Trip Start Dec 07, 2012
20Trip End Mar 27, 2012
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Going to Siem Reap.
We left at 7 a.m from Nature Beach Resort to go to Siem Reap which they told us would take around 11 hours. We got picked up by the minivan that would bring us to the border but first we had to take the Ferry to get to the mainland where we arrived at 9:30.
After a long ride we arrived at the border at 12:30 where we were dropped at a restaurant where they arranged our visa, this took an hour and a half. The visa costed us around 25$ p/p. We were than driven to the Thai border in another van where we had to cue up for an hour. One's gone through this side, we had to walk about 500 m. through no-mans land with casino's and obviously tax free diamond shops (weird to see these top quality and beautiful clean buildings and shops in between these two poor sides) up till the Cambodian side. Then we had to cue up for about 3 hours to get our visa stamped !!!! Horrible but what the heck, you start talking to all the people in the cue and you make the best of it. (What you can do is pay a certain amount and walk through, we didn't as we had a ticket with a fix bus, so we would have to wait anyway) Meanwhile we met some friendly Danish people and were chit chatting away !
One's we arrived at the other side we HAD (Cambodian rules) to take a local bus where we would find the bus to Siem Reap. The so called guide that walks you from one side to the other side explains you all kind of rubbish about having to change money etc. in a so called "official bank" and not being able to pay with credit cards. We exchanged some but not much which was good as the rate they gave was less than in town and in more than one place we paid with credit card. Actually thinking of writing a mail to the Cambodian Embassy to explain them this scam !
Finally we got on our bus to town and got there around 21:30. We than got a tuk tuk to our Hotel called Avie Moryiya which we had booked via booking.com. Nice and clean rooms, all we need ! (Just the included breakfast is small but there enough stuff that you can order extra) The owner is called Luca and is from Genoa, friendly, helpful guy who booked all our further trips. At the end the trip took us around 15 hours, slightly different from the 11 hours they told us !!! We took a shower and quickly went for a small bite and went to bed !!!
Luca arranged us a Tuk Tuk for the day for 15$, great fun to be driven around in one of those especially to cool down after a few hours of walking in and around a temple sight and he would drive us between one temple and the other, sometimes quite a distance.
Angkor Wat (build by the Kmer) is one of the seven wonders on the original list like The Taj Mahal, Machu Pichu and the Chinese Wall and protected by Unesco. It is the biggest temple out of around 700 temples surrounding it on the sight which used to be a important city. The total protected sight is around 400 square km. We have been here 7 years ago on the trip where we've met each other (so romantic :-) And we are real happy to be here again, it's so incredible impressive, enormous and beautiful that you can stay days and still not have seen it all as it is as I said kilometers and kilometers of Temples, is the largest religious sight in the world and was build between 1113 and 1140 A.C. As this was our second time we visited the 6 most important temples (Angkor Wat, via Angkor Thom (bridge with beautiful heads) to The Bayon, Baphuon, Preah Ko, Bakong, Ta Prohm (Tomb raider - Angelina Jolie :-)) which takes between 1 to 2 hours (for the big ones) to visit each. We stayed till after sunset which was fantastic (see our pictures) so we were glad to find our Tuk Tuk which brought us back to our hotel.
After a well deserved shower we went for a walk and to find somewhere to eat. We discovered that Siem Reap had changed from a one important street village into a real small town with lots of real cute café's and restaurants and a lovely market and night market. Andrea discovered a design jewelry shop :-( ( with I must admit beautiful pieces) and the ring with Lapis stone that she had been looking for in Thailand. As it will be her birthday next week on the 27th, I thought it would be a good idea to buy her this. We would come back tomorrow to see the stone in daylight as this changes completely. As we were practically crolling on our knees by then we didn't stay any longer and walked back. Tomorrow is another day !
Relaxing day and time to blog and book next trips and hotels.
After getting up at 8, quick shower and small breakfast we thought we'd deserve a treat, found a place (the blue pumpkin) where we could get some nice croissants and good coffee, great !!!!
After this we went into the market and looked around a bit, found a few interesting small objects and of course as Andrea did not forget, we went back to the Jewelry shop and bought the ring. Who's a happy girl ! :-)
Practically next door to our hotel is a small guesthouse (Ivy) with restaurant which looks really cute. We checked it out and the food is good, not expensive and the fruit shakes are great ! Maybe I'll check out the rooms, 'cause they're cheap, you never know for in the future.
Visit of Lake Tonle Sap.
At 9:30 in the morning our guide picked us up from the hotel in order to go to the Tonle Sap lake. It was wonderful to see the villages and how people live. We did the tour with just one other person a Argentian lady called Norma. She lives half a year in Paris and half a year in Buenos Aires. We were really impresssed to know that she travels a lot on her own.She is travelling in Vietnam and Cambodia for 2 months.
We did the same boattrip as 7 years ago with Fox. We saw the Vietnamese village, the school floating in the lake, the crocodile farm etc. After this lovely trip we had lunch on the boat and we had still time to relax for 45 minutes in our hammocks. Awesome! Stefano loved this part of the trip.
In the evening we ate at Pubstreet. This street is full of bars and restaurants. We ate Amok fish. It is a typically Cambodian dish made with coconut, fish, lemongrass, red hot chilly peppers. It is served nicely in a banana leaf and accompained by steam rice. Miami...