Cambodia and Thailand. Spring Break 2015.
First stop of the trip...Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We visited the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum and Killing Fields of Choeung Ek Memorial to learn about the history of the Khmer Rouge. While at the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum, we were fortunate to meet and talk with Chum Mey, a Tuol Sleng prison survivor, who shared his heartbreaking first-hand account of what it was like in the Khmer Rouge prison. During our time in Phnom Penh, we also explored the fascinating Psar O Russei market, sampled some delicious local foods at the Psar Thmei (Central Market), strolled around the promenade fronting the Royal Palace, and got our first of many cheap massages. The next day we went on an 8-hour bus ride to Siem Reap, Cambodia. We arrived in time to catch the sunsetting on Angkor Wat temple. The next day, we caught an amazing sunrise at Angkor Wat temple and also went to explore the other uniquely beautiful temples including Ta Prohm, Bayon, and Banteay Srei. We also volunteered with Trailblazer Foundation to construct and install bio-sand water filters in the nearby villages. Some of us were also fortunate to get to deliver water purification powder by boat to a more remote floating village. In the evenings, we also volunteered teaching English at the Khmer Smile School. Even with a busy schedule of volunteering, we found time to enjoy some optional activities including ziplining, quad biking, horseback riding, and of course...more cheap massages. A few brave ones even tried the fish foot massage. We also got a chance to watch some traditional dancing at the Temple Club. Next, we caught a quick flight to Bangkok, Thailand. In the short time we had left, we saw the enormous reclining Buddha at Wat Pho and the colorful decor at the Grand Palace. We also went shopping on Khao San Road and at the Chatuchak Weekend market. And just like that...we were at the Suvarnabhumi Airport saying goodbye to Bangkok and to spring break!