One of the fastest growing and most ambitious cities on the planet, Dubai will sweep you off your feet. Transformed in just a few decades from a sleepy fishing village to a gleaming modern metropolis, with even grander designs planned for the future, Dubai´s story is one of vision, growth and miraculous metamorphosis.
Phnom Penh, the main and the largest city of Cambodia, home to almost one million inhabitants, is an attractive tourist destination thanks to the infusion of traditional Khmer and French architecture, the Royal Palace, the Riverside nightlife and the beautiful countryside around, including the centrally located Silk Island, which is like a rural oasis of tranquillity the jungle of the big city.
Probably the most famous place in Cambodia to travel to is the city of Siem Reap (very westernized, much more expensive than Phnom Penh, with the famous Old Bridge, Art and Night market and touristy Pubs Street where you find European restaurants, massage studios and hotels as well as backpackers hostels), which is the starting point for a one-day or a three-day visit to the Angkor Wat temple complex, originally a medieval town built in the 9th to 13th century by the rulers of the Khmer Empire. Siem Reap literally means “the Defeat of Thailand”. The city was named as a commemoration of the victorious Khmer battle with the Thai army. From Phnom Penh, you can take a tourist bus (6 hours on the way for 16 USD return), a boat (8 hours and over 110 USD) or a plane (30 mins for 70 USD return) to reach Siem Reap.
You never know how much time you have with someone… that is what my travels are also teaching me… Best to make the most of the present moment…
As the night progressed into day, the first of the fresh new year, I said my goodbye to 2018 and Australia, and a hello to 2019 and a move on… to Cambodia. I never expected myself to travel to this country, never felt any need or calling. Until recently. So, it just happened so. Even though people around warned me of the poverty, criminality, dirtiness and the heavy energy caused by the recent genocide carried out by the Khmer Rouge regime (inflicting a population loss of around 1.800 million people, i.e. around a quarter of Cambodia’s 1975 population, in between 1975 to 1979), I decided to set off for this new journey, becoming a yoga teacher in a yoga resort (called Bohemiaz) in Phnom Penh.
What comes to my mind immediately in association with Cairns is The Great Barrier Reef, World Heritage Tropical Rainforest, strong Aboriginal spirit and stretches of beautiful beaches you can sunbathe at or have picnics at, but cannot actually swim at most of them – so it is like standing by a spring of water, thirsty, unable to drink.
Rebecca, Hartley and Carlos are my new family members. I am living in their luxurious big house (in a small suburb in Baringa, Bell´s Creek, near Caloundra, Sunshine Coast); sometimes they drive me to places in their big cars and we have shared some big experiences together as they like throwing big parties.
Just like San Francisco became the “must” for the US hippies in the 60´s and 70´s, Byron Bay has become one for the Australians – and holds the status till the present days for many xpats too.
I came to Australia for various reasons, but as I know now, one of them was to connect myself with the shamanic, Aboriginal spirit that pervades the country.
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and Oceania of about five million Sydneysiders. It remains one of the richest areas in Australia in terms of Aboriginal archaeological sites – no wonder, since indigenous Australians have inhabited the Sydney area for at least 30,000 years. Their spirit is tangible everywhere and it would be silly to try to deny that.