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Where Have We Been?

if for some reason our airplane was experiencing a problem, i would help you with your oxygen mask first...and that's against sky code



I only had two days in the city after my trip drive from Florida to NYC see my family, before taking yet another 20+ hour trip (this time on an airplane) to meet up with my two friends from Hong Kong, Tayla and Amy, in Cambodia.

The arrivals hall in Phenom Phen airport was the scariest place ever. There were so many people there all just staring and pointing when I came out of the arrival hall. I was glad I booked my taxi ahead of time (through the company listed here) and had someone waiting with my name on a sign, otherwise, I would have been too overwhelmed to move.



After sitting on an airplane for 22 hours, then taking a 3 hour cab ride to Sihanoukville, I was practically jumping out of my skin I was so excited to meet up with the other girls. It's been 7 months since I have seen these beautiful faces in person...




We stayed at Serendipity Beach Resort, right near the water front. The hotel was really nice, and had this lovely viewing window from the bathroom into the rest of the room, haha. On the plus side, we knew where we were staying was not a brothel because it was posted EVERYWHERE. 




We got some sleep, then the next morning we took a tuk tuk (after Amy bartered the price down for us) to Otres Beach for breakfast and some beach time, too bad the sun wasn't out much. 




breakfast views



There were all these women on the beach selling things from bracelets, to hair threading, to hair wrapping, to doughnuts in a hat on their head. It was crazy, and they were very pushy. Most of the time we said no and somehow ended up with almost all of these things anyways.

Tayla getting her armpit threaded against her will (so incredibly painful)



doughnuts anyone?
leg hair threading against my will, also incredibly painful and it burned to get in the water after. I do not recommend this.
That evening we had dinner on the beach and walked around Serendipity Beach boardwalk a bit. Many people set off lanterns and fireworks on the beach as well, which we enjoyed watching. 






The place we ended up almost everynight was called the Dolphin Shack, where a lot of the people who ran it were Australian, or European...and they gave us a lot of free things, so yay! 

The next morning, we did breakfast on the beach again then headed to the central market for some shopping and manicure/pedicures for a grand total of $2.50 USD!






waiting for our nails to be done in the market

After the market, we headed to a traditional Cambodian temple, complete with monks, many stray cats, and lots of beautiful flowers falling from trees and almost knocking me out because they were so large.






After the temple, we went to find monkey road, which was my absolute favorite part of the whole trip. We bought some bananas to feed the monkeys, and once you get past the fear and the scary ones who grab everything from your purse to your hair to the bananas in your hand...it's a really cool experience. 


the big mean monkey hissing at T




how can you not love it, oh my goodness!



my favorite picture ever, monkey karaoke anyone? hahaha
And then there was my new best friend, who kept holding my hand for a solid 2 minutes and I wanted to cry, it was the coolest thing ever.





That evening, we dressed up a bit, and headed for what we were told was a night market. When we got there, we realized it was more of a hostel hang out with live music and food. Tayla's friend from the last time her family visited Cambodia also joined us too. At the "night market" there was a little puppy running around as well, which of course Amy and I had to snuggle.



 

 We had heard a lot about the Big Easy (Australian Bar), so we also checked that out that evening as well. We met some new friends where we talked a lot about their travels and what led them to Cambodia, and it was amazing how many backpackers we met on this trip who just came out for vacation and never left. We moved the party to the dolphin shack again that night to hang out with our new friends. When we were ready to head back to the hotel, first we thought it would be a good idea to run into the ocean...in our clothes... which quickly became one of my favorite memories. 

The next morning, we had scheduled an island snorkeling tour from one of the guys selling them on the beach, so we took our tuk tuk to Otres Beach to meet up with the boat crew, and the sun was finally out!



The water was so beautiful. We made a couple snorkeling stops on the way, but there was not a whole lot to see besides a few tropical fish.





One of the islands we stopped at for lunch had a small hostel on it, and when we were wandering around, we made the most amazing discovery....










Puppies!!! How precious are these little guys?! There were dogs everywhere in Cambodia, but these little guys were defiantly my favorites.

After more island pictures, they took us to the cliff jumping spot. 




I love cliff jumping, but it takes me some time to gather the courage to be able to do it, so while Tayla and Amy were able to jump together, it took me another minute or so to gain the courage.



note me cowering at the top still...
Once we were back to Otres from the island hopping, we relaxed with a nice warm oil massage from a spa down the road, and a passion fruit snow cone from a street stall stand (which was amazing except the weird chocolate powder on top)...


That night at the dolphin shack they had a UV paint party, which in theory sounds like a blast (and totally was) but we ended up with paint everywhere and on all of our clothes (I am STILL finding glitter in my hair and it has been about 72 hours....) but we took our clothes to a laundry mat nearby, and they must be used to getting UV paint of clothes because you couldn't even tell anymore. 




This was also my last evening to be in Cambodia, so we decided to buy a lantern from the kids selling them on the beach to commemorate the moment <3






The next day was our final day, and Tayla's friend, who is a local and her daughter, took us to a waterfall via tuk tuk. The drive out was so beautiful!



teaching the wonders of snapchat...


The waterfall was pretty and it was located inside this strange compound where people lived. I really don't know what kind of little village this was but there were lots of hammocks everywhere and people swimming the river. 


It very weirdly reminded me on Frontierland at Disney
















Since the monkeys last time had been such a success, we decided to go see them one more time before we left, but this proved to be a terrible idea. I am not sure if it was the feeding time of day, or the more agitated tourists in the area that were setting them off, but the monkeys were way less nice this time.


At the end of this video I screamed and jumped because a monkey behind me had grabbed my leg and caught me off guard. 




"i mean i'll eat it, but i refuse to look at you"


trying to bribe the monkeys off our tuk tuk


Amy tried to calm the monkeys down by singing Book of Mormon to them, but I think she was really trying to calm herself down because she couldn't find her favorite monkey, she had named stumpy(the monkey missing part of his arm). 


I was also mad because this mean monkey stole my whole bag of popcorn I was trying to feed other monkeys with.


Amy had the right idea and just sat in the tuk tuk with a big stick...it was time to go.


We finished off the day with another massage and body scrub (I do not recommend this if you have sunburn like Tayla and I did) and some dinner with our new friend Lena, who sold us some bracelets. 



It was such an amazing trip and I am so glad I got to go. I could have done without the hours on a plane I spent traveling and the current awful jet lag I am experiencing, but I would travel millions of miles just to get to spend time with these girls.


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