Siem Reap, Cambodia
Well, I’m in Cambodia. The final stage of my journey before I stop traveling independently and I make the long journey to Papua New Guinea for the ‘Expedition’ part of my trip.
It took two full days of travel to get here. I left Don Det by boat early in the morning, caught a minivan to the border(which according to all the twats clutching their lonely planets, ‘did not issue a Cambodian visa’. They were wrong!), I walked the 200 meters through no mans land to Cambodia, caught a bus, then another minivan, then another one before I arrived in Phenom Penh at 9pm. Rose at 6.30am, caught a bus, then another one – before I arrives in Siem Reap at 3pm.
I have to say – Cambodia is crazy! As soon as I crossed the border, the landscape changed, this country is washboard flat, I havent seen a hill since I got here. Not far into the journey, I spotted my first Land Mine warning signs in the countryside beside the road. Driving through one town, I swear, I thought we were in India(one guy on the bus, who had been to India, said something similar) – rubbish covering the streets, tumbledown buildings, mechanics making sparks in the street, trucks everywhere, people trying to sell you stuff through the windows of the car.
The journey was on the most part, very uncomfortable, at one point my right foot swollen up massively because of the way I had been sitting(knees under my chin, no legroom). Phenom Penh was quite a shock too. Getting off the bus, we were immediately swarmed by tuk tuk drivers, guesthouse reps and drug dealers. Me being me, I picked the closest guesthouse and showered before searching for some food(Indian food). Outside the guesthouse, there was a fight! Of course it had to be the stupidly drunk English guy vs sober Public schooled English boy, Drunky won. I was so embarrassed, it is so irresponsible and it makes the rest of us look bad. I’m pretty glad I have been traveling/meeting/eating/drinking with people from outside the UK, I hate to say it, but the English have the worst reputation out here for being bad tourists.(I am Scottish by the way).
Anyway, Siem Reap is lovely! Quite small, loads of character and relatively safe.
I arranged with the motorbike taxi driver who I got a ride to the guest house with to deive me around for the next few days(pretty standard practice) for 13 USD. Today I visited the famous, world wonder that is Angkor Wat. I really enjoyed it actually! The structure and scale is incredible, especially when you remember it was built around the 12th century. I have a three day pass for the temples round Angkor. I think I visited 5 today, including the one from the tombraider film, with all the trees growing out of the walls(you remember right?)
Anyway, tomorrow, more of the same – but I will be visiting the land mine museum and I am contemplating giving blood. I heard about somewhere that is really needing it, just have to suss out the nature of the needles, dont want AIDS!
Anyway, the guesthouse is good, nice big room and..omg, a TV! So I have had the news on whenever I have been in my room, catching up with the world at large. I might even watch Wimbledon – I reckon Venus has it?