During the summer of 2011, I went on a family trip to Cambodia. It was a really fun experience, even if it did have its cons.
The two main reasons why we took this trip in the first place was 1) We haven't been there in a long time, and 2) My aunt was getting married! The plane ride was incredibly long, (12 hours! PLUS we had to switch to a different flight after that, which was another three hours), and as soon as the plane landed in Cambodia, the heat hit us like a speeding train. Not only was it hot, but it was humid too! I was sweating within minutes of stepping outside. Everyone was very welcoming though.
We got into our cars that would take us to a house that belonged to my parents' friends. It was really cool because not many people used cars, motorcycles definitely looked like the main form of transportation. We spent a day there, then went to the city, Siem Riep, where my grandparents lived. It was a 6 hour drive! When we finally got there, everyone was tired. We settled into our rooms and all reunited with each other.
The wedding was a few days later. My sister and I were apart of it so we had the honor of getting dressed up in traditional clothes and participating in a Cambodian wedding. It was definitely an experience to remember. I looked like a completely different person after I had my makeup done!
After being in the wedding, we finally had time to explore as a family. We spent a few weeks with my grandparents, riding motorcycles in the city and such, then took a bus to Phnom Penh, where we had family. We rented a bus for 25 people and drove to the sites that my grandparents thought we would enjoy. We saw a bunch of waterfalls and even got to swim in them! We visited many other places, and had a very fun time singing karaoke and watching movies in the bus on the big TV that came with it.
The weather was a complete con for me because it had me sweating all the time! It was way too humid for my liking. I was much too accustomed to California weather and was definitely not prepared for the heat that Cambodia held.
In the last few weeks we were spending there, we decided to explore around us. We visited a lot of old temples that were slowly being remodeled for the public. We even got to feed elephants and monkeys! They were very adorable.
All in all, my time in Cambodia has changed me as a person. I've learned all about my culture and where I come from. I got to spend two months in a different environment that I wasn't used to. I've also gotten to connect with family that lives far away. It was by far the best vacation ever.
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