So not able to write!
Got a severe case of writers block when it comes to trying to document the last few days. I’ve been at the VSO Cambodia Annual Volunteer Conference in Siem Reap and so much has happened that I want to tell you about but every time I sit down to write it the words just won’t come out.
And so, instead I’ve turned to a kind of wild writing, rambling approach to the block with a wait and see if anything materialises. I’m literally typing this as I think it and not worrying too much about what I say (eek – nearly went back to edit then but that would have defeated the purpose wouldn’t it).
Siem Reap is the only place in Cambodia I had visited prior to arriving here in July. I spent a wonderful 4 days touring the temples of Angkor and wandering the dusty streets of the tiny town of Siem Reap back in 2002 or 3 (I can’t remember exactly) being lulled by the sleepy feel of the place.
When I first arrived this time I wasn’t sure I was in the same place – boy has it changed. So much development has occurred over the past 15 years in what is Cambodia’s premiere tourism spot. I’m not sure I liked it at first sight but as I settled in to the rhythm of the days it felt better – yes there are now glitzy touristy bit complete with a strip of bars, restaurants and souvenir shops unimaginatively named Pub Street and reminiscent of the horror that is Khao San Road in Bangkok, but beyond that there is still beauty and serenity in the place.
It’s much greener than Phnom Penh, the place where we held our conference was awash with trees (there were actually signs all over the place (which I forgot to photograph) promoting the ‘one touirist (sic), one tree’ project in the province. And away from Pub Street you’re soon back to the more familiar ramshackle mishmash of Cambodian shops, houses, street sellers and traffic on potholed roads, some paved but mostly red clay. A cacophony of smells, sights and sounds unique to Asia that I simply never tire of.
And so I returned to Phnom Penh happy to be planning trips to Siem Reap as a tourist with my fab family when they visit over the coming months.
And as for what comes next on the blog, well it appears my rambling has got rid of the what’s Siem Reap like strand in my head but as for the other countless strands from the past few days – who knows, how, if and when they’ll come out. Watch this space is the best I have to offer.