Phnom Penh to Siam Reap

Trip Start Jan 23, 2013
Trip End Jul 23, 2013

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Flag of Cambodia  , Phnom Penh,
Friday, March 1, 2013

We had breakfast at about 07:30. Terry's stomach was still feeling a little delicate, so he chose a light breakfast as well.

A small minivan arrived at the Hotel just after 08:00 to take us to the Bus Station. We had booked seats on the Mekong Express coach from Phnom Penh to Siam Reap the day we had arrived in Phnom Penh, and were lucky to have secured seats just a row back from the front. We had booked these seats purposefully, so that we would be as far away as possible from the loo, which was at the back of the coach.........

The journey was relatively smooth and the only time either of us needed the loo was when we stopped for half an hour at a Cafe for something to eat. Although the Cafe seemed a lot cleaner and organised than the one we had stopped at en route to Phnom Penh, neither of us wanted to risk having a meal. The thought of having to run the entire length of the coach for the loo at short notice, was enough to stave our appetites.

We arrived at Siam Reap Bus Station at around 15:00. The Bus Station seemed to be in the middle of nowhere with nothing around apart from a few Tuk Tuk drivers. It seemed strange but then again, we were getting used to strange.

We got a Tuk Tuk to our Hotel, the Encore Angkor Residence. The driver helped us with our luggage and tried to convince Terry to book him for the next day for a journey out to Angkor Wat and the Temples. Terry took his phone number and said he would give him a ring if we needed him.

First impressions - the Hotel looked lovely. They had a 'no shoe inside' policy, so the floors were lovely and clean. Unfortunately, they had a power cut, so there was no electricity. Both Terry and I were feeling grubby and hot, so the cool shower we took once we got into our lovely room, was just perfect.

We freshened up for the evening after a short nap by which time the electricity had come back on. We picked up a map from reception before heading out and soon found ourselves in the town centre. Siam Reap was definitely more set up for tourists than Phnom Penh was and everyway you turned you could see cafes and bars of all types; souvenir shops and roadside stalls selling nic nacs and jewellery; mini markets as well as huge undercover markets that only come alive at night. Knowing we were visiting the Temples the next day, I bought a long sleeved white top to wear with trousers, Terry managed to haggle the women down to almost half the price she had originally started at.

With both our stomachs still a little sensitive, we wandered over to a small Noodle Bar where we sat and had beers and a Chicken Salad each. We started a conversation with an older Australian couple who were both volunteer workers in a Cambodian school; he did a woodwork class and she just did general school work. They told us that they had first come to Cambodia a couple of years ago to volunteer for 4 months; then returned to Australia for 6 months and now they have been volunteering for almost a year. He said that he was ready to return home now and that he was worried about his wife who had lost at least 10kgs because of the heat and diarrhoea - nasty. She didn't look well to me, but I didn't say anything.

We returned to the Hotel after walking off our meal. The heat seemed to have sapped all our energy and we were both ready for bed. I started to update the blog when Caz called us on Skype and when the call was ended, we discovered an email from John - it was nice to hear from home.
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