Monday, June 19, 2006

7 days in Bangkok and Cambodia

i have been away for a week, to be exact.

it felt like just yesterday i had an acute diarrhea. yes, acute diarrhea. it was hell. so lemme start my recent trip to thailand and cambodia backwards *bad pun*

On the 15th nite of june, i had a terrible feeling that i am gonna be sick after i had, well, pooped. i felt cold all over and the high fan/low temperature blasting away from the air-cond ducts on the ceiling makes it worse. ad and caroline thought i was tryin' to be funny. u see, i always am tryin to be funny. so, when i told them i was not, they decided to check on me. it was a terrible feeling cos i felt nauseous, feverish - body temperature fluctuates faster than u can say thank you in cambodian. which, by the way, is 'aw khun'. the following day was not any better. we decided to go see a local doctor until ad and carol bumped into a biologist (believed to be american) at the reception area. he said it is unlikely to be dengue, and it is not uncommon to get diarrhea here. hint - drink some lime juice for fluid loss and pop paracetomols. urgh... more waiting. now i understand how it is like when ur a patient and the doc is unable to determine the cause of ur sickness. it's a guessing game. and an aggravating one, too.

on the 13th hr, ad said we should go look for a doc. so we did and visited this cambodian chinese doc who speaks fluent mandarin. the place was dodgy and the male nurse looks like one of the go-go boys in bangkok - the B grade go-go boys. B grade go-go boys! fortunately i was too drowsy to recollect my thoughts of the horrible looking B grade go-go boys in BKK. the two of them were observing how they treat other patients and unanimously agreed that we should leave in that instant rather than being treated with funny chinese cambodian drugs. we apologised and move along swiftly. to a clinic recommended by the hotel which costs me USD67.00 - one jab, and multiple medication. i felt better. i slept a lot, too, after that. the following day i could see that the sky is blue and lemongrass scented oil burnt on every friggin' corners of the hotel don't smell as bad as when i was sick. food poisoning is no joke. everthing that's nice ie food, smell, decor can be vomit-inducing.

so there. my experience in siem reap. oh, wait. i didn't talk about Angkor Wat! ok lah ok lah.

Angkor Wat was beautiful especially in the morning (we were there at 5.30am to see the sunrise!), majestic eventhough it looks like some old stones put together. and also, i feel that it is overrated. i have to add the last bit cos the local AND the foreigners (the ppl who build nicest, biggest, coolest hotels around it) are making money out of this historic temples. they said they are doing preservation/restoration work for the temple but i see any maddox and his sister, father and uncles could roam around the sacred temples or, simply hang around the tourists like pests trying to sell u books and stuff. i dont care about them selling me stuff cos they need to make a living but if the company (a local oil company i heard) has taken the responsibility to manage the temples, then they are not doing a good job. maybe it was worse before, i dont know.

i just wish to see the temples to be surrounded by the greens, lots of greens, and guards are properly stationed in each temple to stop locals from wandering around, tarred road and properly managed stores selling hygienic food and beverages. i know it sounds like a lot to ask for in a country that is still fresh from their violent history and poverty. but it can be done before the situation got worse ie Angkor Wat will slowly become an uninteresting tourist spot.

other than the temples, there are really not much one can do unless u book a car to drive outside of the Angkor ie 80km to see more temples or go to Tonle Sap lake. otherwise you can stick around town to drink cheap anchor / angkor draft for only USD0.50 - 0.90 or have amok fish in some of the fancy cafes/restaurants, which by the way, are really cool. i was totally in awe with the interior of most of the cafes over here on Pub Street. i think a lot of them are managed by Thai people.

Phnom Penh
we checked into a really nice hotel as soon as we've touched down. it is a little bit like Havana slash La Bodega feel. Vibrant colours, heavy wooden lounge chairs, iron-metal black dining chairs, pizza ovens, jazz music playing at the background...that describes the restaurant/bar. they also have a roof-top dining/bar section, which is really nice to chill out but the weather in cambodia in june is anything but nice. very dry. the bedroom is cozy and very comfy. we like. Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia, therefore, the road system is better and one can see a lot of foreign investors including Malaysia ie Public Bank and Maybank.

we were lucky to be staying on Sisowath Quay street (near the river) because there are many food outlets ie cafes and bars. it is also a walking distance to the beautiful National Museum that one should not miss for as little as USD3.00 per person. we also visited the Genocide Museum, which is about 15 minutes from our hotel by tut-tut. it was a interesting experience albeit a little too depressing looking at the beds and equipments used by the Khmer Rouge to kill people of any races, ages, and sex. the graphic details are still playin on my mind as i am writing this... it is sad. my camera batt was totally flat, and i only managed to capture one picture. carol did not want to take any at all. i guess now i understand why.

our trip in phnom penh was really short. the next afternoon we had to bid farewell to our friendly hotel staff and the tut-tut men, and our favorite and oh-so-delicious Beef Noodle (it self-proclaims as the best beef noodle and they are darn right about that!!!). we boarded a 6-hour bus to siem reap a little after 12. the journey was nothing but hot! it was quite tormenting cos the air-cond was not strong and we've got loud Chinese sitting in front of us - imagine gnawing smelly dry squids and picking her nose and THEN flicked it off with her fingernails! arghhhhhh

three words - fun fun fun! we shopped quite a bit especially carol! we should've done BKK the last so we can shop till we drop and i would've got some shopping therapy after the horrible food poisoning. oh well. we still had so much fun in BKK. ad loves it there and for me, i never get tired of BKK. who does? great food, sexy hot people, cheap clothes and fun fun fun! we went to silom street to check out some go-go boys show. got to one recommended by a fren after battling with all the 'pimps' grabbing you and bugging you to go to their bars. imagine almost 10 men shouting FAK SHOW FAK SHOW and come see 10 minutes no problem to u repeatedly and rather loudly. it was fucking annoying. oh btw, FAK show is fuck show :p we sat thru the first show with no FAK show but lotsa eye-candies and funny drag queens - really cool perfomances. still no FAK show. tried another one promised with FAK show. sure there was! we were the one who got fucked cos it was the same kinda show we saw earlier with B grade looking boys. imagine skinny to bones, underaged, malnourished youths. that i am talking about it, all i can do is laugh instead of got myself pissed with those pimps who cheated us, cos i had alot of fun in the last 7 days with ad and carol - minus the sufferings i had during my food poisoning period. i'd like to do this all over again. india, perhaps? oh and i must start eating healthily and start hitting the gym again since i've lost a big amount of body mass.


mr. vain

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