorkeling and kayaking for the first time. It’s a must to come back here.

Maya Bay

A really beautiful beach, but the entrance fee is 400baht (the whole tour is JUST 500 baht with water, food, snorkeling and kayaking equipment), plus the water was too shallow to swim and there were lots of rocks.

Sunset

The day was too cloudy, but the return trip was seriously relaxing and enjoyable.

Credits to the sailors who were super friendly and helpful. They cooked fried rice for us.

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Day 10 Koh Phi Phi to Phuket – Patong

Hiked for more than an hour to see the top view of Phi Phi Island. There are three viewpoints; 1 and 3 weren’t very impressive but 2 was nice.

There were some misinformation and I was forced to purchase a new ticket from Phi Phi Island to Phuket, but I’m glad that I was able to get a refund. The disadvantage of traveling alone is transportation and accommodation. I tried to ask to split the taxi fare with someone, but failed. The only option was to go to the bus terminal by van, then continue by bus to my destination. Although it took a longer time, there were no other passengers in both the van and bus.

Never trust the tuk tuk and the motorbike for transportation in Thailand. I asked a motorcyclist for directions to the bus stop and he said it was 2km away, but in fact, the bus stop was just right there.

Traveling by public transportation, aside from time, is a bit risky too. Most of the time I’m not really sure if I’m on the right track to my destination due to the communication barrier. Thus, I rely highly on Google Map. I’m using FlexiroamX which is an international data roaming service. In Thailand, the connection is extremely reliable (on island, sea and in rural areas) and fast (faster then the wifi in my current budget hostel LOL) Yay, Flexiroam X!!

For accommodation, the Hostelworld application is not bad. At the moment, it’s the low season, so I didn’t book the hostel beforehand, instead I got them all on the spot. Price, reviews and hostels nearby are available.

Truth be told, Phuket has everything, but it’s expensive, crowded and their Mandarin is dominant in Patong. For Thai girls, I prefer Pattaya. For parties, I prefer Bangkok. For beaches or islands, people go to Phi Phi or other places. For jungle, the agency here recommended Chiangmai.

Maybe I need more time to explore.

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Day 11 Phuket – City Tour

Rush! The tour was on a tight schedule. Many different viewpoints and shops (honey farm, cashews nut factory and souvenir shop)

Nothing special in the Phuket old town, just a street, like my home town, Penang.

Chalong Temple

After visiting the Grand Palace in Bangkok, the temple can’t be compared to it. Saw some Chinese couples taking wedding photos. Big Buddha was still under construction, but Hong Kong has one too. XD

Today was a rainy day, so we couldn’t go to the sunset view point. The whole day was just getting in the car, taking naps, getting off the car and waiting to get in again.

Here’s a Tip: There are many tour counters in Phuket that have the same tour offers, but they provide different prices. Do walk a bit and ask around. You’ll be able to save money that way.

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Day 12 Phuket to Chiangmai

It was raining the whole day in Phuket and I was trapped in the hostel. Just chilled and chitchat-ed with some people. I got free tattoos from a guest here! The people in the hostel are mainly Chinese and they are super friendly. Feels like home. They had a birthday party and hot pot that night, but sadly I couldn’t join.

Arrived Chiangmai at 1030pm, and I straight away went to the hostel, Big&O’s House. Mr. Big is super friendly, helpful and patient. He extended the check in hour and waited me.

I don’t have a local SIM card. Again, I used Flexiroam to contact the hostel to inform them of my lateness. The fan dorm bed is 150 baht only. The room has 3 beds but I’m the only guest. The dorm is decent and clean. Chiangmai is windy and cooler, so without the AC it’s still okay. Again, paid for one bed, but got one whole room instead.

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Day 13 Chiangmai – Old City

Cycling Day and Lanna Folklife Museum Visit

Lanna – is the what they called the Northern Thai people during the old times. Today it is part of Thailand, China, Laos and Myanmar. (In their zodiacal cycle, there is no pig but it’s replaced with elephant)

Wat Chedi Laung – The biggest temple in the old city.

Wat Phra Singh – The prettiest temple in the old city

Wat Chiang Man – The oldest temple in the old city

Night Market in Bumrung Buri Road

The temples are not very amazing, but the city is super chill, relaxing and quite slow-paced.

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Day 14 Chiangmai – Unknown Mountain ดอยกุผ๊บกั๊บ

2D1N Hiking (Day 1)

Despite the peaceful and calm environment, it was raining discontinuously

Hiked and sweated a lot. Because of the rain, we went by the main road so the hiking was much easier. If not, we would have passed through the jungle. We were a small tour with six participants. The tour leader, Danny is a funny and reliable guy. He kept making jokes and showing us the nature and how to catch insects. Finally we reached the village on the mountain top. There was no electricity but many mosquitos. The view here is incredible though. If it wasn’t the rainy season, it would be more beautiful. Stayed the night in a bamboo and wood house with fresh AC. It was surprisingly comfortable

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Day 15 Chiangmai – Unknown Mountain ดอยกุผ๊บกั๊บ

2D1N Hiking (Day 2)

Slept at 9 and woke up at 6. It was a rainy, cloudy and cold morning. Nevertheless, we hiked down to the waterfall. We decided to go for Rubber Dinghy Rafting and Bamboo Rafting. The bamboo boat was half sinking the whole time. It felt like Bamboo Titanic lol

Last party night in Warm Up Cafe with two nice and new friends from Switzerland. Not very good experience here though.

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Day 16 Chiangmai – Wat Ram Poeng

Spent the day meditating instead.

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Day 23 Chiangmai – Wat Ram Poeng

Decided to quit Vipassana Meditation. This is a valuable and unforgettable experience, but it’s seriously tough. I’m so glad and fortunate that I met many amazing people in the temple. Instead of learning and understanding from the meditation, I was inspired by them.

I tried my best, however, this is not the right time for me. I cannot understand the level of impermanence, suffering and non-self at this time; but I kind of understanding something else, something about my life.

It was a physical and mental challenge. I talked with the monks, nuns and the master. Bit by bit, I kind of understood the process and also the real goal of Vipassana Meditation. I understand I can’t accept this Buddhist wisdom now. I’m not ready for it, my experience and my own belief. I decided to leave because I have no more reason to stay. My body is there, but my mind wasn’t.

No phone, no talking, no eye contact, no dinner (breakfast was at 6am and lunch at 1030am, I ate yogurt, which was allowed as it is not solids, to survive), Had to wake up at 4am for meditation. I was hungry, cold and sleepy, the only good thing is to fall back asleep. But when you wake up, you have to finish the sitting meditation. Till 10pm the only thing you do is meditate.

I came here to understand more about myself and figure out my future and what is real happiness for myself; but this was never my expectations. My emotion collapsed on the 5th Day and I wanted to quit, but I stayed.

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Day 24 Chiangmai to Pai

Restarted my fully-packed schedule. Was thinking all night and didn’t get to sleep well. What the master said is true; thinking is suffering. Woke up at 4am and wanted to try to meditate for  one more time, but I couldn’t focus so instead I cleaned up and waited to say goodbye and thank Lady Siree and the young monk from Laos. Goodbye made me have mixed feelings.

It took me three hours to go from Chiangmai. The road is very curvy and steep. Pai was a very small and quiet town with nothing much. The rain stopped once I got off the car. I found a hostel and got some rest . I was worried that it would rain tomorrow and so I forced myself to search for the canyon sunset tour, but it was too late for that. I paid for a day tour for the next day instead.

Coincidentally met Brandon again, the amazing US backpacker who rode his motorbike across countries, staying in the same hostel. I first met him at a hostel in Chiangmai.

We just walked around and had dinner in a small walking street. There wasn’t many people there. I ate whatever I could, like meat and milk. My brain kept saying what you need is protein. Went back to hostel and did push up instead.

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Day 25 Pai

The weather was amazing. It was a sunny day and I was worried for nothing.

It’s a small world! I met friends from US and Netherlands walking the street at night! We made plans to meet for breakfast the next day. The tour was so so.

Nothing special at the hot springs, and there many people at Pempok Waterfall. Not to mention the water was muddy too. I didn’t even want to swim.

The Kho Ko Zo Bamboo Bridge is in the middle of the rice fields, and the view was nice.

Pai Canyon was not bad. Tried so hard to take a good picture of the canyon, but no matter how hard I tried, it still looked like a normal mountain. In the evening, the sky became more cloudy so I couldn’t see the sun set.

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Day 26 Pai to Chiangmai

Woke up with hangover, but enjoyed having breakfast with the US and Netherlands very much.

The van from Pai to Chiangmai was terrible, the driver and having a hangover made me super tired and I felt like vomiting. Spent a great night with people from Germany, Mexico and the US during dinner and the night bazar. Was fortunate to have meet them before at the temple.

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Day 27 Chiangmai to Bangkok

Walked around the old city, cause Chiangmai has nothing much. I just enjoyed the vibes.

Found an interesting banner: ‘CAN’T GET LOST, IF YOU DON’T CARE WHERE YOU ARE.’

I also found a temple with no one inside, so I decided to meditate for an hour. It was effortless compared to the time at the temple. I took a night bus from Chiangmai to Bangkok and arrived at 530am. Luckily, I was able to find a hostel to host me. Highly recommended – Big&O’s House 2 hostel in Chiangmai. The owner is extremely friendly and helpful. I called at night for a late checkin and last minute reservation, and he reserved the place for me. He was willing to do the full refund if there is a sudden change in the traveler’s plan too. The price was only 150baht. No AC but decent. I had a talk with him about his mission of running the hostel. His focus is on customer relationship and quality rather than money.

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Day 28 Bangkok – Last Night in Thailand

Was lazy to go out and ran out of baht, so I stayed in the hostel for the whole day and did nothing.

For the whole trip, Chiangmai was my favourite. I realise I am a mountain person more than a beach person although I love swimming.

Day 29 Bangkok to Siem Reap

Probably the worst travel day. Took the bus at 7am to Siem Reap and arrived at the hostel only at 8pm. The van to the border was uncomfortable, and there was an annoying passenger with stupid requests.

Once we arrived the border, there was a “friendly” Cambodian who took care of us until we reached the bus. He claimed to work for the government and gave us information and advice. He suggested we withdraw in Thailand and exchange the baht to riel. He brought us to a shop and said it is runned by the government so there no commission for money exchange. As he acted so friendly and I didn’t have internet access, I trusted him but was scammed!

Real exchange rate: 1 baht to 118 riel

His exchange rate: 1 baht to 95 riel

Marvellous! I lost more than 35 usd right away.

Lesson learnt: You can trust no one but the internet. Always do research first.

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Day 30 Siem Reap to Kratie Province

Took the minibus at 7am from Siem Reap to Kratie- a rural province for a 2-week volunteer work in teaching. Arrived at 230pm.

A passenger brought a bamboo plant into the bus. Then few minutes later, another passenger brought a scooter! To my surprise, after the drivers placed all the stuff, the seats still could be sat. The bus was playing the really old Hong Kong movies but in Khmer.

KAFDOC is a NGO that teaches the local English or other practical knowledge like farming and computer. I was recommended by a friend I met during the meditation course. The condition and environment here is way better than I expected, but there was only 4 volunteers, due to lack of human resources. They are super nice though. They showed me around. We had a beer chilling session at night.

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Day 31 Kratie

Yuth, one of the person in charge of the school, drove and showed me around town. Then we prepared materials for class the next day. I wanted to rent a scooter and learn, but it would costs me USD5per day. Too expensive, bike was my only option. There are very few foreigners here. Whenever I pass by, the lovely kids will say hello to me, even though I am not that exotic. People here can’t really speak English, but much friendlier than people in Siem Reap.

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Day 32 Kratie

First day of teaching – it was a total chaos. There was only 10 kids but I still couldn’t manage them. They are cute and smart, but they are at different levels. Some only know how to answer simple questions and vocabulary, while some can’t even write the alphabets. It was very difficult to get their attention. My predecessor helped me a lot. The previous volunteer wrote a teaching journal for every class. It is super useful because I knew what to expect will happen and I understand the students roughly. I kind of enjoyed it when they were climbing on me like a little monkey

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Day 36 Kratie

First week of teaching. Time flies so fast! Teaching is tiring, however, it is super rewarding when you see your students coming to your class, improving, and laughing. On the first day I only had 10 students but today I had 17!

They melt my heart when they laugh after doing silly things or when they give me small gifts, snacks and dumpling. Every time they see me they say “Hello teacher Sam”. Of course, I won’t react on the spot, but those little gifts are really touching!

During the lessons, I will sometimes feel angry; but looking at their innocent faces, my anger will disappear. That’s also the reason why I spend hours everyday preparing and thinking of new games for them.

I introduced a small rewarding system during class to control their behavior. I can make them sit without running around for 1.5 hours effortlessly. But somehow their focus is more on my points for the little gifts. It makes me think maybe I’m a bit to materialistic when I teach them. Other volunteers from Ukraine are also very helpful in assisting me and giving tips on teaching. I really appreciate them teaching me Russian and sharing their life and travel experience!

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Day 37 and 38 Kratie- Kaoh Trong and Temples in the town

Kaoh Trong is a very small piece of land on Mekong River. I think there are lesser than one hundred people living there. It’s not ‘really a good idea to cycle there especially after raining.

It took me around 2 hours, and at least a quarter of that time I was pushing my bicycle on the soft, muddy and watery road. One side of the island is a narrow concrete road, but you will have to share it with the cows. The other side is a muddy road which is full of bumps and holes. My cycling skills are bad, and I ended up with dirty feet and a muddy bicycle. The locals were laughing at me when they passed by. However, I found a beach on the island. It was surprising.

I visited three temples in the town. They lack maintenance and look old. Seems like people can’t enter the temple too. They can’t compare to the temples in Thailand, but they have other styles and characteristics.

On Saturday night, I went to a restaurant/hotel for dinner. The local staff there are very friendly. They cleaned my bicycle for free and treated me to 2 cans of beers. They even taught me Khmer. Although, we didn’t communicate well due to the language barrier, they are super nice. I wanted to invite them to go to a nightclub, but I wasn’t sure where it was. In the end, we didn’t go..

Actually, I’m curious about the “night club” in this town. The karaoke in this town is just a tent or a room without any soundproof wall. I doubt they use YouTube. Every night, we can “enjoy” Cambodian Idol LIVE from our KTV neighbors.

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Day 43 Last day of teaching and last day in Kratie

Nice Cambodian volunteers, cute kids and an unforgettable memory. Time flew so fast these two weeks, it feels like I was here only yesterday.

New house ceremony – A Cambodian cultural experience.

In the morning, two monks and Yuth’s friends, family and neighbors came to bless the new house and chase the bad spirits out. The monk splashed some sacred water then flower petals(mixed with hard candies). Yuth and his wife were all wet and the candies hit our heads. People gave some decorations as gifts to the family and we had a meal afterward.

Unpleasant last class

Decided not to teach but have a small party with the kids instead, thus I put both sessions together. Brought drinks, snacks and fruits. There might have been some misunderstanding with the kids previously, because some of them weren’t interested in the drinks and candies or even games and the pop music like usual. With the hyper active kids though, the class was a nightmare. I told them not to throw rubbish on the floor (the classroom is really indecent and full of rubbish) and not to scream. However, it is very hard for them to eradicate the bad habit. I had to ask them to pick up the rubbish which they just threw again and again. They played and wasted the food. It made me very upset. I really appreciate my parents’ education of attitude and manner, which is much more important than any knowledge.

However, they are still adorable. Every time they do silly things to make me laugh and climbed on me, my frustration will automatically disappear. They are just irresistible. Also, teaching is rewarding and depressing. When I saw the improvement and their willingness to really learn every day, I can’t describe that satisfaction. Lyna is an elder kid who still does not know the alphabets. On Tuesday, she finally did it by herself although she drew them instead of writing.

I can see that Yuth puts effort and even invests his own money to make the school and living conditions for the volunteer’s better. So, I talked to him and gave some suggestions. His investment and results are not balanced. I sincerely hope the condition of the school will improve.

My little Khmer teacher

The kids taught me Khmer every day. But today, Ralik taught me how to count in Khmer. Surprisingly, some Khmer numbers have exactly the same pronunciation as Cantonese(30) and Thai(50,60). Interesting! He is very smart, emotional, and naughty but with a kind and innocent heart.

Kratie people

They are very hospitable. Teaching me Khmer, Sharing their experience and treating me beer, fried banana, sweet potato, bread and bun. Today, I exchanged the rest of my Thai baht which I withdrew at the border. The rate is 1 tbh to 117 riel.

Volunteers

Appreciate the efforts of each of the volunteers here! I enjoy listening to their story and sharing our culture with them. So fortunate to meet them. Hope they have a great journey!

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Day 44 Kratie to Phnom Penh

Dangerous Phnom Penh. Took a bus at 6AM to Phnom Penh.

Arrived at 1 PM in Central Market . The city is a bit better than my expectations in terms of the development.

My phone was almost stolen. I was using Google Maps and two guys on the motorbike were approaching very quietly from the back. The passenger on the motorbike grabbed my phone and the rider was ready to accelerate. Luckily my finger was in the “Iring” (a phone accessory which is a ring that is attached to my phone). This gave me a second to react and I held my phone tighter. They disappeared in a flash.

I met a guy who finally speaks Cantonese in the hostel. I heard someone watching the news in Cantonese, but I thought it was the receptionist. Later I found out that he was a New Zealand guy who grew up in China, studied in Japan and Hong Kong. We talked for hours but in Mandarin and English. He was a victim of a robbery. A few days ago he left all his belongings in his hostel room. Then, all his stuff were stolen; laptop, phone and even clothes. Phnom Penh is not safe even in the hostel rooms.

Worked out for a bit and went to the night market. It was raining quite heavily. People were eating on a carpeted ground, but they ended up moving to tables when it started raining. The tents were bad because it was just a plastic with metal. I wondered why they didn’t use those temporary tents like those we can see at outdoor events. It should not be very expensive. Actually there are many things in Cambodia that I don’t understand.

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Day 45 Phnom Penh – Killing field and S21

Extremely Horrible Experience

Met a nice friend from Taiwan. We shared the tuk tuk to the killing field and S21. What we saw today is more than a tragedy or a nightmare.

Due to the cold-blooded Khmer Rouge and their obsession of power, more than 1/4 of the Cambodian population (2-3 million of out 7-8 million) died due to executions, strenuous working conditions, malnutrition and poor medical care. Worst still, they were killed by their own people.

To reinforce the power of the intelligent people, the officials or even people with spectacles were categorised as “New People” who were contaminated by the western culture. Religions, especially Buddhism, was destroyed. They were killed, tortured in an unimaginably inhumane way or forced to farm for war supply; while the illiterate were brainwashed to slaughter. Ironically, the leaders of the Khmer Rouge studied in Buddhist monastery and in Europe and also wore spectacles too.

The Killing Field

It is one of the hundred killing and burial sites. Thousands of people were killed here, including mothers and babies as they were considered unproductive and wasting the food. To save the bullets, they were killed by knives, metal rods, farming spades, sharpened bamboo sticks or even the trees (they smashed the babies’ head towards the trunk). Countless bones were still under the ground and they sometimes emerge after raining . The skulls have with big holes, a few missing tooth or cheekbone shows the brutal way they were  kill. They were seriously insane.

But that is only the bones, so I was still okay with it. However, when I visited S21, it was really disgusting beyond my imagination.

S21

One of the hundred security prisons. Estimated 20,000 people died in here. It was a school in the beginning, but later, it turned to hell. Officials, academics, doctors, teachers, students, factory workers, monks, engineers, mothers and kids were sent here. They were forced to write a confession of the things they had never done. Thus, they could be sent to the killing field for execution. They confessed because they wanted to be relieved from the inhumane torture.

It upset my stomach several times, especially when I saw the pictures of the victims, the customised torture tools and the audio narration of the handful survivors. Even though the pictures were in black and white, I could still see their body parts that were teared off. I shivered when I got into the cells.

All the doctors and nurses were killed, so the workers in the prison got training for four months to be a doctor. They knew nothing. They simply used normal sugar as pills, lime juice mixed with vinegar as vitamin injections and many other ridiculously horrible stuff. They tried their very best to keep the prisoners alive if they hadn’t confessed yet though.

I love the last line from the audio tour. “Similar tragedies happen in different countries. After this visit, now, you are part of the history too. We should learn from the painful history and prevent it from happening again”

(Actually, photo taking is not allowed in some parts of S21, but I couldn’t stop myself from doing so. There were still many horrible stuff that I didn’t take any pictures of)

My Taiwanese friend, met his Malaysian friend by coincidence. They  had met in Vietnam and then in Phnom Penh again. Three of us will be going to Siem Reap tomorrow, but separately. They are really fun and nice to talk with. I love their stories of Laos and Vietnam.

(Warning: some of the pictures may contain unpleasant contents.)

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Day 46 Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Chill Day, No Rush.

Took an afternoon bus to Siem Reap and arrived at 6pm. Found my Taiwanese and Malaysian friends and we decided to walk around and see some sights together.

We went to the night market and pub street. Nothing really special or interesting.

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Day 47 Siem Reap – City Tour

Traveling with friends from Hong Kong! It is nice to travel with the local transportation, Thamha, as we learned more about the culture.

Visited some temples and also the killing field again. Not very impressive.

Wanted to go to the floating village in the Tonle Sap Lake, but because of raining we didn’t go. So instead of the floating village, we visited the floating Siem Reap. The draining system is bad though. The rain was not very strong, but some parts of the city was flooded. The car became a boat and my friends’ room got wet too.

Visited a local market and had dinner at Koulen Restaurant. There was buffet and a performance of Khmer transitional dance. The food is normal and the dance is so so. But it costs USD 13 only which is not that expensive in Siem Reap.

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Day 48 Siem Reap – Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm.

Impressive and beautiful ancient architectures.

Personally I like Bayon, Baphuon and Ta Prohm the most. Others are either very similar or already destructed by wars and the change of religion from Hindu to Buddha and then Buddha to Hindu and backwards again because of different kings.

Bayon

The Buddhist temple with many many four-faced huge Buddha heads. This is my favourite. All the Buddha’s were smiling.

Baphuon

There are three levels. We were only allowed to climb until level two. There is a big lying Buddha (the size of the temple) at the back of the temple. It looks like a Lego figure.

Ta Phrohm

The trees were amazing. Very huge and still growing along the temple. The ancient trees gives a clue of the age of the temple. The trees and temple are a perfect match! Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider movie was filmed in here.

It was sunny in the morning, but it rained in the evening. Even though we arrived Angkor Wat, we couldn’t visit it. We will go again tomorrow.

Met up with some of my traveller friends at night. (Jason, the Australian guy I met during the meditation course, the Malaysian and the Taiwanese)

It is good to travel with a local. We hired a car for the whole day. Thamha, the driver explained the temple and the history of different kings and religion. He saved our time looking for a tour guide and we were very comfortable. We didn’t need to think about the schedule too. He is nice, although he always takes us to expensive restaurants.

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Day 49 Siem Reap – Angkor Wat, Prasat Kravan, Banteay Kdel, Pre Rup and Neak Pean

Angkor Wat

Finally we visited Angkor Wat. It was spectacular. Although most of the statues and the wall carvings were highly deconstructed, from the remaining part, we can easily imagine that the temple was extremely delicate and incredible.

Prasat Kravan

Small temple built by bricks. Not impressive.The driver said it was built by the top minister at that time. However, I doubted what he said because sometimes he was not sure about the history and answered our questions with hesitation.

Banteay Kdel

It was originally a Hindu temple but later become Buddhist (most of the temples changed their religious beliefs because of the kings, like Angkor Wat). It had a similar design to Angkor Wat. Basically, we went there for the reflection photo only.

Neak Pean

This temple is an island temple, nothing much to see, but it is quite interesting in terms of the design.

We also visited some other small temples which are normal and I hardly remember their names.

More than 90% of the statues were destroyed and beheaded or stolen during the war. (Usually they put gold and gems under the statutes)

We were overwhelmed by the temples and started to get a bit bored.

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So there’s that, and yes, Sam is still traveling and finding ‘himself’ in Cambodia at the moment; spreading the good word of Flexiroam X! A revolutionary thin microchip STICKED on your SIM card that will change the way you roam forever and even save you from a huge roaming fees while you’re backpacking abroad or in Sam’s case, ‘finding yourself’. 🙂

 

Before we end though, a little background of our contributor.

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Meet Sam, originally from Hong Kong but strongly believes his hometown is Penang, Malaysia. He came over through the AIESEC program and was part of our Sales & Marketing team for 12 months! (Wow, seems like he’s been with us for a really long time) But yes, we do have this AISEC program where you can come be a Flexiroamer like Sam did and be part of a unique and crazy company! If you’re interested, do drop us an email at career@flexiroam.com or visit our career website at www.flexiroam-career.com.

Psst! If you happen to be in Cambodia and bump into Sam, don’t forget to give him a fist bump and tell him that we miss him!

Follow us on our Facebook page to be updated on Sam’s adventure 🙂 Or visit www.flexiroamx.com for more information!

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