Angkor Wat and Siem Reap....

Trip Start Jan 07, 2008
1
27
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Trip End Jul 22, 2008


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Where I stayed
Millenium Hotel

Flag of Cambodia  , Siem Reap,
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Siam Reap is definitely touristy especially after Battambang with lots of restaurants, hotels...some small alleys between the streets where there are many bars, cafes, restaurants...looked Eurpopean, very quaint which is strange considering its Cambodia but lovely and great for people watching and relaxing. Treated myself to a $3 massage one night which was lovely, wasn't even that painful like some of the others ive recieved. In Battambang i got a 'Seeing Hands' massage by a blind person, makes sense eh, their sense to feel would be much better. That was great as well, painful in some parts but very interesting to be amongst all blind peeps...never been in that environment before.

The world famous attraction of Ankgor Wat (which i had never heard of before in asia), a wonder of the world is only 7km from the city hence the tourism buzz. It is massive, an ancient community that used to occupy one million people around 10000 AD which is outrageous (comparable to China's demonation in population today)..it is the world's largest religious builing, Angkor Wat itself. There are hundreds of other temples surviving still scattered all around, the area. I had a lovely day as i rented a bicycle (and literally sweated like a mofo) and rode around to all the different temples, well not all but some, you could spend a week seeing them all. I must have cycled 50km or so, definitely the best way do to it as i can go where i want with ease rather than renting a taxi and much cheaper for only $1.5 for the day.

After 3 days in Siem Reap, my time in Cambodia was quickly coming to an end. I did a little bit of shopping at the markets..bought myself a very lovely hammock and have put it too good use already. I will miss Cambodia as the people are beatiful..very friendly. My next stop is back to Thailand...after my three month loop around part of the continent. So got a 7am bus to the border, aboot 5hrs drive on this dirty road, filled potholes and puddles...not sure why the road was so bad since it's one of the most popular tourism and transport routes (rumous has it that an airline has paid the Cambodian gov't off to not fix the rd so more peeps will fly). The driving is brillant in Camdodia, same as in Vietnam...there's no lights or stop signs that people adhere to anyways..just a constant flow of traffic skillfully avoiding vehicles, people, cows, carts or anything else, slowing down slightly at intersections just to weave around the bigger, more dominant vehicles. And to cross the street you just walk into the traffic and keep walking forward as everyone will go around you (very closely sometimes). I was expecting to witness an accident at some point but didn't thank goodness.

Arrived at the border in the afternoon...with many young kids holding babies in their arms begging for money or food...right until the last moment in Cambodia the poverty is very visible. Don't mean to be too graphic here but i can't get this picture out of my head..one girl (maybe 7 yrs old) was holding this baby that looked like it was barely clinging to life - very very skinny, mouth opened, eyes opened but rolled back into the head, not moving whatsoever..it was a horrible sight! Then i walked maybe 50m to the Thai side of the border to get the bus and it's a different world, very new paved highways with many lanes, and lines on it...very developed and rich compared to what i left behind, just 50m away.
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