After leaving Boracay, I headed back to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I spent one fun night in the city where I took a sunset cruise on the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers, people watched at the night market and sat down for a delicious dinner.
The next day I headed out of town for another yoga retreat. Unfortunately this one was not near the intensity of the first retreat and was really more like a hotel that offered a couple of yoga classes per day. It lacked the sense of community and all spirituality, but luckily I was able to connect with a couple other like-minded souls who were also disappointed and we banned together to make it better!
The first person I met was Gerbrand, an amazing Dutch artist. We shared a relaxing evening together having dinner, a few drinks, and then he pulled out his art supplies! What? Who travels with all of this fun stuff…..I will definitely add some paper and colored pencils to my next pack! Late in the evening, another yogi arrived, Simon from Germany. He sat down and chatted with us while we were creating and we quickly became friends. Things were starting to come together!
The following day, I had setup a ride to see S-21 and The Killing Fields. It was an emotional day, seeing the prison and the grave sites of so many who were killed during the Khmer Rouge under the ruling of Polpot from 1975 – 1979. This all really hit home and seemed so close being that I was born in 75 and my brother in 79. It was an awful time in Cambodia that is still affecting many today. So many families were torn apart and 3 million of the 8 million living in Cambodia were killed by their own people.
After I arrived back at the retreat, I reconnected with Simon, who invited me to go along with him the next day on a photo excursion with a professional photographer. Perfect! We had an amazing day starting with some camera/photo lessons, then a walk around a local market area, a ferry to Diamond Island on the other side of the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers, and then back to town. Here are some of my favorite shots!
When I completed the week at the retreat and the first night of the Khmer New Year, I headed back into Central Phnom Penh to celebrate the last couple days of the New Year’s Party. It was so much fun!!! Dancing all day and late into the night!! Most of the businesses shut down for 3-5 days so everyone can celebrate. Many go home to their hometowns, but those who stay party in the streets, along the river, at the temples, and in their homes….I checked ’em all out 💃🏻!
This was the perfect ending to another amazing adventure in SE Asia! I can always count on Cambodia!
So, it’s back to Denver for a reality check! Until next time, Cheers and Hugs!!