Tuesday, April 29, 2014

X is for X-Ray Vision

This post is part of the AtoZChallenge, which I'm doing on my recent trip to Siem Reap in Cambodia.

Whew. I’m not sure I ever believed I would get this far in the AtoZChallenge.

And I nearly didn't; I've cheated a bit here and there - I've written really tiny posts; I've written multiple posts on a single day to catch up; I've used photos a lot so that I didn't have to write too much.

But still, here we are. I've climbed all the way up this steep mountain to the letter 'X'. There’s no obvious 'X' topic that I can think of, so I’m going to be innovative for a change. The theme for today is going to be ‘X-Ray Vision’ which is short for “What are five things I would’ve done differently had I known in advance how my Cambodia trip was going to be?”

  1. I would've done the Bangkok - Siem Reap journey by flight. I would probably still have done one of the journeys by bus to experience a land crossing, but still - at least one way by flight.
  2. I would’ve split Day 1 of the Cambodia trip into two. Day 1 was the most exhausting of the three-day Angkor tour, and it was honestly a little too much. After visiting Angkor Wat and the Bayon temple by mid-morning, we should have ideally rested a little bit rather than going on to the Baphuon temple immediately. We were so tired that we didn't really enjoy Baphuon (which involves quite a lot of climbing). It was only after lunch that we really perked up again.
  3. I would’ve made my husband pack his shoes. This seems like such a small detail, but it really did make a difference on Day 1 and Day 2 of the trip. I had read on Trip Advisor that sneakers or sports shoes would be the best choice while visiting the temples. I told my husband thrice to pack his shoes, but no - he preferred his sandals. Well, he suffered alright.
  4. I would’ve been more open to the food. Since we hadn't enjoyed the food in Thailand, we thought Khmer food would be the same, and we refused to experiment. It was only on Day 2 that we realized Khmer food was actually nice!
  5. I would’ve shopped more. I didn't shop as much as I should have because I got turned off by their general attitude towards Indians. I should have ignored that and just bought whatever I wanted. I also wish I had bought things from the people who were making things and selling them near the temples. That way, even if I’d got cheated, I would’ve been paying the person who created the art.
P.S. – Initially, I’d thought I would include the visit to Kompong Pluk here. But on second thoughts, I decided not to. Though I do think that the tour of the village was a little elitist, I did enjoy the visit to the lake and the walk through the mangrove.
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N J Magas said...

I know all about travel regrets. Mostly not bringing sleeping aids to deal with not being able to sleep in a hotel bed, or not bringing stomach medicine to help my finicky stomach cope with new foods. Or not buying this, or not pacing myself, or not trying a traditional experience. Ah well.

DR said...

N J Magas: Oh good - so I'm not the only one. I guess regret is a mandatory part of life.