So plenty has happened since I last updated, for starters we are in a whole new country!!
On Saturday afternoon we moved from the Khao San Road (finally!) to a new hotel towards Lumphini called the Bangkok Centre Hotel. Lovely hotel, made a nice brief change from the backpacker-type destinations. We met our tour leader, Pok from Bangkok (you couldn't make it up!) and all of our group who we are travelling with for the next 20 days. The group all seem really lovely so far, we are quite a diverse bunch (well not too diverse as there are 13 of us and at least 6 or 7 are from London!). We bonded over a beer and pad-thai in Lumphini night market, watching Thai singers sing in extremely good English and some amusing backing dancing!
On Sunday morning, bright and early at 7.30, we got into lovely air conditioned mini-buses and made our way towards our next stop. We had a border crossing to get us from Thailand into Cambodia, something I have never experienced before. Loads of forms to fill in, different buildings to stop in, and the smothering heat which according to our guide regularly gets between 35-40 at this time of year. Crazy! Once we had our visas we hopped onto a bus which took us the rest of the way, from the border to Siem Reap in Cambodia. We are currently staying in a hotel that I think is called Angkor PhC, definitely not shabby!
Cambodia is an absolutely beautiful country. We drove for several hours through the countryside, extremely sparse at this time of year as they don't grow in summer. Saw lots of the things I'd probably associated with Cambodia, extremely thin animals, wooden shacks and plenty of bicycles. We finally arrived in Siem Reap, where we are currently staying in a hotel until tomorrow lunchtime.
Siem Reap is probably most famous as being the home of Angkor Wat, a temple which is one of the wonders of the world. We had a guided temple tour today, beginning at 5am when we went to Angkor Wat to watch the sunrise right behind it. Definitely worth getting up for. Took some pictures which do not do it justice, and will upload them as soon as I get to a computer with speedier internet :)
As well as Angkor Wat, we visited 3 other temples today. One was covered in faces of Buddha, and is shown in the picture above. One was completely covered in steep stone steps leading right up to the top, which we climbed up and then completely struggled to get down! The final temple was full of trees which they had let grow wild, and the Cambodian guide was extremely proud that this was where parts of Tomb Raider were shot. Definitely going to have to give that film a look when I get home.
So that's about it for now, tonight we are going into town with the group for dinner and hopefully watching some Cambodian dancing. Will let you know what it's like!