The last month has been all about being cursed.

I spent the majority of my time in Cambodia, and while I’ve had a truly incredible time here, I’ve had more than my fair share of struggles too.

Upon entering the country, I paid for a visa that they forgot to put in my passport, I was then sent upstairs at the airport to a darkened room because they thought I was a transit passenger and then they lost my departure card and stapled someone else’s to my passport.

And so the curse began…

After a few days of catching up on work in Phnom Penh, I decided to head straight down to the coast. I had planned to spend my month relaxing on a beach in Cambodia and I found the perfect place in Sihanoukville.

Pappa Pippo on Otres Beach, Sihanoukville

Otres Beach was Southeast Asian beach paradise I had been hunting for in Thailand and was unable to find. It was cheap, it was quiet, there were hardly any touts, there was fast wifi and I was living in an adorable bungalow on the beach, ten metres away from the ocean. I couldn’t have been happier.

…And then this happened.

Back attacked by sand flies

And then this happened. 

Wound on Lauren's knee

And then this happened.

Lauren's sprained and swollen ankle

While on Otres Beach, I managed to get sick and spend the entire night throwing up. The following morning I went for a swim in the sea only to find myself surrounded by dozens of jellyfish. My worst nightmare. It was terrifying and I’m grateful that I somehow managed to escape unscathed.

However, the curse had yet to truly take hold.

A few days later, I took a boat over to the incredible Cambodian island of Koh Rong.

secluded beach on Koh Rong, Cambodia

I had never seen sand so white and soft, water so warm and clear. There were only a few guesthouses on the island, meaning that a twenty minute walk would bring you to a kilometre stretch of sand with literally nobody else around. It was the definition of paradise.

… If paradise was swarming in sandflies. 

The photo of what looks like an acne ridden back above is in fact the amount of sand fly bites I received on my back during a few hours on a beach. Now imagine that covering my entire body. Yep.

A few days later I, of course, had an allergic reaction to the bites and they all swelled up into incredibly itchy pus-filled blisters. I looked so good!

When it came to my final day in Koh Rong, I spent most of the day swimming in the sea in an attempt to heal my sand fly bites. Upon returning back onto the beach to sunbathe, I felt an… unusual sensation in my bikini bottoms. Carefully making sure that nobody else was around, I had a quick peek down and was mortified to discover that yes, I had a fish flapping around my vagina.

How does that even happen?!

Kong Rong, Cambodia

Fish not pictured…

Although I loved staying on Koh Rong, I was more than a little relieved to be heading back to the mainland so that I could get away from all the sand flies! I couldn’t wait to start healing up so that I could enjoy the rest of Cambodia.

…And then I fell off a kerb, severely sprained my ankle and ripped all of the skin off my knee (both incidents pictured above).

I cannot remember the last time I’ve ever been in so much pain. I could not walk for a week. And then it didn’t help that a few days later the enormous wound on my knee became infected and refused to start healing. (Now, three weeks later, it’s just started to heal and my ankle is still extremely swollen and tender.)

It was around this time that I started to wonder if I was Cursed in Cambodia. I know that it’s a common theme for ridiculous things to happen to me while I travel, but this was getting tedious.

I spent five days resting and struggling to walk in the wonderful and relaxing towns of Kampot and Kep and when it was time to leave I finally began to feel like my string of bad luck was over…

… And then I poured a margarita on my laptop. My $2000 laptop that I bought just 4 months ago. My laptop that is not insured or covered for liquid damage. My laptop that I need to work on every single day.

Thank god I was leaving the country in two days time.

Sunset on Otres Beach

The incredible sunset on our final night on Otres Beach, Sihanoukville.

On a much more positive note, I have to say that despite all of the terrible things that happened to me over the last month, I left Cambodia desperate to return and having decided that it is now my favourite country in the world.

I think that shows just how amazing this country is… 


Onto the statistics for the month!

Distance travelled: 1,930 km

Countries visited: 2

Cambodia, Thailand

Cities visited: 6

Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Koh Rong, Kampot, Kep, Bangkok, Sukhothai

Number of photos taken: 1492

Number of flights: 1

Number of buses: 8

Number of boats: 2

Money spent:

Cambodia: £666 over 28 days = £23.79/day

Yep. It hasn’t escaped my notice that while Cursed in Cambodia, I managed to spend £666 exactly…

Thailand: £35 over 3 nights = £11.67

Total amount spent: £701/$1115


The next month:

I am so excited for the next month of travel. First of all, I’ll be heading back to Chiang Mai, my former home, tomorrow! I can’t wait to revisit all of my favourite food places, eat scary food at the night market and catch up with all of my travel blogging friends. My main reason for returning to Chiang Mai, however, is for Yi Peng – the huge lantern festival where thousands of lanterns are released into the air at once. I can’t wait!

After Chiang Mai, I’ll be flying into Saigon for my first visit to Vietnam! I won’t be visiting the usual tourist destinations this time around though – instead I’ll be jumping on the back of a scooter and spending two weeks riding south and exploring the Mekong Delta. I have absolutely no idea what to expect from this but if it’s anything like the last scooter road trip I did in Northern Thailand then it’ll be pretty incredible!


Looking to follow along with my travels through my monthly summaries? You can read the previous month’s summary here, the next month’s summary here, or head on over to the monthly summary page to read from the very beginning!

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