Browsing Category Southeast Asia

Travel Tales from the Tragic Cambodia – Reflecting Upon the Ruthless Destruction of Life in the World

I was climbing the stairs of a high school in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. No, I did not intend to repeat high school to recognize the petals and sepals of a flower better. The school wasn’t ordinary. The faces of the men and women that had been tortured and killed in its classrooms stared at us from behind the glass frames hung on the bloodstained walls. The rusted iron bars, withering waterboards, and used bloody clothes kept in those classrooms narrated a gruesome story of the ruthless Cambodian massacre, that happened not so long ago. The metal shackles with which people were tied to the waterboards and to the iron bars were still chained to them; I assume those metal chains couldn’t be used for anything else now.

Unwillingly, I vividly imagined the bodies possessing those faces and donning those gory clothes tied to the iron rods with the cold shackles. A guard came throughout the day to beat them and torture them with electric shocks as the helpless stifled on the floor. Or to cut them with knives and suffocate them with plastic bags. Blood oozed out of the wounds of the tortured but medicine was out of the question. Four small spoonfuls of rice porridge and watery soup of leaves were given to them twice a day.

My skin crawled. I shivered in the scorching month of June.

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My First International Solo Trip to Thailand – Mistakes I Made

Thailand was my first solo trip.

I pre-landed in Bangkok at 5 AM. In the on-arrival visa line, a friendly attendant helped me skip the line and processed my visa faster. The airport was far out of the city and having decided that I would take public transport, I climbed into an about-to-crumble bus to go into the city.   

In the three-hour-long bus ride, as long as the flight from Bengaluru to Bangkok, a lady passenger helped to hold my bag and told me that I was beautiful as I managed to not-faint in the crowded aisle. The bus crawled a kilometer in almost an hour. Due to my skepticism of being able to explain the situation to the angry and rude lady ticket collector and the bus driver, I didn’t leave the bus to hop into a taxi. She kept buying weird-looking dumplings for him from the street while I craved and my stomach growled. 

The bus ride wasn’t enough torture that I had to climb four levels of steep, dingy stairs with my suitcase to reach my just-enough, single, air-conditioned room.

Tired, hungry, and lonely, I went down for food and ate a mediocre Pad Thai. Having grabbed a few cold water bottles from the fridge downstairs, I climbed back up again. Sudden rudeness and a hint of racism coupled with sleep deprivation and loneliness made me sleep for almost 5 hours.

It wasn’t just that.

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The Lush-Green Vietnam and Its Temples – Vietnam Photo Album

 

As promised in this photo diary of the street life and rich food of Vietnam, I am back with a Vietnam photo album which showcases the country’s painting-like greenery and its rich temples.

Certain days at work, when I sit in a room and work from my desk for hours at a stretch, these photos make me feel that I am out in the green, running with the water stream, or bathing in the sunshine, or singing with the rain, or listening to the tall waterfall falling over the stones, or fine-tuning with the birds that flew above my head under the vast blue sky of those foreign lands.

Do you also long for a place that you visited in the past when you look at your travel photos? Do you still feel connected to that place?

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Bustling Street Life and Delicious Food of Vietnam – In a Photo Diary

Vietnam was alive.

With blue skies and bustling streets.

With bowls full of colorful noodle soup in which greens and mushrooms dived in.

With ladies serving soup on the street side and road junctions while sitting on the smallest stools you could ever imagine.

With the Bánh Mì sandwiches that erupted into my taste buds and the beautiful blend of the Vietnamese coffee served with condensed milk.

With the death that lingered in the war museums that crushed me to the core and I took days to recover.

With the long-curvy rides in the toiletless buses to reach one city from another.

With the streets crowded with millions of red, blue, green scooters that must have looked like crawling painted ants when seen from the top.

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Wild and Beautiful Thailand – In a Photo Essay

Thailand was my first solo international trip. It was my first window into the world of traveling and backpackers and hostels and not knowing where would I sleep the next day.

Thailand was absolutely gorgeous, marvelously racist at times, and enriching with delicious food.

I met some amazing people, ran away from obnoxious ones, admired some beautiful temples, found precious stones in dazzling night markets, stayed overnight in the gigantic national park of Thailand, played around with elephants (about which a fellow traveler has written about), devoured some juicy seafood, enjoyed the bunk beds of the hostels, walked through the red light areas, got mesmerized by the strength of pole dancers dancing in street side pubs and bars, drowned with my best friend in a swimming pool and beer, and happily but unknowingly overstayed my visa.

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