We have already been in India for almost one week, but the anticipation before traveling here was almost unbearable. After traveling to 30 countries, the moments leading up to a new place never ceases to stir anxious excitement. India has stood as a pinnacle to our travels, because we didn’t know if we were ready for a place that has been painted by the news and other travelers as one of the most challenging and sometimes dangerous countries. Even our first night in Delhi I couldn’t shake the stigmas. Well so far, it’s perfectly fine. If there is one thing I continue to learn over and over is that the news is rarely an accurate depiction. The only truth I’ve found is the smog. But the friendliness of the people is beyond warm and welcoming. The traffic and noisy chaos is similar to most developing cities I’ve been to. I would be comfortable living here for a long period of time, because it has everything I could possibly need. Finding comfort is easy here if you are resilient and grounded. I have been immediately taken by this country that has a fascinating culture, vibrant colors, and incredible food.
Back to wrapping up the rest of our travels in Southeast Asia! After one week in Vietnam, we flew to Cambodia, hopped a flight to Bangkok, and then caught our flight to India with a layover in Malaysia. We almost never travel this way. I like to book our plans with at least 1-2 weeks in each place to soak up the area and catch our breath, but it just shook out this way logistically. And I'm not complaining, because it ended up being a blast.
Cambodia was too short. Last summer I read the book First They Killed My Father, which is a gripping account of the Cambodian Genocide in the 70’s. Even if you don’t plan to go to Cambodia, I highly recommend this book. It is an important account of history that is rarely taught in schools. Besides the book, I had done little research on the area prior to going there except regarding Angkor Wat, the biggest religious site in the world and the seventh wonder. Angkor Wat was impressive, but it was also hoarded with bigger crowds than we experienced in China or India combined. My lord, do NOT go there on a holiday. I think the entire country of Cambodia was at this single site on New Years Day. After re-grouping our sanity from Angkor Wat, we were able to explore the town of Siem Reap. We were instantly in love with the subtropical flavors in the food, and the charming people. I deeply regret not spending more time there.
Onwards to Bangkok, a bustling city we have experienced before. We hadn’t originally planned to stop in Thailand, but it’s hard to leave out one of our favorite places for street food. After checking in to our hotel we caught an Uber to Wat Arun. We were planning on going straight to the Wat but the wafting street food from down the block drew us in. Two plates of Pad Thai later we started our tourist circuit of the city. We hit the main hot spots of Wat Arun, Wat Pho, The Grand Palace, and Khaoson Road. We also spent an evening strolling through the up and coming Aeri neighborhood to meet friends for food. Bangkok is an easy city to navigate, safe-feeling, and relatively clean, especially around religious sites.
I’ll let the pictures below do the rest of the talking.
I am an outdoor and travel junkie who is currently completing my doctorate in occupational therapy overseas in rural Fiji. On Sweet World Travels you will find stories of my life with my husband, the communities we serve, and the many adventures we take.