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  Wanderlust Home and Pet Care

Nov 27, 2014  Our apartment had breakfast included in the cost - what a deal. We were served (no buffet) a full American breakfast. At 9am we were calling Hong Kong about a pet sitting position for the holidays. “Pick me, pick me!!!”

Because it is Thanksgiving, I selected the Luna Restaurant & Bar for lunch. It was in walking distance from the apartment. We had cured meats, chesses and an antipasti salad along with a jug of Sangria. Yummy!

From the restaurant we walked to Lucky Market to partially fill the refrigerator. It was a western grocery store so we bought hamburger and chicken legs with soy and some seasoning packages, lettuce, cucumbers and salad dressing, potatoes, butter, oreo cookies, nuts and the most important gin, tonic and beer for hydration purposes. The driver had no idea where our apartment was so I was telling him where to turn. Why am I paying him? Oh yes, because I don’t want to carry a load of groceries in this HEAT!

The view as we were walking to the grocery store.

Nov 28, 2014 A tuk tuk ride to the Royal Thailand Embassy to request a 4 month Visa. We weren’t prepared with paper copies (the embassy hasn’t come into the 21 century yet nor has the Internet cafe) so we’ll return with paper copies next Tuesday. Another learning experience.

Nov 29, 2014 A trip to the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. It was walking distance from our apartment and with the cloud cover it wasn’t too hot. Foreign dignitaries are met at the reception hall pictured here.

The Silver Pagoda, also on the grounds of the Palace, had a floor entirely made of silver squares. The Pagoda is now a museum with valuable objects handed down from the country’s Kings.

December 1, 2014 We visited the National Museum. No trip to Siem Reap is complete without a trip to this museum. It was the engineering of the land that the tour guide doesn’t tell a visitor about. As many as 750,000 people lived in Angkor, which sprawled across an area the size of New York City's five boroughs, making it the most extensive urban complex of the pre-industrial world.  Paris at the same time only had a population of 50,000. Over several centuries, Angkor laborers constructed hundreds of miles of canals and dikes to divert water from the rivers to artificial bodies of water. During the summer monsoon months, overflow channels bled off excess water. After the rains petered out in October or November, irrigation channels dispensed stored water.  The ability to divert and impound water would have afforded a measure of protection from floods and irrigation would have boosted harvests. The water system grew ever more complex and unruly. Add the unreliability of nature to the mix, the water system may have lead to the downfall of the Angkor civilization. Pretty awesome, right?

This is a picture of the National Museum.

December 2nd  We obtained our Thailand Visa - Hooray. Once we get to Thailand, we have to do this same process for India and Turkey which we visit while on our up and coming cruise departing from Bangkok.

We weren’t picked to house sit - I will start planning a trip to Kuala Lumpur.

December 3rd  We tried to fine a travel agent when we came across NagaWorld - a casino. It is smaller than the casino in Manila but I’m sure there are still winners and losers. We continued walking towards the river to find the promenade. I must say the city certainly has many large “green” areas which I find very European.  We found a restaurant on the second floor. Luckily we had a great seat as it is facing the breeze from the river. Lunch is delicious. I had the popular Khmer “Amok” dish using fish and we couldn’t resist the onion rings. The Singapore Slings have been wonderful too!

December 4th  We rode a tuk tuk to the Wat Phnom.  The Buddhist temple on the mountain was initially built in 1373. The inside of the temple has been rebuilt several times containing lovely painting on the walls and ceiling. The Stupa contains the ashes of the king and royal family from 1437. We then walked to the central market built in 1937 by a French architect. I would refer to it as the origins of the mall. There are many independent shop keepers selling all items found in a mall: shoes, undergarments & outer garments, jewelry, salons for hair nails and toes, and house-wares. I saw the greatest square dinner plates I would buy in a heart beat, if I had a house.  We were hoping to purchase potatoes for dinner but I think we will have to go to the Russian market for produce.  

December 5th  Choeung Ek Memorial (The Killing Field)

The memorial was a 20-30 minute ride from the hotel on the edge of the Phnom Penh. With the cost of admission I received an audio tour which was excellent. One out of four people living in Cambodia were killed during the Pol Pot reign from 1975 - 1979. Pol Pots goals were to create a totally agrarian society. The educated, businessmen, teachers even people wearing eyeglasses were deemed a threat to his views. Everyone in the cities were evacuated to the countryside communes to collectively grow rice at unreasonable quantities.  If one member of the family was viewed questionable then the whole family died.

It’s sad to think this kind of atrocity continues today. When will we learn?

The next few days are spent just walking around the neighborhood. No real purpose in mind. The new camera arrived and Gary can finally take pictures of our food and drinks.

We arranged for a taxi to take us to Kep. We are looking forward to some beach time.