Have had a great few days in Cambodia so hope to explain all. After saying a difficult goodbye to Ben and Lucy we headed off the following morning on a tiring trip to Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor Wat. We had heard many stories about how dodgy the journey across the Cambodian border was and they were certainly right. We boarded a local bus towards the border and after a 5 hour journey (including a stop where police threw the illegal immigrants off the bus, we arrived close to the border. This was where our fun started! We were almost scammed by a tuk tuk driver who wanted to sort our visa out at some back office but we managed to escape. After finally being stamped out of Thailand, it was surreal to see the 5 star hotels and casinos along with the familys begging for money outside. After a lot of confusion we reached the immigration office where the authorities charged us more for the visa than usual. Everything was so corrupt and I started to get the feeling that everyone was out to scam us. We made it across the border only to find ourselves escorted to a dingy taxi office where we caught a taxi for 4 hours to Siem Reap. The road there wasnt really a road but more like a dirt track with potholes everywhere. Our taxi even had a broken windshiled because of the flying rocks. The driving was terrible and it was made even worse by the hordes of mopeds and the occasional herd of cows! The difference between Thailand and Cambodia was very apparent and there was much more poverty here. People were living in little dirty shacks at the side of the road and when we stopped for petrol at one of them, we began to feel uncomfortable as it felt as everyone saw us a rich white tourists. We were then set up by the taxi driver who didnt drop us off in town but dropped us with a tuk tuk driver who took us to a dodgy guesthouse. We ended up walking off without paying and finally reaching our destination. We were shattered but managed to have a beer or two before heading to bed.
Yesterday was the beginning of our two days at Angkor Wat. Our driver, Saban, took us to the main temple which was breath-taking and after seeing so many pictures of it, it was nice to see it for real. We did the main tour of the temples, all of which were in ruins but each was different at the same time. We all found it difficult to say no to the hoards of of children selling drinks, bracelets, postcards etc and although we gave in to some, we couldnt please everyone. Today we woke up at 5 to see Angkor Wat at sunrise and it was totally worth it! Check the pics out! Shame every other tourist was there as well though! We asked Saban to take us out to the temples further away and we got to see the cambodian villages on the way which were an eye opener. We also managed to see the landmine museum and some of the facts I read were astonishing. Visiting temples and walking for hours in this heat is hard work though so this afternoon will no doubt be spent relaxing! Up early in the morning to catch a bus to Phnom Pehn.
Hope everyone is ok back home.
Have just tried to upload photos but they have all disappeared from my camera, really pissed off!!! Dunno what happened. Will have to use some of Kats photos for this bit. Argh!!