Asia | South East Asia | Cambodia – siem reap
i booked a seat on a luxury coach to cross the border, up for a 7am start and 4 hours later was crossing into cambodia at poipet. it took a couple of hours to pass through the thai checkpoint and cambodian immigration then on to a small beaten up bus to the tour office. expecting another nice coach i was dissapointed to be back on the small beaten up bus for the rest of the journey to siem reap, the road (dirt track) for the final 100km was very rough, but we finally arrived around 8:30pm and were dropped off at a nice hotel at $4 a night.
first day here i had a look around the town which is small enough to walk around. in the evening having dinner with 2 new friends.
the following day i hired a tuk-tuk with a guy called darren and we went off to see the temples. angkor thom was impressive, with the bayon part a sight to be seen, all the towers have buddha faces and are intact if a little weather beaten. going round the circuit we saw some of the other wat’s which are in varying states of repair/decay, the trees that grow out of the buildings make the scenes very ethreal.
the next 2 days were spent checking out the temples, and i left angkor wat till last, this is the most complete temple and is very imposing and magnificent,
i also checked out the mine museum, and read some harrowing stories from the civil war and saw the ‘killing field’ a hole where the bodies were dumped after being bludgeoned to death. this sight now has a buddist monestry and free school for the kids, and a pagoda has been built that houses the bones of those who died.
after my first day at the temples i was walking down the street looking at the food stalls and had a remarkable meeting, a friend (ali) that i hadn’t seen in a couple of years was sitting there, well that was a great excuse for a party and we had a night on the town, visiting a khymer nightclub and trying out the local dancing before ending up at a 24 hour french bar drinking brandy.
have been here a week now and tried to get to phnomn penn today but the buses were full as its new year tomorrow and lots of people are travelling to their home towns to celebrate. so have to wait an extra day for a place on the bus to phnomn penn.