Siem Reap

Trip Start Jul 02, 2012
1
46
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Trip End Oct 04, 2012


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Flag of Cambodia  , Siem Reap,
Sunday, September 16, 2012

After a morning at home, Rebecca dropped us at the airport for our flight to Cambodia at 2.45pm. Changi airport is such a breeze to go through however with only carry on bags for this trip, I was a little nervous that I would have inadvertently packed something that would be confiscated. As we approached the screening conveyor belts, Michael looked at me very seriously and said, please don't lose anything more of mine Mum. Oh dear, what a reputation!

Happily we breezed through and soon we were off on a comfortable Jetstar flight to Siem Reap just 2 hours away. As we flew in, it was clear that we were visiting during the monsoon season, the fields were flooded in many areas and there was surface water everywhere.

Arriving at the airport, we joined the queue to get our visas which involved filling in forms, then taking our passports, forms and USD20 each up to the counter where they were taken and then handed one by one down a line of officials. After passing through the hands of about ten people we received them back, stamped and completed!

Our hotel concierge was at the entrance to meet us and once we were settled in the car he handed us cold flannels and ice cold bottles of water..very nice. The ride to our hotel was fascinating and a real eye opener. The majority of vehicles on the road were tuk tuks and motorbikes. The motorbikes often had 3 or 4 people on them with kids tucked in between their parents. We counted a family of 9 on one very overcrowded tuk tuk. There we're cows on the side of the road most of the way in to town and the side of the road was muddy from the recent rain and full of litter.

As we turned in to the road that lead to our hotel, we had to drive through 2 very deep ruts in the road that were filled with water - one was more like a ford than a puddle! Pulling up to the hotel there must have been 6 or 7 staff the to greet us. Our doors were opened, everyone was bowing and smiling and we were taken inside, brought drinks and taken to our lovely room which was refreshingly cool. The hotel is in the colonial French style, has only recently been renovated and is beautifully done.

After settling in, we went down and climbed in the hotel tuk tuk and our driver took us in to town for dinner. All the tuk tuks are towed by motorbikes and after negotiating the very rough road out to the street, including going through the ford, we joined the throngs of other motorbikes and tuk tuks and made our way in to town.

It was a great trip. So much to see, point at, exclaim about. I loved the woman who rode past on her motorbike chatting away on her phone which was wedged between her ear and her helmet so she was hands free! We saw a wee toddler tucked in to her mothers carrier basket on the front of the bike. And of course lots of overloaded bikes racing along, many with no helmets.

It's hard to know what the road rules are. Tuk tuks drive in the middle of the road until a car or bus toots enough and then the move to the side so the car can pass. If you want to turn you just start moving in that direction, no indication and no waiting for a break in the traffic. Somehow everyone seems to be able to weave in and out without crashing..

We were dropped in to the middle of town near the famous 'Pub Street' and we had a lovely dinner at the first restaurant we came to after being convinced by one then another and finally a third staff member that we should go in. The service was excellent, the food delicious and the lizards running freely over the walls as we watched the street below us all added to the great atmosphere.

Our driver returned to pick us up and off we headed, only to stop halfway back when the tuk tuk broke down and with much apologising, our driver flagged down another tuk tuk who took us the rest of the way.

With an early start in the morning we turned in, full of stories of the day and excited about what lies ahead tomorrow.
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Comments

Jo Souness on

Wow The Green Family having a blast now in Cambodia love the tuk tuks they so cool how bout bringing one home to West Melton!!! A lazy way to exercise the dogs and no doubt they would enjoy a ride.
1/2 inch of rain fell yesterday very welcome.
Sun shining today Bevan just delivered a lamb 2nd in a week hoggets producing huge singles so cute.
Luv Jo

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