Phnom Penh - An Accidental Exploration

Bus Ride: 8 hours || Distance: Siem Reap --> Phnom Penh - 200 miles

After getting kicked off a bus at 5:30am in Phnom Penh - I learned Vietnam doesn’t have visa on arrival the hard way. Typical entitled American moment thinking I can casually enter any country in the world - but hey, got to see a city I never planned on stopping in. -
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Ended up grabbing this incredible pho from a street vendor and her kids. They were quite excited to have their photo taken - despite it being 6am. FYI - it takes 1-2 days for your Vietnam visa to process

Siem Reap - Ankgor Wat

Flight time: 1 hour || Distance: Phuket --> Siem Reap - 550 miles || Locations: Siem Reap, and Angkor Wat Temple
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This is Angkor Wat - or the “City of Temples” - located in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Stretching over 248 square-miles, this collection of ruins is considered to be the largest religious monument in the world.
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Ticket sales account for over 50% of Cambodia’s yearly international tourism - a point of pride that lead the government to place the temple on Cambodia’s flag in 1850. Built between 1113 and 1150, the construction took an estimated 300,000 workers, 6,000 elephants, 5 million tons of sandstone, and 35 years to complete.
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I spent the past few days exploring the ruins - it was without a doubt the most incredible place I’ve ever had the privilege of visiting.

Phuket - Where all Thai Cultural Authenticity is Ruined by Westerners

Flight time: 1 hour || Distance: Bangkok --> Phuket - 460 miles || Locations: Yanui Beach, Rawai Beach, and Palm Village. 
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Phuket wasn't for me. If spaghetti is served on the menu at most restaurants, I'm out. I had gone in search of small fishing villages rich with generations of Thai tradition to draw from. Man, did I not do my research. Over time, everything local had been pushed inland by the rising cost of rent, food, and real-estate. Foreigners were moving in - opening restaurants at cents on the dollar - and driving restaurants that had been their for generations out of town. Now, American-owned New York Burgers thrives on main street. 
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Because I had no intention of staying anywhere near the beach town my hostel was in - I rented a bike with a few friends from Nova Scotia, and headed to the south of the island. It was there I heard there were some small villages and locals beaches still left to explore. 
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-I must say, it was quite beautiful. White sandy beaches dotted with palm trees bordered lines of bobbing fishing boats in the turquoise Andaman Sea. We stumbled up an oasis tucked away in the crevasse of a mountainside. Only locals here. And it was here that I stayed for three days. A vacation within a vacation. Didn't take many photos: