Trip Start Jan 25, 2006
14Trip End Jul 20, 2006
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We then headed out to the killing fields. Our first sight was of the tower of skulls that were found in the fields. There are still large areas of the killing fields that have not been searched as they do not have enough money to do anymore at the moment
After this we preceded to the Russian market for some light relief for us girls and more torture of shopping for Billy who was still complaining about the dead people on his feet. After dragging him around for 1.5 hours and getting a few souveniers (including another new hat for me as I have lost 3!) we put him out of his misery by going back to the hotel and letting him wash the dead people off his feet! Much happier he then joined us for a walk along the river to take pictures before showering and having dinner and drinks.
The next morning we headed off early on a 4 hour bus journey to Sihanoukville to sun ourselves on the beach. However, it rained the whole journey there which wasn't looking great. On our arrival, the rain stopped and the sun came out so we headed to some very nice, but basic bungalows on the beach. We spent most of the day sunbathing, although Billy felt ill so he went and laid down for a few hours. He attempted his dinner but couldn't eat it (a first I know!) so being the good wife that I am I ate both of our meals. Not bad for a girl who was at this point on her 7th day of constipation. My new philosophy is if it won't budge naturally push it out with loads of food! Billy went to bed early whilst Gill and I sat up drinking and playing cards and pass the pig until late.
I was pleased to find the next day that my new philosophy works - yippee. Billy was also feeling better. We chilled out on the balcony and in the bar, whilst Gill went for a walk and got soaked in the rain. We all left to go back to Phnom Penh at lunchtime. We had dinner and then went to bed early setting our alarms for 2am to watch the England v Sweden game - dedication!
We left early the next day to see the Royal Palace and silver pagoda before setting off for Siem Reap on a 5 hour bus journey. We had paid a bit more to have a better coach, but it ended up not being as good as the one to Sihanoukville as the airconditioning was non-existent so we just sweated the whole way. Our first impressions of Siem Reap were not great as there were lots of flying cockroaches and grasshoppers and it seemed very dirty. However, we booked into a nice, clean hotel had dinner and then chilled.
The next morning we hired a tuk tuk for the day to take us around the main temples at Angkor. We started at Angkor Thom (the big city) and walked around here and the elephant terrace as well as the terrace of the leper king. We were constantly badgered by people selling whilst here which is the norm. Cambodia is the poorest country in Asia and the people are generally desperate to get any money they can. They are generally polite and quite funny and as long as you are patient with them it can be rewarding as they are definitely the most friendly people that we have met. Obviously Gill and I brought some things from them as it is shopping after all!
We then went to Ta Promh where the film and computer game 'Tomb Raider' was filmed. We really liked it here. The trees have taken over most of the ruins as you can see from the picture. We had lunch here before moving onto Angkor Wat itself. It is a spectacular sight to behold as you walk over the bridge. We spent 3 hours in here on a baking hot day. We wish that we had got a guide, but they were only available if you booked through a hotel, we found out to late!
From here we headed up loads of narrow steps to Phnom Bakheng for a sunset. We had been told that it shows Angkor Wat in beautiful orange shades. Unfortunately, it was too cloudy to get any kind of sunset and the rain was starting to set in so we hot footed it down the stairs to get to the tuk tuk before getting soaked. We then headed back to the hotel shattered as we had been looking around temples for 12 hours. We had showers and dinner and planned what temples to go to the next day. Gill also informed us that we were leaving our hotel the next day as she was treating us to a room and dinner at a flash hotel which was lovely of her
The next day we started at the kings swimming pool before going onto the lady temple. Billy was very good with the children selling there. We were all given free braclets from them and Billy taught them some more capitals of cities to impress visitors with (if they can name the capital you have to by something, e.g. postcards!). Unfortunately it was raining heavily by the time we got to the lady temple, but like true Brits we still went round it. I didn't feel great after this and seem to be coming down with a cold. However, I was soon cheered up and we went back to the hotel and collected our luggage to book into the hotel Gill had selected. I have to say it is the best hotel I have ever stayed in. It was 5* and where Angelina Jolie went to have her spa treatments when she was filming. We got a free massage each with the room which we booked for the next day and there was a 200m swimming pool. The rooms had 4 poster beds in them and a jacuzzi bath. I must say it is a hardship backpacking! We spent the rest of the day lounging around the pool and chilling before going out for dinner and watching some traditional Khymer dancing which was very enjoyable. Siem Reap had definitely grown on us all and we agreed that Cambodia had been the best part of our adventure together.
Our last day all together started with a very large breakfast fit for a king
Hope this finds everyone well and sorry it was so long,
All the best
Sarah & Paul