Well first the good news. Siem reap was pretty cool and buzzy, lots of places to go out and a stone's throw from Angkr Wat - the massive temple city that Cambodia and Thailand are always fighting over. The first of the organised trips took most of the group to an orphanage from HIV and land mine victims. The kids were great fun, we had shopped earlier for them in yet another local market - nice to see fresh chicken being prepared i.e. getting their throats cut - and oh, the smells! They put on a great show of local dances including my all time favourite, cheeky monkey dance - hilarious. Then we had a play with the kids running around, chatting, generally larking about - we could have helpded cook lunch but we were having too much fun! After lunch there we went to the floating village - a village on the water, these people can, and do, move as necessary - in the dry season we can truck quite close to them (crazy flatbed bouncing truck! Ouch! We all had umbrellas to protect us from the sun - could've done with a few cushions!), to a lake that's as big as a sea, over the top of sunken tree's. They use the water for everything, literally everything, washing, cooking and peeing in to...some kids were washing/swimming as we boated past, while we also saw a floating classroom full of busy kids. Apparently they tie the dead to the trees and let the fish dispose of the bodies...look out for sacks up trees as evidence of this....better than being buried i suppose, i prefer fish to worms.
Now the bad....in the night i took ill with major food poisoning, i think - the first time i ever got ill the whole tour. I won't go in to details, but i missed out on visiting Angkor Wat, just stayed in the hotel room with many many Chuck Norris films on the tv - reports came back that the guide to the templeswas great but they were over-rated, at least if visiting for a whole day - some people came back early. That was a major bummer and i didn't eat again for 3 days. Luckily i had enough time to 'settle' over a day and night before we moved on to Thailand - on the way, whilst still ill, i managed to haul myself around a silk farm....which was nice. Thailand, as i said, was to be another great set of adventures, especially since we were coming to the end of our organised Intrepid tour...