Still Wanderlust

Before I report about my 1st steps on Asian ground, I want to take a short interim conclusion. Two thirds of my journey around the world are already dated back. Over Iceland and the U.S., I explored Central- and South America, did a detour to the Caribbean to fascinating Cuba, traveled trough breathtaking South Africa, which was love on first sight. I continued Down Under, enjoyed a month of “no worries-lifestyle”, before I finally conquered the last continent, where I want to spend the last third of my adventure.

Meanwhile, I am in Cambodia and already dipped in the totally new, Asian world. And thats exactly what makes traveling so exciting. Meet new people and cultures. Grow from your new impressions and experiences and last but not least break down boundaries. Yes, I know the chatter about “I am a completely new person”. I don’t want to be completely new and I am not. But there is definitely this great gift I received on my travels, which is the power, confidence and trust in the course of events. The postcard saying: “A journey around the world is also a journey to yourself.”, hits it quiet good in the end. That’s why I want to close my short interim conclusion with 2 quotations, representing my experiences so far perfectly:

“There is only one reason. It is the same reason, that precludes all of us from doing the things we should do – fear. Fear of the unknown. Of the experience. Of the cognition. If we give in to our spirit of adventure, we change everything, our whole existence.”

“There comes a point when you know, without doubt, without hesitation, that you cannot go back to your old life. You cannot be who you once were and also have a new live with new riches.“

Enough philosophy, back to the actual events. It’s Asiatime!!!

Singapore is calling

Another case of “in the end it’ll be all good” later, I sat punctually in my plane from Melbourne to Singapore. Or like Sam said: “It’s all divine timing my man.”

The city state, surrounded by Malaysia, was the staring point of my Asia travels. First, the flight over the popular transit airport was cheaper than a direct flight Australia-Cambodia. Second, Singapore is a perfect start into the Asian way of life. On the one hand you have Little India and Chinatown (75% of the inhabitants of Singapore are Chinese), with their hectic markets. On the other hand Singapore is really modern and clean. There are countless shopping malls. You can go shopping on every corner. Of course, the famous Marina Bay Sands Hotel outstands everything. You know it because of its Infiniti-Pool on the rooftop, from where you have a nice view on Singapore’s skyline. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a hotel guest and therefore not allowed to enter the pool area. I had to settle for the observation deck instead…

Especially at night, the imposant skyline looks amazing. I watched the daily lightshow with the view to the hotel and gazed the sea of lights of the skyscrapers. You even can have a walk on a part of the formula 1 track.

In my 2 nights at the city-state, I got a good first impression of the new culture. However, Singapore has also a big western impact. So I was led carefully to the Asian way of life. Plus, I got a first sample of the climate. It was oppressively hot and sticky. One big drop of sweat…

In the land of Lara Croft

I totally got into the Southeast Asian life in Cambodia. When I got out of the plane at the airport in Siem Reap, I already got a little heatstroke. The oppressive heat was even worse than in Singapore. The hostel manager told me later, we had the biggest heatwave since 27 years. I was glad to get into the small but nice and air-conditioned airport building. Quickly filled out the visa-on-arrival and paid the 30$, and I was already out of the building, waiting for my pick up to the hostel. After the pick-up service didn’t show up, I took a motorbike. Me in the back with my 90kg+ and my 14kg backpack between the drivers legs and the wild ride was about to start. The motorbike is the most important vehicle in Southeast Asia. They can transport everything on this small bikes. The streets are packed with motorbike- and Tuk Tuk-avalanches. Drivers wait on every single corner (Tuk Tuks are the bikes with the monoaxial trailer, in which the customers get transported).

Thank god, the dorm I stayed in had air-con. There, I run into Svenja from Berlin, who stayed in my dorm. We went together with 2 crazy Americans to one of the plenty street food restaurants. You can get fried rice/noodles with vegetables and meat for a bit more than 1€. After dinner we walked a bit through the night market, before we said good bye to the Americans and had 1-2 cold drinks back in our hostel. Only for the refreshment, of course. It was finally sleeping time. Exhausted, I was fallen in my huge bed in my air-conditioned room.

The next day, the visit of the famous temples of Angkor was on the agenda. After careful thought, I decided to do the grand tour with the sunset at the first day, which included the smaller temples and the big Angkor Thom at the end. In retrospect a mistake to go there in the afternoon-heat. My Tuk Tuk-driver picked me up around 11:30am to bring me to the ticket office. When I bought the day pass for 20$, we continued the ride to the temples. To tell you beforehand, I canceled day 2 with the sunset at the most famous Angkor Wat. I would have love to see it, but the heat was so inhuman, that I didn’t want to go there again. Not even the hope to meet Angelina could change my mind. Really sad. I should have done the sunrise on my first day, because it’s not that hot in the early hours…One is always wise after the event…

Nevertheless, the temples were really impressive. Especially for me, it was so interesting to compare it with the Maya-pyramids and -temples in Mexico and Guatemala, as well as with the Inka-town Machu Picchu. Fascinating to recognize so many similarities, even if all this tribes had their own culture and the places are in so different parts of the world.

Danish Champions League

After the desperately needed shower and lots of rest, I went out for dinner with Svenja again. Although she took the bus to Bangkok this night, I was able to persuade her to get a few Cambodian beers in the Pub Street. We joined a funny group in Angkor What? pub and enjoyed the nightlife. I had to stay up till 2am anyway to watch the Champions League semi-final Atletico Madrid against Bayern Munich. Before I went to a pub where they showed it, I quickly returned to my place where I met 2 Danish guys. They joined me to the bar to watch the big game. We ordered a 3l beer tower and suddenly a whole pack of other Danish came in. At the end I watched the Bayern-loss with over a dozen of our most northern neighbors in a bar in Cambodia till 4 am in the morning.

Night bus to Sihanoukville

nightbusI spent most of the day at the couch (it was just too hot) and took the bus to Sihanoukville at the evening, where I arrived in the early morning. I tried to make myself comfy in the tight and way too short bed. Didn’t catch much sleep when we finally arrived. From Sihanoukville I took straight the ferry to the Koh Rong island, where 3 turbulent days were waiting for me…

Party Island Koh Rong

When I arrived on the sunny island, I took the first dorm I could find. Again, it was to hot to search around. Furthermore, the air-con was worth a mint. At night, I wanted to join the pub crawl. Always a good way to meet cool people. At dinner, I ran into an Australian-British group. They do an exchange in Malaysia and used the long weekend for a short trip. I spent almost my whole Koh-Rong-time with them. We had a great night at the pub crawl, which ended late in the bathtub-water-ocean, before I felt asleep happy and satisfied in my air-conditioned room.

(A bit) hangovered, I met the boys and girls again the next afternoon. We walked a short path through the jungle to a beautiful, a bit remote beach and enjoyed the day. How I said, the water was not really refreshing, so the Cambodian Klang-beer had to cool us down. The Saturday night party was located at Police-Beach. This time we had to walk through the jungle in the other direction. However, last night left its marks and I went back home relatively early.

Day 3 was more relaxing. The highlight was the nightly boat trip to the open sea. We snorkeled in the dark. In the dark? Not exactly. When we moved in the water, a nature spectacle was revealed. By every movement the water was glowing, bred by the plankton. It is a chemical reaction to distract their natural enemies. A spectacle you can’t find words for. You literally have to see it with your own eyes.! Just sensational!

Relaxing paradise – Kuh Ring Samloem

The day after, I took another ferry to the neighbor island Koh Rong Samloem. When I left the boat bridge, a breathtaking paradise laid in front of me. White sand as far as you can see leads into this crystal-clear ocean in front of the island scenery. The perfect place to rally from the party island.

I stayed 3 nights in the GreenBlue resort, where I shared a shack with the volunteers. I found the perfect spot to chill and let the world go by. If not here, where else:

I recon after those pictures it doesn’t needs further words…

1,191 comments on “Still Wanderlust

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