We arrived in Siem Reap very early and had to wait until midday to check in. The night bus wasn’t great so all of us slept on sofas in the lobby until we were allowed in the room. Another lovely hostel, this place also had a swimming pool, but was a little further from the centre of town.
In the afternoon, after a quick dip we headed to a collection of remote stilted villages on the riverbank I had read about. We hired two tuk tuks to take us, but they seemed to think they were the ones planning the trip and just took us where they fancied!
The houses were very pretty, especially those built on stilts, and the people in the villages extremely friendly, waving to us and smiling brightly.
But the drivers then insisted we visit a local crocodile farm, we basically had no choice, we said no, but they still took us! It was not very nice to be honest. Just a farm for crocodiles to be turned into meat and leather. I didn’t like it at all, but the guys seemed to love it… and were a little obsessed with catching one of the free roaming chickens to throw in to the enclosure… So much so, they asked the staff, who agreed! …poor chicken…(s)!!!
We eventually left and continued through the villages.
Driving through Siem Reap
Paul with his crocodile food!!
When we got back we all got in the pool again, before eating at the local night market and taking an early night in preparation for a 4am start at Angkor Wat the following day…
We woken at 4am the next morning as planned, but extremely tired. We had prebooked the same tuk tuks to take us to the Angkor Wat Complex in time for sunrise.
Angkor Wat temple:
Still dark when we arrived…
Watching the sun rise
The road to Angkor Thom:
George trying to pose in the bridge
Not a very responsible way to travel…
Spot the face… and spot the German! (To the right)
Ignoring the sign and climbing up… The guys were a bad influence!
Preah Khan temple:
Ta Prohm temple:
Paul was finally happy after we found the dinosaur marking…
By the end of it all we were knackered, so went back to the hostel for a nap. Since we only bought a one day ticket to visit the temples, myself, Karen, George and Steve went back to watch the sunset and make the most of our money.
Acting like the locals to cool down!
That evening back at the hostel we played an all time favourite drinking game of mine; drink uno! Followed by watching the World Cup Holland game for Karen and too many drinks…
The night ended late!
The following day was slow and lazy, a hangover cure of kfc and some serious pool time was topped with a night at the Cambodian circus; more like a drama and acrobatic performance. It was really good fun!
That night we took an over night bus back in to Bangkok, Thailand.
Siem Reap was great for the temples, and Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples were simple spectacular, but boy were they busy! We did find some peace and quite in some of the smaller and more unknown temples, but we did get harassed by street sellers almost everywhere we went which quickly became frustrating.
The town itself was nice, but like everywhere we had been in Cambodia; it was overrun by tourists and the things that come along with that – tacky shops, overpriced poor quality food, lots of bars and noise and of course street sellers, scammers and beggars… We constantly felt harassed and like we were merely walking wallets sometimes.
It’s a shame really, but we were glad to get out of Cambodia. I’m not sure if being in a larger group effected this, as on my own, I didn’t get the same treatment – and sure, we only went to big towns that are aimed at tourists and travellers… Perhaps I should try to return to Cambodia, alone, or in search or smaller towns as I’m sure Cambodia has a lot more to offer, as when we did spend time in the countryside or less touristy places, the country and the people were wonderful.
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