Our next stop was Nha Trang in Vietnam, this was by the sea and looked absolutely stunning. The hotel we stayed in was called the Blue Sea Hotel, and was much better than we had expected, as the accommodation was not very expensive. Whilst we were there we did part of our “rest and relaxation”, we spent most of our time there sunbathing on the beach (or rather sun burning for me).
We also had the exiting opportunity to go snorkelling. We went with the Rainbow Snorkelling company, I would recommend this as it was very safe. Whilst we were snorkelling we took lots of pictures as I had a waterproof camera!
Towards the end of our stay at Nha Trang, one of the boys began feeling very sick, and had to go to hospital, shortly after that the whole group also became poorly, (but not the same extent as the other boy) food poisoning. This made it incredibly difficult to move on to our next stop, Ho Chi Minh City, but we managed.
Our stay in Ho Chi Minh was definitely not as fun as we had hoped due to the food poisoning. We only managed to go to the markets, which, was not a great idea I must admit, as it was extremely crowded and stuffy. Here we bought souvenirs for our family’s.
Finally it was time to leave, our experience was extremely enjoyable, despite the food poisoning. The journey home wasn’t brilliant, however, once we reached England we were delighted to be home. (even though it was very cold!)
Next we stayed in the S-N hotel, which was close to the jungle we would be trekking in. We spent a night there, where we prepared ourselves for the difficult four days ahead.
The jungle was definitely not what I had expected. It constantly sounded like a building site, as these bugs created a loud; piercing, drilling sound. This made it extremely difficult to sleep, not to mention the stuffy hammock’s we had to sleep in, and the extreme humidity. However the walking was, by far, the worst part. Before I went on the trek I considered myself to be a good walker, but this was very challenging as it often poured down with rain, warm rain.
Towards the end of the trek we stayed in an indigenous village, which was very interesting. We were able to see how they lived with little to no money. They also had their own language.
After the trek everyone was exhausted, we had all been absolutely eaten alive by midges, especially on my arms.
We then stayed another night at the S-N hotel, and prepared ourselves for our next stop, Vietnam.
For four days of our second week we stayed at the New Hope For Cambodia orphanage which was without a doubt the best part of my trip. The Orphanage gave HIV children a home and also medicine. I would recommend to anyone going to this orphanage as it was an amazing experience, meeting all the children and making friends.
whilst we were staying there, our accommodation was amazing, it was defiantly a huge upgrade from “Hells Hotel”. It was absolutely beautiful, the walls of all the buildings were filled with motivational quotes and paintings, the food was also amazing.
Whilst we were at the orphanage we painted and cleaned out rooms to help. I met three girls around my age whilst I was there, the girls were so kind and spoke extremely good English due to the teaching they had at the orphanage. Later on I learned that one of the girls I had met had been through some shocking things whilst she was younger, which now means she is unable to have children because of what these boys at her previous orphanage had done to her. Heart breaking.
On our last night at the orphanage we had a disco, everyone was dancing and enjoying themselves, it was a great note to leave on although when we left the next day it was very emotional. Many of the children gave us little notes and drawings in order to say goodbye, I would definitely love to revisit the orphanage as my time there was amazing and I would love to visit the children we had previously met.
Our next stop was Green Village hotel in Siem Reap. The hotel was lovely and so was the food. There was also a bakery next to the hotel so it made getting lunch and breakfast very easy. Whilst we were in Siem Reap we had a cooking class which was really cool.
We also went to visit the Angkor Wat temple which was beautiful.
We also visited another temple that the Khmer Rouge occupied and actually destroyed, when the French visited they attempted to re build the temple but after they did there were many spare bricks left over that they didn’t know where they were supposed to go, so they just left them all in front of the temple. The week came to and end, and once again we were ready to move on to our next destination, Tanop.
I went to Cambodia on a school trip with world challenge. I had just turned 15, which I now realise was extremely young to go on such an independent trip like this, for four weeks away from home. There were two different teams going from our school, and I was apart of the smallest group (9 kids and also one teacher from our school, and then our world challenge team leader). We had a long bus journey down to London, from there we caught a plane to Singapore and then to Cambodia. We arrived in Cambodia on the 25th of July.
The first hotel we stayed in was interesting to say the least, it was located in Phnom Penh and was named Longlin House which we quickly renamed “Hell’s Hotel”. This was definitely the worst hotel we stayed in for the whole trip. For some reason there were hand prints on the wall in red paint which made it look like blood! Our bathroom was separate from our room and it was extremely dirty, we also caught a strange woman using it!
The first week was quite overwhelming, we experienced our first tuck tuck ride and visited many museums like S-21 and the Killing fields, which I would highly recommend going to see as although they were very emotional, they were very eye opening as I had never hear of Pol Pot before or the struggles Cambodia had been through. We separated our group into three different groups, Travel, Food and Location. This is how we all independently organised: where we were going, how we were getting there, where we were staying and where we were eating. Our favourite place to eat was called “The Noddle” (I think it was supposed to be noodle) they made amazing pho, however one of the girls found a finger nail in her soup, ew! We had a budget for the whole trip, (and also an accountant which was one of the girls in our group as my maths skills are not brilliant) the budget told us that we should spend around three dollars on all of our meals, which actually proved to be quite difficult as the safe places to eat were relatively pricey. At the end of the week we were incredibly exited to leave “Hell’s Hotel” and move on to the Orphanage!
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