16 october - 6 november 2004
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I came back to Bangkok 6 years since my last visit to participate a congress with the group of representatives of the of voluntary associations of which I make part.
During the week of permanence to Bangkok after attending the congress sessions I was able to take a look for the city that doesn't stop fascinating me with his atmosphere that remember me so much that of Blade Runner.
I found a city developed and modernized (perhaps also too much) with a lot of skyscrapers, roads in construction and the subway that it makes a little bit easier moving around avoiding the chaotic traffic; little note, the traffic is really chaotic, a day I tried to time the time of wait for a red light: 13 minutes!!! In this whole chaos the motorists are not been upset leastly, in fact I have never hear a horn play!!!
I have to say that I must appreciate and admire the extreme positiveness, serenity and gentleness of Thai people; certainly if our society took some lessons of life from these place we would live really better.
Ended the congress we finally started the vacation, destination Cambodia; first stage: Phnom Penh. From some photos and movies I saw I expected a city with a “decadent” atmosphere instead we found a quite modern city. The poverty is very evident as unfortunately the great number of mutilated persons by the mines that today unfortunately still do innocent victims.
Absolutely disconcerting the visit of the Toul Sleng Meseum (S21) and of the Choeung Ek Memorial (Killing Fields) where during the Red Kmers dictatorship have been tortured and slaughtered thousand and thousand of persons (even children).
Interesting the visit of the Real Palace, considering that from there to some day have been crowned the new King some zones of the building were closed for the jobs of preparation of the ceremony but fortunately we have succeeded to visit the Silver Pagoda.
Really beautiful the markets, decidedly “particular” the banquet with cambodian culinary specialty: fried insects and spiders; I knew of these delicious and we departed with the intention to try them but as soon as we saw a girl bite a big spider we change mind.
Funny the style of guide, you "jump" in the continuous traffic with the other motorists that simply avoid you.
After a couple of days to Phnom Penh (that I would say enough) we directed toward the main destination of our trip: the mythical temples of Angkor.
Very nice the pension that I had booked by internet, all in wood with a nice veranda, after a fast bargaining we granted with the driver that had come to pick up in the airport and that has proven a serious and affordable person.
We opted for the 3 days pass for the access to the temples area, it has revealed a good choice for our tastes considering that we succeeded to take a good idea of this wonder. The visit of the temples is decidedly binding, a little bit for the very hot and damp climate and mainly because is necessary literally to climb the structures scrambling him for steep and narrow staircases, so much that I preferred to avoid in some cases. The temples I liked me more are surely that of Angkor, even if literally assaulted by the visitors (sinned to not have succeeded in visiting it to the dawn), that of Bayon, and then Angkor Thom absorbed and submerged by the forest.
I liked a lot Siem Reap, above all its very quite atmosphere even if I think that this place will become sooner or later a kind of Disneyland.
After the binding week in Cambodia we returned in Thailand to pass the last 5 days of the trip to relax us on the island of Ko Samet; we thought to get bored to stay a week in the beach instead we had very good time and the time has unfortunately flown. Samet is still a little beaten destination from the tourism, the week-end however it is become populated of local tourists and therefore there is quite a lot movement. In the evening the restaurants on the beach prepare the tables directly on sand creating a beautiful atmosphere and they cook fresh fish selected directly from their counter.
The sea it is beautiful but not spectacular as the white beach, sin that the big motorboats and the water-scooters wander around up to shore creating decidedly dangerous situations. You can visit the islets in the outskirts with varied excursions but at the end we preferred to stay in the beach and therefore no excursions.
Undoubtedly this has been one of the trips that I appreciated more, for the beautiful places, the environment, the company, the met persons and surely won't be my last visit in the land of smile!!!
Copyright © 2005 Giuseppe Ruperto. All rights reserved.