Trip Start Jul 02, 2012
58Trip End Oct 04, 2012
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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!
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..
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.