How is everyone? Im pretty cool, caught up on some overdue sleep last night. For the last week I have been so busy, traveling a lot from town to town and over the Thai border.
I left my last email in Sihanoukville on the coast of Cambodia. A pretty little coastal town from where we spent the remainder day on the beach, after traveling from Kampot. The next day we hired motorbikes to explored Ream National Park. The park was was very nice, with some remote deserted beaches. The next day was taken up by traveling north to Siem Reap. Still traveling with Richard from Cumbria, and a Danish girl called Anne, we departed our hostel at 4am in the morning to catch the sun rise over Angkor Wat. We just missed the start of the sunrise, but as you can see from my pictures it was still very impressive. Over the next three days (with our three day pass) we hired a tuk-tuk driver who we named Big Dave, he is working as a tuk-tuk driver to save money to go to University and study medicine. The temples were amazing, with so many different styles and layouts. My favorite temples where the ones where the jungle had taken over the walls and buildings forcing themselves into them. After our second day, after a tip off from a guy at a street food stall, we went to watch Thai Boxing. The three of us spoke to some fellow travelers we met in Vietnam, taking our group number up to ten. It was a cracking night, some of the later fights were really entertaining and brutal. The last three fights were Khmer (Cambodian) V Thai. So that added an extra edge and the crowd really got going with the guy from Siem Reap. The atmosphere was electric with a single track blasting going over and over, with a commentator shouting extremely loud. A great night, I will have to go again in Thailand.
After Siem Reap I set off with the worst hangover of my trip after one hours sleep, with a guy at the hostel banging on our doors telling us the bus was outside. The road to the Thai border was well not a road at all, but a dirt track covered in rocks with equally large holes. It was the worst journey so far and I doubt anywhere else will be able to beat it. From the border we boarded a nice A/C coach to Bangkok where we quickly found accommodation near the famous backpacker district centered on the Khao San Road. Coming into Thailand was weird, like a culture shock, with 7Elevens, cars, people in new clean western clothes, everywhere looking so western.
I decided to leave Bangkok after only one night as I wanted to chill out a little, plus the main attractions in Bangkok are temples. I had seen enough temples in the previous days plus I am sure they wouldnâ€™t come close either. Booking my night train I went to Siam Square to explore and upload some pictures to Flickr. There I ended up play a few football games withe the guys running the internet cafe. Then I met a random Thai Engineer on the street who I chatted to for over an hour, with him buying me a drink. It turns out his sister will be studying soon in Liverpool, and he would love it if I could give her some advice while setting his mother at ease about her studying in England. He has invited me to stay when I return to Bangkok which could be very cool. Had a great cheap lunch in a food alley for 25 baht!
I am now in Chiang Mai, the second city in the north of Thailand. Didn’t do a great deal yesterday, nor will I today apart from look a some trekking tours and a cooking class which are supposed to be excellent.
Glad its all going well, I’m really enjoying the diary, you’ll have to let me know the rest of your schedule cos I leave on my RTW going in the opposite direction in 7.5 weeks!!!