Every time my high school BFFs and I meet up, we talk about traveling to new and exotic places. Its something we like to do–to dream out loud and plan our next travel destination, even if most of the time it never materializes. I guess the old adage: ‘birds of the same feather, flock together’, holds true–my best buddies and I dream of traveling the world but we are always so busy we forget to make it happen. It doesn’t help that Bing Wijangco is into concerts and events, Mayi Payumo in the hotel industry, and I into everything–to make this trip happen we had to blindly choose a date and just plan everything around it.
And for our first destination we went to CAMBODIA!!! Why Cambodia? Well, apart from its nearby location (no jet lag for this trip), its a country we’ve all never visited before. This makes it more fun, because we can explore the place with a fresh perspective, with more chances of getting lost along the way. We left most of the planning to Mayi for this five-day trip, and I have to say, she pulled on all the stops to make this an interesting, action-packed trip we won’t ever forget.
On our first day, we went on a QUAD BIKE ADVENTURE! This is something I would never choose on my own, which is why I was happy we did it together. I had no idea what I was getting myself into–I especially had no clue as to how hot the temperature got in Cambodia. It was 40 degrees celsius that day, it hadn’t rained in six months and it was a four-hour ATV ride. We were clad in sleeveless shirts, shorts and a layer of SPF 100 (and I only wore sandals). A helmet and face mask was provided, which proved to be very helpful as it was so dusty. It was a fun experience, no doubt. I guess the only thing is that we should’ve planned to do this early in the morning and not at 1130 am (the hottest possible time to ride).
It was exciting nonetheless, as we got to see Siem Reap for what it is. Though its landscape at that time was harsh and mucky (no thanks to the drought), it was also beautiful. We got to see traditional Cambodian houses (which I think is very similar to our ‘bahay kubo’), as well as lots of green scenery and plenty of its vibrant culture. Its people are warm and amiable; its children were always smiling and waving to us (even babies being carried by their mothers were waving). We found temples in the middle of nowhere, and rode past plenty of palm trees, hay stacks and cows.
I should say it would’ve helped if we were a little more prepared for the temperature/weather. If you want to go on this trip, don’t leave home without these:
* SUNBLOCK. I didn’t think this was necessary, but thankfully Bing did. Her SPF 100 protected us from sunburn.
* SUNGLASSES. I left mine in the room! Good thing Mayi lent me hers.
* RUBBER SHOES. Mayi and Bing wore the right shoes. I didn’t. My feet were dark and dirty after the ride.
* LIGHTWEIGHT LONG-SLEEVE SHIRT. As hot as this sounds, this extra layer actually protects you from sunburn.
* LIGHTWEIGHT LOOSE PANTS. Better protect your legs when riding.
* CAMERA. Of course, you need to take lots of photos while riding. You can easily stop and take a photo anytime during the ride.
* WEATHER REPORT. It is imperative that you know if it will be super sunny, windy or rainy that day so you can dress accordingly.
My travel BFFs: Bing Wijangco and Mayi Payumo.
Mix and match prints.