Cambodia is crazy, mad, MENTAL, noisy, historical, stressful, dirty, but beautiful and charming all at the same time!
We flew into Siem Reap in Cambodia from Bangkok. Headed first to the amazing Angkor temples, one of the 7 wonders of the world. They were built 900 years and inhabited by the monks, though some of them left to ruin. Its weird to see trees growing through the roofs of the temples. It's where they filmed tomb raider, though no sign of Angelina! When we arrived at the temples and got out the car we were completely mobbed by begging kids.....it's so sad. Then just down the road we passed the "blind musicians", they are victims of the landmines, most are blind and some have missing limbs. Instead of loosing their dignity they play musical instruments instead. It gets really emotional here seeing sights like these......
We left Siem Reap by open riverboat on a journey we were told would take 3-7 hours!!.... it took 8 hours and is one of he most amazing journies of our lives. Boarded an old, low, sideless riverboat, you had to jump to the other side of the boat to dodge the waves coming into the boat! Went through the floating villages and seen people bathing, washing clothes, fishing and playing. The river is certainly the hub of their lives. At some points the river was so shallow, only knee deep - the boat got stuck and we had to get out and push!! It's just the way it is out here. We stopped at a little floating village cafe and I braved the toilet......it was 4 corogated sides and a hole straight into the river.... the one we had just pushed the boat in. Everything happens in the river.
We headed then to the capital Phnon Penn - this is another crazy place. Motorbikes everywhere, smelly but colourful markets, temples and the mighty Mekong river. we had to get away for a day so rented a motorbike and headed for the coast.. it was quite earie as the area was war torn and you can still see the damage left behind, although the coast itself is beautiful and peaceful and chilled out .. unlike the roads !! we even broke down on the way back and had to get a moto taxi guy to take marianne on the back and push me through the city streets with his hand and foot !! what an experience and we are both glad to live to tell the tale...
... vietnam next... lets hope its not so mental !!!