Posts for Cambodia

Exotic Destinations for a Holiday Out of the Ordinary

Travel Tips - Ross French - September 28, 2017


Looking for a holiday out of the ordinary? Travel to an exotic destination where you can experience sights, smells, and tastes that you have never experienced before. Here are some ideas for an exotic destination that is out of the ordinary.

Havana, Cuba

Havana is a bustling city known for its museums, forts and lively public squares. It has exquisite cafes and bohemian themed bars. Havana’s old town, called Habana Vieja, is known for its magnificent Baroque styled Catedral de San Cristobal, and the military fortress of Castillo de la Real Fuerza.

You can also visit El Morro, a fort at the bay of Havana, El Capitolio (the national capital building) Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (the national museum) and one of the world’s largest opera houses Gran Teatro de La Habana.

Rajasthan, India

Rajasthan has a range of exotic cities, palaces and forts, just waiting for curious travelers to explore. Jaipur, the capital city also known as the pink city, has a modernized business centre with rustic age old charm. Amber Palace, City Palace, Jantar Mantar and Hawa Mahal are a few destinations to visit. Jaisalmer, the golden city, is considered a gateway to the Thar Desert.

The prominent landmarks are the Jailsalmer Fort, Jain Temples and the Gadisar Lake. Jhalawar is an historical city which is also known for its vibrant flora and fauna. The Chandrabhaga Temple, the Sun Temple, Herbal Garden, Buddhist Caves and Stupas are some of the prominent destinations to visit.


Bhutan is known as Druk Yul which means Land of the Thunder Dragon. Bhutan is in the Himalaya Mountain Range and you can visit ancient Buddhist monasteries like Taktshang Monastery that is at an elevation of 3,988 metres and has stunning flora and fauna.

Ta Dzong is a museum that is located at 3,400 metres. The country is also famous for bird watching and Wangdue Phodrang Valley is a great place to go.

Dubai, UAE

Dubai offers a variety of attractions varying from mosques to shopping malls. Exotic places to visit would be the Jumeirah Mosque and Fahidi Fort which also houses the Dubai Museum. If you wish to access the tranquility of the desert you can head deep into the desert for a safari.

You can also ride a camel and relax in Bedu tents. Ski Dubai is an indoor Ski resort in Dubai for those who wish to enjoy skiing, snowboarding and is located in the Mall of the Emirates.


This beautiful country has a history of extreme violence and you can visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh to learn more about it. Angkor Wat is filled with temples that are a complex mixture of symmetry, symbolism, intricacy and epic proportions.

The Cardamom Mountain range is densely covered with lush virgin rainforest and it runs through south west Cambodia and eastern Thailand. Some of the rare species listed in these forests are the Malaysian sun bear, pileated gibbons and Siamese crocodiles. There are many beautiful resorts to stay in.

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My Entry for Travel Photography Roulette: Landmarks

World Photos - Ross French - December 20, 2010

Living the Dream RTW has proposed a Travel Photography Roulette game among travel bloggers.
The recent winner was OverYonderLust for ‘Festivals’… They have proposed ‘landmarks’ for this week, which is SO hard because I have SO many landmark photographs. So I asked my mom and this is the one she chose. Thus, here is Angkor Wat, Cambodia brought to you by Momma Hogga. Mom if you’re reading this, make me a sandwich!
Love Lindsay.


Angkor Wat, Cambodia, Suck it Trebek!

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I’M COMING HOME! Recap of a Year Around the World

Travel Blog - Ross French - December 12, 2010


partying_lima_peruBy: Lindsay Hogg

How Do You Put a Year Around the World Into Words?

I’m currently 6 hours away from my 22 hour flight home from Auckland to Tahiti to California to finally, Toronto. It’s another hazy day which will unfortunately fade the sweet ass tan I’ve obtained in the past few weeks. Balls.
Although I’m nervous about coming home to an extremely different world than I’ve been living in for the past year, the comforts of my own room and conversations that don’t start with ‘where are you from’ thrills me. As I scramble to finish writing the pending posts from rest of my trip, I’m faced with the dreaded and daunting task of REFLECTION – all those typical questions you should ask yourself after a life changing experience.
“What have I learned” “Have I grown” “Am I more knowledgeable” and so on…
But for now I will keep these answers to myself and simply share the experiences that stand out in my mind.
In the next week I will go into more detail about the ‘life changing moments’ (yay! – insert sarcasm) and the people I have met along the road who have effected my life for the better or worse.

How do you sum up a year of your life in one article? I quit my great job, sold everything in my apartment and left all my friends & family to backpack around the world solo.

South America: Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina (and Mexico since I missed my flight oops!)
Asia: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, China
New Zealand


Kitty and I swimming in Laos

  • Swimming in waterfalls – hot springs and lagoons, hiking through ancient ruins, riding bicycles -quads – horses through the mountains, kayaking through crystal clear – aqua waters
  • Jumping off boats, tubing down rivers, floating markets and fishing villages, touring wine vineyards to taste and learn
  • Driving on the left hand side of the road and roadtrips through scary, windy, mountain roads
  • Motor bike roadtrips, tuk tuks and long boats, sun burns and food poisoning
  • Learning Spanish and Mandarin


    Els and I riding horses in Bolivia

  • Travelling with amazing new friends and awesome old friends, meeting the same people on 3different continents
  • Missing flights (yes, plural… flights) and purposely missing buses
  • Meeting friendly locals and not so friendly locals
  • Empanadas and lomo saltado, fried noodles and dumplings, kiwi venison and BBQ sauce
  • The boys, the bugs, the animals
  • Eating snake – rat – guinea pig and frog, lao buckets, all you can drink tequila, pisco, rice wine, lao lao, 3 day long parties, dancing till 8am
  • Crossing international borders by foot and by boat
  • Barely avoiding 2 major earthquakes
  • Bartending and sharing a room with 8 other people, sleeping in hammocks


    The Point Hostel crew, Lima – Peru

  • Bargaining for everything, buying more than fits in my backpack
  • Toilet paper goes in the bin – bring your OWN toilet paper
  • Good decisions, bad decisions
  • Pink eye and bronchitis
  • Getting arrested, getting ripped off
  • Coming home one ipod – A LOT of cloths and one bankcard short
  • 30 new beers tried, 10 countries conquered, stories that will never be forgotten, stories that may never get told
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Phnom Penh, Cambodia: The Flooding

Travel Tips - Ross French - January 17, 2010

An Adventurous Trip to the Orphanage
By: Katie Devos
During our short stay in Cambodia, my travel buddy Stephanie and I had a day of spare time to volunteer at an orphanage just on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.  The orphanage is called SCAO  . Our journey there in our tuk-tuk   was memorable. We didn’t take a tuk-tuk from our guesthouse, ‘The Top Banana’  that knew about the orphanage. We decided to leave from the market where drivers had no idea about such an orphanage existing. After many calls by our driver (because if people have nothing else in Asia, they have a cell phone) to figure out where to go, and we finally made it to the area.
The children around us directed us where to go in the streets. We were shocked to be taken to a completely flooded road. I recall the driver looking back at us, with a nervous smile and continuing to drive through the water. When we got to the other side of the road, we paid our driver and got out to see that the pathway to the Orphanage was filled with water as well. Directly beside it on slightly higher ground we saw two men building something which was to be the new school at the orphanage. From what they told us the outskirts of the city was totally flooded. We learned that this was not due to the weather, but because in Phnom Penh they decided to take sand from the Tonle Sap River to fill the Boeng Kak Lake . This caused a chain reaction and pushed water out of the city. As you can imagine the drainage systems in Phnom Penh aren’t exactly efficient. In the cities they are very poor and even poorer as you get further out. We were literally only 30 minutes outside the city and it looked like it was the wet season when in fact it was not. Cambodia experiences major flooding on a yearly basis, but this was different. The director of the orphanage, Mr. Samith shared the little lunch they had with us and told us about how the orphanage was suffering because of this flooding. The tuk-tuk drivers would come to the area where the roads were flooded and tell the tourists that they couldn’t go through it, thus taking them to a larger more prospering orphanage. I believe at the time of our visit there were 11 children living in the orphanage/ school. Some were Mr. Samith’s own children and the rest children they took in and provided for.
A while after our lunch a volunteer came to teach the children English and invited us to sit in. The only problem was how to get through more large bodies of flooded water! Not to fear! The children had little boats. These were the type of boats that are so low to the water, that when you get in, you think it will topple over. ACTUALLY, these specific boats have a larger surface area on the bottom so they are less likely to tip than other boats. We struggled to get into this little boat with children around us giggling at how awkward and nervous we were. And of course, being tourists, having a camera that you will not leave behind because you must have photos of every experience we could not take any chances falling in.The children waded through the water pulling us while one child used a stick to push in the boat through the water.
We watched our new friend teach English to extremely well behaved students and Stephanie taught a little bit of the lesson herself. I watched politely in amazement as to how much these children really wanted to learn. They were completely polite and interested in the material. Which was not always the case when I was teaching in Korea.
Once the lesson finished there was a time to relax and chat with the children and play some games, then we made the trip back to the road. This time Stephanie and I took the option of walking through the water.  Only later did we confirm our suspicions that it was sewage water. This is why so many people would not go to watch the classes or volunteer at the time we were visiting. Most people think it is a bad idea to walk through sewage water in a third world country where you’re likely to get sick… I think they’re right buuuut we did it anyway. Luckily, aside from an intense time scrubbing in the shower, Stephanie and I didn’t get any strange parasites.
I would recommend visiting all of Cambodia. Many people i’ve encountered say they dislike Phnom Penh when they go there but I think it has a lot to do with where they stay.  Try staying in the town and not by the river. The river is known to have cheaper places but also not the nicest. Also I believe people come to Phnom Penh and see the killing fields and S21 museum and that brings the general mood down. Don’t let it affect your opinion of the rest of the city. It has a lot to offer and can be a lovely place to explore.
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