On the way to Siem Reap

Trip Start Mar 21, 2010
Trip End Mar 16, 2011

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

15 April 2010 - After breakfast we leave Phnom Penh by bus heading for Siem Reap.  The bus trip took 6 hours on Paramount Angkor Express bus company.  This time the air-conditioning wasn’t working very well and they didn't give us cold towels and water so our journey was a hot one. They played a movie in Cambodian but that wasn't entertaining. There was us and just a handful of tourists and the rest of locals probably travelling home after Khmer New Years celebrations.  The bus was full.  We head out of town and travel along some extremely dry countryside.  We pass through extremely poor provinces dotted with some houses made of fence palings and some were straw.  Seriously, if you complain you don’t have enough “material” things in life, come here and you should hopefully never complain again and appreciate what you have. These people live without much at all and we definitely live with far TOO much.  A lot of houses had a star with a circle around it hanging from their doors, we later found out that these stars are for celebrating New Year.   We travelled for 6 hours checking out the poor provinces that were in such dry surroundings with lots of ditches, rubble, cows, clumps of straw that some looked like pears, lots of dirt, dust, buffalos and lots of family gatherings underneath their houses that were all on stilts.  We would occasionally come across a “flash” house or building but majority of them were living in extremely poor conditions.  The roads were sealed but very dusty and busy and our driver often slammed on the brakes to allow some dopey looking livestock such as cows and buffalo cross the road.

We arrive at the bus depot which was a dump, just a dirt patch really with tuk tuk drivers watching to strike a tourist and the small bus office.  Our driver took us to the hotel, we knew $2 was too much for transport but we couldn’t be bothered haggling.  The hotel was only a couple of blocks away and we are out of town. We get to our hotel and into our room to cool down for a while but the airconditioning took ages to cool the room.  We decided to have a late lunch early dinner at the hotel and as we were walking down the stairs Troy says come and have a look out the window. I look out the window and “holey crap” next door there was a Crocodile Farm, a concrete square full of crocs, a lot of them were massive.  After lunch Troy wants to go and have a look at them, took a couple of photos and I was out of there.  There were some of the biggest crocs I have ever seen.  Just hope they don’t decide to go for a walk around the block.   We have to make decisions now on what to do here -  of course its Angkor Wat and we are going to do a 3 day adventure of the famous temples in Siem Reap. Apparently Lonely Planet recommend one week but we won’t be here that long. 

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