Day 1, I came and I was mesmerized; Day 5, I fell in love; Day 12, I can’t wait to come back again.

As I was waiting not-very-patiently for my flight home at Ho Chi Minh City, I was overwhelmed by a sudden surge of sadness. So this is it huh? A fitting end to my first solo travel trip: alone in a foreign airport, frantically scribbling on my soaked diary, trying to preserve any memory that I have made here. 
Good start to my adventure!

It started a little like the end for me. I strode purposefully across the hallways in KLIA 2, feeling every bit like a backpacker with my big red backpack and buckles clipped on my waist. I remember the sudden wave of loneliness I felt when I was waiting and the equally sudden wave of elation when it’s finally time to board the plane. It somewhat feels different than all the other times I’ve travelled. I am going on an adventure alone this time. No one to depend on, no one to die with me if the plane crashes. The uncertainty excited me and frightened me at the same time.

I was in awe before the plane even landed. The view that my tiny plane pothole allowed me was gorgeous. It came like such a surprise to me because honestly, I still believed that I would see heaps of garbage piling up in the brown muddy river. That’s when I knew, it’s going to be perfect. The immigration officers were nothing but nice to me, although some would say otherwise, but for me, it’s a perfect start.

Hasty snap turned out gorgeous

Essentially, I did everything I was supposed to. I saw Angkor Wat; I went to the museum; I got scammed by some tuk tuk; I ate insects. But, I didn’t fall in love with Cambodia because of these experiences. I was very taken aback by the marvels, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t fall in love. It’s like a casual one night stand; I only know what I need, then milk the hell out of it.

Instead, I fell in love with the simple Cambodian people. They live in bare necessities and still they could offer me something with a smile. In my travels, except in Phnom Penh, it’s so difficult to find a scowling Cambodian. Sure, there are a few odd inquiring stares, especially when they can’t make out what am I. But they always smiled back at me even though I meant nothing to them. They are interested and asked questions about myself and my country. I love how I could made my young tuk-tuk driver blush when I asked him about himself. I love how I could know no one in Cambodia, but still feels at home.

First friendly Cambodia I’ve met. My motorcyclist from the airport, Rith!

Interestingly, I felt different in every Cambodian city I’ve been to. Siem Reap is so busy, there’s always some activity or another going on. It’s like a festival that doesn’t quite end. Phnom Penh felt like I was shrouded in a sense of deep sadness and guardedness. People doesn’t feel welcoming to me. Kampot, on the other hand, felt completely opposite from Phnom Penh. People are curious about me. They are willing to help me, even though it might cost them.

This trip marks the beginning of a long soul-searching journey. Through this, I learnt so much about myself and the world it’s unbelievable. In fact, it still feels a little surreal to me. Cambodia represents all the places I’m not supposed to go- backwards and bloody. But the people are the warmest bunch of people I’ve even meet. I’ve been back for three weeks now and needless to say, I suffered from a bad case of post-travel depression. It’s justifiable- I missed everything about Cambodia from the grand structures to the tiny people walking in the streets that I’ll never know. Cambodia became my first love, and for that I will never forget the time I had here.

Hurrying monk from Angkor Wat
Overlooking the Bayon
Broken ornaments from a temple I’ve lost track on
October 4, 2015
October 16, 2015
  1. Anfield Yee

    Angkor Wat does looks so beautiful! What type of camera you're using? Looking forward for more Cambodia post from you! πŸ™‚

    Reply

  2. FiSh. ohFISHiee

    Solo trip sounds cool! πŸ™‚ im going there this year end, hope you can update more bout the trip soon

    Reply

  3. wfc

    never visit Combodia before. dunno when got free to oversea .

    Reply

  4. Maple Shuh Hong

    wow~~~ you were so brave you make a solo trip. and ur english is too! but I seldom see a pic of ur self ler~~
    I am inspired to make a one solo trip like this too~~

    ksh2772.blogspot.com

    Reply

  5. Em

    Brave of you to embark on a solo trip. I've yet to make it but then I am someone who wants to have another person to share my experiences with LIVE, on the spot. Writing it on my blog just doesn't cut it.

    Reply

  6. Janice Yeap

    i should try on solo trip next time. you are so brave πŸ™‚

    Reply

  7. kakalina wak

    I always wish to be a solo traveller but never try it. I believe it's a memorable experience.
    Looking forward your subsequent post to share more with us. πŸ˜‰

    Reply

  8. Janet Wong

    Cambodia! You are so brave to make a solo trip!

    Reply

  9. jeremiah teoh

    You know, when traveling alone, you get to see what other might missed out…bravo gal!

    Reply

  10. Pamela Yeoh

    Nice place, u r brave to make a solo trip

    Reply

  11. Syafiera Yamin

    Waaa wa angkor wat Such a mystery and so ancient !!!

    Reply

  12. Syafiera Yamin

    Waaa wa angkor wat Such a mystery and so ancient !!!

    Reply

  13. Syafiera Yamin

    Waaa wa angkor wat Such a mystery and so ancient !!!

    Reply

  14. Betty Liew siaw fan

    Cambodia is nice place to visit. I always want to visit the Angkor Wat.

    Reply

  15. Sin Yee

    My bf been to Angkor Wat.. but i didn't. Wish to visit it one day. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  16. Michael Yip

    One of those place I've yet to visit. Hope to visit Cambodia one day.

    Reply

  17. Pen My Blog

    Embarking on a solo trip is never easy but cheers to how you managed to do it πŸ™‚ Cambodia is a lovely place to visit, if I could I would make a trip there soonest to explore it too πŸ™‚

    Reply

  18. Kylie wenn

    Travelling is always the best… I wish to visit angkor wat again as well!~

    Reply

  19. alizasara

    Never been to Cambodia before! I should plan a trip to Cambodia one day πŸ™‚

    Reply

  20. Sharon Lee

    Hope to visit Cambodia again, I admire your braveness to travel solo. I hope that I can be like you too! But i prefer grab another friend with me though XD

    Reply

  21. Isaac Tan

    so nice to go travelling. I haven't been to this part of the world yet.

    Reply

  22. cleffairy

    So beautiful. Wish I could go there soon too.

    Reply

  23. Ivy Kam

    Haven't been to Cambodia before, love how you described your travel experience there πŸ™‚

    Reply

  24. Mums Babies

    This is the place we have been thinking to visit from a long time. Love their historic sites and many more to capture there.

    Reply

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