Reflecting on 2 years in Cambodia

// I love milestones because they give me a chance to reflect and disrupt my day-to-day routine and forward-oriented thinking.

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la plantation pepper farm kampot

Sihanoukville, Kampot and Kep: 7 days and 6 nights

Cambodia’s provinces. (Credit to wikimedia. Click on image.)

I’ve been avoiding Sihanoukville because: a) I’m from Hawaii, therefore a beach snob (okay, I have high standards), b) it’s either a 12-14 hour bus ride (no, thank you) or an expensive plane ticket, and c) I’ve heard that it’s a seedy beach town that caters to male travellers (yeahhh).

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3 dishes at Little Kroma Restaurant, Siem Reap

Beyond Pub Street: where to eat in Siem Reap

Short noodles at Malis, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Short noodles at Malis. So Khmer.


Pub Street can be overwhelming and crowded and once you’ve taken a turn around there, it’s nice to go somewhere else to eat. Now, don’t get me wrong. There are some good restaurants in that area, and we occasionally stop by, but since living here, we’ve found a whole other world of eats beyond Pub Street.

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What to do + what to buy when you get sick in SE Asia

Fancy feet poolside at Angkor Heart Bungalows, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Hey, I’m on holiday! I don’t want to get sick! [Angkor Heart Bungalows, Siem Reap, Cambodia 2017]

I was quite ignorant about sickness and health when I first moved to SE Asia back in 2009. Yes, I had gotten a nasty bout of food poisoning when I traveled to Thailand when I was 16, but I didn’t know that getting sick is a regular thing for explorers and expats here. Yes, a regular thing.

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Chiang Mai versus Siem Reap: an expat weighs in

road comparison chiang mai (left) and siem reap (right)
Chiang Mai ,Thailand (L) versus Siem Reap, Cambodia (R) roads.

*updated 8 May 2018 (currently I live in Chiang Rai)

Folks have been asking for this one for a long time, but I never felt ready until my latest Thailand visit. Originally, I was going to do a Thailand versus Cambodia post, but then I realized both countries can be quite varied depending on where you are at. So, it made more sense to compare cities rather than countries.

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Living with lizards: a love story

bottom half of a Cambodian Tokay gecko
A Tokay gecko with its classic rust spots and blue coloring outside our apartment (Siem Reap, 2016)

If you ask SE Asians what they are afraid of, they will most likely say: ghosts, snakes and lizards. Since I grew up in Hawaii, I can certainly understand why ghosts would be a legitimate concern. Ghost stories are very much part of Hawaiian culture, whether this be a modern development or something that spans back into earlier times, I wouldn’t know, but Hawaii people love a good ghost story and we’ve got them in plenty.

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