The Ancient Temples of Angkor Wat
Trip Start Feb 17, 2010
27Trip End Feb 23, 2011
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After abotu 4 hours sleep I booked a ticket to Cambodia for the next day, as I would have had to leave immediately if I were to go the same day! So a day wondering around the shopping centres of Bangkok filled my day quite nicely
The transport to Cambodia was in a mini bus, and was about 6 hours to the border crossing. The bus stopped about 2 miles before the boarder and the driver got us to fill in our visa forms etc. He then tried to take 1200 Baht (£24) from everyone to pay for the visa! I was having none of it, as I knew for a fact that you could get the visa on the Cambodian side for only $20 (£12) The guy tried to insist but gave up when I stood my ground (helped by the fact that I didn't actually have any Thai Baht left! Sure enough at the border I got my visa for $20.
I thought that once I had the visa I was good to go, as when I walked through the check point I was on a street, however this street just led to the REAL border where I had to wait another hour and a half just to get my passport stamped (although there was a 200 baht option to skip the queue, which I decided was too much!) So it took about 3 hours in total to get into Cambodia. The next option was to wait 1 hr to get a 5hr bus journey to Siam Reap or to pay $5 and get a taxi that would take 2hrs.... I decided that I had enough waiting in 40oC heat, and went for the air-con taxi.
Cambodia was sooo different from Thailand, I was really surprised. The landscape seemed more barren and almost African looking with its red sand and scrub land. Siam Reap was pretty cool though, they had a night market which sold all sorts of tourist tat and I got a "seeing hands massage" from a blind person! It was brilliant! - Much better than the Thai massage I got in Thailand.
The next day I did the 1 day trip around the temples of Angkor Wat - They were pretty impressive, although by the end of it I was well and truly temple'd out
This was definitely one of my favourite places, and I could easily have spent a week here... but there were other adventures to be had.
By the way for those people heading to Siam Reap - My favourite bar was called Angkor What? They had a sign behind the bar saying "This is not a tourist office, so shut up and drink" ... I liked their style!