Cambodia

Trip Start Sep 01, 2005
1
6
108
Trip End Jul 08, 2014


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Where I stayed
Angkor Guest House

Flag of Cambodia  ,
Wednesday, October 26, 2005

7 weeks after arriving we left Koh Phangan reluctantly, but happy knowing we would meet friends the following day in Bangkok. Our journey from K.P. to BKK was pretty straightforward this time - we took the boat to Surat Thani (mainland) and then a 2nd class sleeper train to BKK, meaning we arrived at 7am. A TukTuk to Khao San Rd, a spot of breakfast, and we checked into a room for a few nights. For less money than we were paying in KP we got aircon & a hot (well, warm) shower. No beach though.

Spending 2 days with Clare & David gave us a chance to swap stories on our trips so far as they'd just spent 6 weeks travelling through India. It was nice too to see faces we knew again. It's cool meeting new people all the time and all that, but sometimes a friendly face from home is just what you need!
I have to admit that even after watching "Supersize Me" 3 times over the previous week, McDonald's got the better of us one day in BKK. Let's hope that's the last time.

From Bangkok, we left for the Cambodian border on Friday 21st at about 7am. The trip to the border was ok and we stopped for lunch about 11.30 just before crossing the border. The border itself wasn't too much hassle. It just meant getting off our bus, walking through the midday heat with our packs for an undetermined length of time, waiting on a kerb for some others to arrive, a really confusing immigration form to complete, another walk through a dirty street, sweating like nobody's business, another wait, another form, another walk and then....... THE BUS RIDE FROM HELL!!
Once on Cambodian soil, we began to remember all the stories of this dreaded roadtrip from Poipet (Cambodian border town) to Siem Reap, and wondered if they were true. They were.
The road was as if bouncing bombs had been dropped every 20 yards or so, and our bus was using the whole width of the road just to avoid the potholes. The trouble was, so were ALL the other vehicle on this road! . There was not even 100m of tarmac on this road altogether. 156km took us 10 hours.

On our first proper night there the guy running our guesthouse (who actually turned out to be a personal bodyguard for the Cambodian Prime Minster, no bull) asked if anyone wanted to play football that evening. Obviously with John missing his Tuesday night fix of footie his hand went straight up so off we went to the local stadium. All the pitches we being used so we ended up having a kickaround amongst ourselves with about 20 cambodian kids aged between 9 and 15 or so. A really good laugh and the kids loved beating a 6ft english bloke and his white friends!
When we got back we ordered dinner - Happy Pizza. Excellent pizza, great taste, but for some reason the more we ate, the hungrier we became. Bizarre.....

When we got here Lou had problems with a mozzie bite on her toe. It had become infected and her foot swelled up so we went to a clinic to have it cleaned & dressed. The doctor gave her some antibiotics (not happy, as this meant no booze for a week!) and also some drops for an infection in her ear. Both of these have now cleared up and we're raring to go again.
Siem Reap is a small town/city but with one huge tourist attraction - Angkor. Angkor is a series of about 25 ruined temples built over 1000 years ago. The largest and main temple is Angkor Wat, which is still the largest religious building in the world. We'll add photos of Angkor but we're not going to bore you with history so maybe you could "google" it or something. Anyway, very impressive, very old, very hot and a good day out. On the way there we visited Siem Reap zoo and saw poorly-kept animals ranging from crocs, monkeys, birds, hogs and more monkeys.

For 12 dollars we got our own tuktuk driver for the day and he took us to see the floating village. Now we've heard of floating markets before but never a whole village, but this village actually floats 10km downstream as the summer waters rise, then 10km back when they subside 4 months later. While out on the boat you can see what conditions the people live in. Honestly it was like a rubbish dump in the water, right underneath their house/shack/raft and little kids would paddle furiously up to the boat in what seemed to be woks(?) begging for money. We put plenty of smiles on plenty of faces with the sweets we'd brought with us.

We'll write more when we reach the capital, Phnom Penh.
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