Stop 11

Trip Start Sep 09, 2012
Trip End Feb 02, 2013

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Flag of Cambodia  , Siem Reap,
Sunday, October 21, 2012

This journey was a long one, we left at 7am & after a change of bus in Phnom Penh we got to Siem Real at 9pm!! The bus was awful. We just had normal coach seats & were cramped up plus the air con wasn't working well combined with the heat from outside it was bad. The roads were also shocking so bumpy literally from start to finish you would be surprised the bus had any suspension!! One plus point was the scenery that was really nice as we got to see rural Cambodia & the weird car ferry once we had crossed the boarder. We didn't have to get off but there was locals trying to sell us seafood from bowels balanced on their heads!
We were groggy when we arrived at Siem Reap but so happy to be off the bus!! We got dropped off out of town but found a nice tuk tuk man to take us to our hostel. This was called Mad Monkey & had really good reviews! The tuk tuk driver gave us his personal number incase we wanted him to take us to Angkor Wat but we decided against this!
There was loads of stairs in this hostel (seemed to be a trend starting) but it was really nice. It ha a roof top bar that had sand on the floor like the beach, with a few hammocks around it was really unique! The hostel had opened 6 months earlier so they were celebrating at the bar but we could only stay for a few $1 beers & food as we were so tired!
The following day we spent looking around the town & booked our bus to Phnom Penh. This was a VIP bus apparently so we thought it would be better than the last! Also we had a pick up from the hostel to the bus station.We went to the night markets again which we were a bit fed up of but had a wander regardless. There was lots of spas & fish massages for feet. I debated getting my feet done but the fish looked a lot bigger than back home!!
The next day we did Angkor Wat temples. We originally wanted to hire a moped but it turned out in Siem Reap you could only hire push bikes. This is what we settled for. I was nervous for riding as we didn't know how far it was but we were looking forward. We got up really early so we could make sunrise as this is meant to be the best time to visit the temples. We left at 5.30am & began our ride. We were told by the receptionist at the hostel you just had to go straight up the main road & keep following it. The first part was lit up with street lights but then it went into total darkness. The hostel receptionist also said we would be fine as we would see loads of tuk tuks heading there , we didn't see any!!
The air was really cool but we were still sweating a we were riding pretty fast to make sure we didnt miss sunrise. We had mountain bikes & I struggled with the gears first off but then really enjoyed biking! It was lucky we had our mobile phone to use as a bit of light as we headed further into the darkness however it wasn't the best. We could tell we were riding into the forest but it was un nerving not knowing what was around us. Also to add to the atmosphere we could hear panpipe music coming from somewhere. It made us feel comfortable that something is at the end of the darkness but it was also eery too!
We finally got to a point where there was a couple of guards asking for tickets. We knew we needed to get them but thought this was on the way. Our luck again, the ticket booth was right in the other direction. (if we had called the tuk tuk driver from the first day this wouldn't have happened!!) It was lucky the guard offered to take us on his moped to get the tickets for $5. We still don't know which way we should have rode but we defiantly went the wrong way as this was where the tuk tuks were!! After getting back to our bikes we gave the driver $10, he didn't give us change but we were grateful for his help!
We parked our bikes up & went into the temple. It was really busy but we got a good spot over the lake looking up at the temple as the sky brightened. It was quite cloudy so we couldn't see the sun come up but it still was a amazing view. After the sun had risen we walked round this temple then rode to 2 others. (Our bums were killing at this point!) The grounds that they were in we're lovely, we even saw 2 elephants walking around giving people rides. The last temple we went to was where Tomb Raider was filmed this was fab as you could really picture the film set as we went round. It took us about 5 hours to do the 3 temples & we must have rode at least 25k!! Cycling back was a challenge as it was mid day sun we were melting!!
Luckily even though we had checked out we managed to have a shower which we defiantly needed then we waited for the bus. This was late & it started to chuck it down, thunder & lightning too! Our lift turned up to take us to the bus station. It was a banged up mini van the windows didn't go up in the front so we were getting soaked plus the route to the bus station was like we were off roading down back streets and mud tracks that were really bumpy again! Felt like we were on a roller coaster! We arrived at the bus station to see a bus that was marked VIP - it clearly wasn't this at all so it was another uncomfortable journey to Phnom Penh!
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