Dreams - Fotografické služby

Singapore / Cambodia / Borneo - May 2010

23.05.2010 16:28

Having been to Cambodia for the first time about five years ago, I didn´t know what to expect from the country. To be absolutely honest, I didn´t actually even fall asleep the night before as once I closed my eyes, the scenes from war movies like Platoon or Rambo started to turn up. However after first few days down there I already knew that I have to come back one day.

The sanctuary for baby Oragutans, that have lost their parents as a result of the rain forest harvesting, was another of my destinations about three years ago. Unfortunately I had to give up after flying for almost 2 days across the globe and just half-an-hour from the center, just because of an extremely bad weather that time.

Based on that I decided to combined both of those trips this year. Considering I only have had a week to do that and with thirteen flights in total, it was quite a hassle. 

When you want to chill-out before or after a trip to/from Asia or Australia, my ultimate choice is ever Singapore. The best street food in the world, which you don´t need to be affraid of (try the Chicken or Beef Satay with peanut sauce in the China Town), or the traditional restaurants, pubs and cafes for a relaxed break, beatiful ZOO and the Jurong bird park.

In case there´s more of you travelling together on a longer distance, I do recommend to take a cab - it´s very reliable, fast, clean and about half the price you would pay in Europe or US. For shorter trips take the tube - incredibly clean and the air-con will be a heaven during a hot day.

Apart of the Angkor Wat temple complex I finally managed to visit the capital Phnom Penh in Cambodia this time too. The S-21 prison and Killing Field just outside the city are a horrible reminder of the Pol Pot regime. One can´t even believe that such acts are even possible. It´s even more frustating considering that this was happening just thirty years ago... Still visible blood on the floor of cells or human bones  sticking out of the grounds after a rain. This is just some of the evidence you should be ready to. However I guess that everyone of us should see this in order to get another view onto our world. This applies to whole Cambodia in general - the willingness and kindness of the people, who don´t own almost nothing at all, always energizes me and moves my thinking a step further.

The city of Siem Reap, which is the entry point for the Angkor Wat temple complex, is a clear example of what booming tourist industry can do. Exactly as I was expecting, it´s reflected not just on proces (the one day entrance fee to the complex is USD20) but also by restricting access to some parts and temples. Having used an electrical motor-bike five years ago to move between the temples, this service was not available anymore this time. So tuk-tuk was my choice again, charging me about USD15 for the whole day. Do both of the circuits in the complex, which are 26kms and 17kms. Once you´ll get enough of the temple spirit, do see the Tonle Sep lake about 15kms from Sieam Reap. In the wet season this is the biggest fresh-water lake in the South-east Asia. There´s a Vietnamese comunity living in floating villages which is worth to have a look. Just be prepared that because of the booming tourism its autenticity is diseppearing quite a lot - five years ago there used to be a unpaved road, nowadays there´s a motorway. There used to be a small village port, now there´s a massive concrete pier with an articial canal. The price for 90mins boat ride is USD25 per person.

Borneo and the Sepilok Orangutan reserve are definitely worth a visit when you´re in this part of Malaysia. Plan the trip really properly and check the weather forecast as in case of rain the access to public might not be possible as the wooden walkways in the rain forest might be dangerous. Be prepared that the reserve opens just for two slots a day, one between 9.00-11.00hrs and the other one 13.00-14.00hrs, entry fee is about USD13. Considering the fact that you might see the orangutans just for 10mins during the feeding, it sounds quite a lot but do remember that apart of seeing this beautiful creatures you are also contibuting to cost needed to save another animal.

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