Trying Weird & Exotic Foods in Siem Reap

weird foods in cambodia

Cambodia is like a mecca of weird foods. It's the only place I've ever been where crickets and tarantula make it onto the menu. I've had a lot of people ask me "why?" Why try these very weird delicacies? For starters, I have a when in Rome policy. I like to experience the world the way the locals do. Sometimes that means trekking through the fields of Myanmar until there is no cell service. Sometimes it means sitting in silence for 10 days with monks. Other times, it means eating a giant...

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Surviving the Mt. Rinjani Summit in Indonesia

Mt Rinjani Summit Trek Indonesia Lombok

It’s 2:00am and the clatter of groggy people moving around half asleep fills the air. The word coffee is whispered multiple times, and a bright flashlight shines into my cozy tent. It’s time to get up. I’m wearing as many clothes as I have with me, and it’s still freezing. With my headlamp on, I look around. Today, me and about a hundred other tourists will try to summit Mt. Rinjani.

Mt. Rinjani is an active volcano on the island of Lombok in Indonesia. It stands at 12,224 feet....

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Biking to Tonle Sap Lake in Siem Reap

Tonle Sap Lake Siem Reap Cambodia Bike Ride

Before arriving in Siem Reap, I'd heard mixed reviews about Tonle Sap Lake. Some said it was beautiful, while others described it as a tourist trap. After talking to a few people, I felt deterred in going. At the same time, I had planned a few extra days in the area and was a little tired of temples. My friend Kam suggested we rent bikes and head toward the lake, but skip the boat rides and tourist attractions that waited at the other end. Sometimes it's the journey and not the destination...

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Visiting the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh

Visiting Cambodia Killing Fields S21 Prison

Please note that this post may contain disturbing images and stories. I'd like to mention that I felt very conflicted about taking these photos. Often times I took a photo while tears welled up in my eyes. I'm even having trouble hitting publish on this post. That being said, the people of Cambodia have chosen to display these images and remains so that people can learn their history, and so that history never repeats...

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Angkor Wat Photo Essay

angkor wat siem reap

There are some places in the world that I could write about for days, and there are others that are best seen in photos. Angkor Wat is the latter. Constructed in the 12th century, this once Hindu temple was later converted to a Buddhist temple. It's now a major tourist attraction and the largest religious monument in the world. Angkor Wat is actually the name of the main temple, but the surrounding areas feature over 50 smaller temples. In the western world, this place is most known for...

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Totally Relatable Words of Wisdom from a Thai Monk

wise words from a monk

I think the western world has a weird fascination with monks. From afar they seem to be these superior beings full of knowledge and wisdom. You half expect them to sound like Yoda when they talk. So when a monk talks to you about taking a dump in the toilet it takes you a little by surprise.

Recently, I attended a silent retreat in southern Thailand where a monk of 30 years gave us a lecture once a day. I imagined these lectures to be informative and probably a little boring. I didn’t...

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The 9 Hardest Things About a Silent Retreat

Immediately after leaving my retreat, I was bombarded with one simple question. “How was it?” Three teeny tiny words, yet it was an impossible question to answer. Honestly it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done mentally, but saying that sounds like such an exaggeration. The ironic thing is that being silent wasn’t hard at all. In fact, that was the easiest part. So what was so hard about it?

1. Showing Loving Kindness

This sounds so lovely doesn’t it? It’s two...

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Finding My Truth in 10 Days of Silence

finding my truth in 10 days of silence

Originally, I had planned to write a guide of what a silent retreat is like based on the day-to-day activities. You can read about that here, but I don’t think a guide could ever prepare someone for what a silent retreat is really like. Almost everyone I spoke to before leaving wanted me to update them on how it went, and there’s really no way to put it into just a few words. No brief explanation could ever sum up the pain, the joy, the irrational anger, or ultimately what I...

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What to Expect During a 10 Day Silent Retreat

I don’t exactly remember when I decided I wanted to attend a 10-day silent retreat. I think I read about one online and found the idea challenging and exciting all at once. The idea stuck, and soon it made it onto my bucket list. I decided on Wat Suan Mokkh in southern Thailand, which is extremely well known to Buddhist all over Thailand. On the website is a schedule, but without any past experience it was hard to know what it actually meant. I thought I’d share exactly what happens in...

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Learning Muay Thai aka Kicking People with My Shins

I'm officially making my mom proud by taking a class where I learn to kick some booty. I think the proper term would be "self defense", but that doesn't sound nearly as fun. Learning Muay Thai is probably one of the best workouts and therapy anyone could ask for. This form of martial arts originated in the 16th century during battles. One particular fighter was so great, that when he was captured they offered to let him fight for his freedom. After winning, he became famous and the style of...

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