Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Trip Start Jun 27, 2005
Trip End Sep 01, 2006

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Monday, August 22, 2005

Tilly had heard the stories about deep fried spiders being a local popular Cambodian dish and although she suffered from the usual arachnophobia's, decided it was a 'must see'. We had been in Cambodia for a while now and Tilly was a little despondent that she hadn't seen any to date. We were happily sitting on the sweaty bus journey from Phnom Penh to Siam Reap, with a family of 5 taking up 2 seats in front and many fruit/weird object eaters taking up other seats, no baby bears and live chickens in bags though like our friends! The bus pulled in at a roadside cafe and we stepped off the bus to be met with the usual 'pineapple lady' 'you buy from me lady' kids. As Tilly looked across, one of the little girls had the hairiest black spider stuck to her top, almost like an ornamental brooch. After bartering to use the toilet we returned to the street stalls and there they were loads of our furry friends in bowls, alive, whilst their brothers and sisters were being cooked in a wok behind. One of the little girls dipped her hand into the bowl of spiders and must have had about 15 climbing up her arm. As one of the girls pretended to throw one at Tilly I decided enough was enough and it was back to the coach for me. The locals however bought them in bag loads and munched on them happily for the rest of journey whilst we tried not to put our feet on the floor for fear of them still being alive!

On arrival at Siam Reap our bus was hounded by hundreds of taxi touts trying to grab custom from the western tourists onboard. For these locals, the chance of striking a relation with you there and then, could often mean a few days work as a guide around the Ankor Wat ruins. Luckily we had pre-arranged to stay at Happy's sister guesthouse in Siam Reap and therefore had an escort waiting for us on arrival.

Later we headed into town for dinner with the group we had been traveling with. We had a look at a restaurant named Dead Fish where there were loads of live alligators in a huge pit in and around the dining area! Pretty scary as you had to cross over a little bridge over the pits to get to the toilets.

On our way back a street kid came up to Tilly and I asking for a dollar. He continued to follow us holding on to Tilly's hand and persisting in his quest for a Dollar? I decided to hold onto his other hand and Tilly and I began to swing him as we walked along. The little lad soon caught on and jumped in the air and span inside himself as we swung loving every minute of it, and then asking for another swing. Needless to say, he soon forgot about the dollar and begged for a swing instead.
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