Hello everyone! After a nice couple of weeks off, it’s time to get back to school and begin Tri 5 and Phase II of the DC program down here in Florida! I am excited to get into the clinical sciences and take my acupuncture course as well. It will be a busy start to the trimester, as most of my classmates and I are taking Part 1 of our National Board Exams after the first week of classes, so we are all busy with final preparations for that.
As for the winter holidays, I hope that all the readers out there had a safe and happy holiday season and Happy New Year! My family and I were lucky enough to take a trip all together to Cambodia! We started our trip with a few days in Bangkok, Thailand where we visited Wat Arun, Wat Pho (home of the Reclining Buddha), the Floating Market, and a cobra farm where locals raise and milk snakes for anti-venom research and development. I found Bangkok beautiful and bustling and was amazed by the wide range of things to see and do as we barely scratched the surface over our few days.
From Bangkok, we spent a little over a week in Cambodia. We spent the most time in Siem Reap staying in a hotel about a half-mile from the downtown night market and Pub Street. We spent three days touring the temple ruins of Angkor Wat, Bantai Srey, Tah Prahm, and the other many locations in the area. The temples were beautiful and it was amazing how intricate the carvings on every wall were. We walked so much over the few days and were sore and exhausted, but thankfully there’s a massage parlor every 100 feet or so in downtown Siem Reap offering $8, 90-minute, full- body massages to which we treated ourselves each day that we spent at the ruins.
To close up our time in Siem Reap we spent two days relaxing by the hotel pool and signed up to take a Cambodian cooking class! We spent one afternoon at a local restaurant learning to make local dishes including spring rolls, Khemr curry, and mango sticky rice. They were all so good I can’t wait to try making the dishes back home!
After Siem Reap, we went to Phnom Penh (Cambodia’s capital) for the last two days of our trip. We spent our first day checking out the independence monument and a few microbreweries in the city, but our last day there was a little somber as we visited the killing fields and S-21 where the Khemer Rouge detained, tortured and murdered millions of innocent Cambodians just a few decades ago. Although the museums and sites were graphic and disturbing, I think it is incredibly important to learn about these events in history and be able to tell others about the experience, and I am very glad that we went.
I closed out the last few days of my winter break at home in Albuquerque hanging out with friends and family, fighting jet lag, and enjoying all the green chile I could eat!