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Off to Siem Reap

June 5, 2012 – Ronald and I flew to Siem Reap for a two-week holiday.

June 5, 2012 – At the NAIA terminal 3 waiting for the flight to Siem Reap

Our Cebu Pacific flight left Manila at around 7:00 PM for the two hours and forty minutes flight. Cambodia is one hour behind, and we landed before 10:00 PM +7GMT. Koh, the a staff and tuk-tuk driver from Baca Villa was already waiting for us when we arrived at the exit.


We arranged to meet Vanith, an old friend of Ronald’s whom he met the first time he visited Siem Reap in 2008 or so. He is a professional tour guide and we went to visit the Angkor temple complex and other sites with him on our second week.


Vanitha and Ronald, happy to meet again
Vanitha and Ronald, happy to meet again

I was excited to see Angkor Wat and the Tonle Sap I had read about in books and heard of once or twice in high school history class and in college while studying architecture.

Inside Angkor Wat
Inside Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
At Angkor Wat
Ronald and Vi at Angkor Wat
After climbing lots of stairs around the temple
After climbing lots of stairs around the temple

Before the visit to the famous temples and the largest freshwater lake in southeast Asia, Ronald and I cycled around town the first few days. Siem Reap City is quite small compared to Manila and it felt good to be away from terribly busy traffic and crowded places. It actually felt like being in a countryside back home except for the hotels and shops on National Road No. 6 and Sivutha Road that is. Outside of these two main roads, one can enjoy views of ricefields, palm trees, cows and buffaloes, and more humble dwellings.

After a week of cycling around town in the painful heat, Vi got herself a hat and a long-sleeved top to protect her from the ruthless sun.

On the second day of cycling around we found a school that was looking for a foreigner English teacher. We thought about it overnight, then went back to the school the next day to accept the full-time teaching offer. Within the same week, Ronald also got an offer to do the website for one of the locals who built and maintained swimming pools for a business. We thought it was a good start, and reason enough to stay.

Later after the two weeks came and went, my husband did make it to our flight back to Manila. I didn’t.

Vivien Nyström

Born in 1979 in her hometown of Kiangan, Ifugao in the Philippines, Vi has moved homes too many times. Since 2020 before Austria's first lockdown during the pandemic, she moved to Sweden. She is still in Sweden today.

The Traveling Cats

The Traveling Cats