Friday, 7 October 2011
Spent 3 days in Cambodia on 3rd,4th,5th October. Well, that's not strictly true - spent ONE day in Cambodia and 2 days travelling.
Minibus picked us up at the apartment at 7.15am and we eventually arrived at the border at12.30pm ( you'd have loved it, Janet ! ) Many stops to pick up, drop off locals - seems it was a glorified private bus.
Arrived at border where we eventually were put on another minibus which took us to the Casino for lunch and where we parted with out passports and $36 for Cambodian visa - all seemed well dodgy. Eventually walked to border where we waited in very long queue to get paperwork finalised. Then another minibus for 20 minutes to passenger terminal where we were put into Cambodian taxi along with a couple of young Spanish lads ( there were some bonuses ) for the journey to Siem Reap.
Cambodia very flat and rather reminiscent of the Norfolk fens. Drove along very straight road with slight curve every fifty miles or so, rice fields on either side which were still suffering from the recent floods ( 2 days prior to our arrival ). Cattle grazing on the roadside, or swimming in the fields. Houses on stilts, with flood water only just below properties.
THREE hours later arrived in Siem Reap !!!
Taxi took us to a Buddhist temple which housed display cabinets of skulls and bones from the ' Killing fields' - not a highlight - then on to our hotel which was allegedly 4*. Mattresses like concrete, no hot water, air con not working properly and view of building site from window.
Grabbed a couple of hours sleep before we were collected to be taken to 'typical' Cambodian restaurant with floorshow. Of course, nothing typical about it, but we enjoyed the company of the Spanish lads. Went to the night market afterwards for an hour then back to hotel.
Following day picked up at 8am to go to Angkor Wat, which has largest intact remains. Good English speaking guide. Actual site of the temple is enormous and is made up of several Hindu Temples and a Royal palace dating back to 12th century.Much of it in poor state of repair tho' it has now been identified as world heritage site and lots of archaelogical work taking place, with a view to rebuilding as much as possible.
Wednesday - journey back to Pattaya which was just as long, uncomfortable and boring.
Off to Lao tomorrow for 4 days, but flying ! Staying in Luang Prabang - will see what that brings.Think it's going to be very hot, humid and wet - almost envious of weather back home !