Greetings from Cambodia. We arrived into Phnom Phen on Tuesday after yet again taking the slowest boat in East Asia, though up the Mekong this time from the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. Although the surroundings were beautiful, there is only so much brown water and green foliage you can take after 8 hours on a small boat!
Anyway, arrived at Phnom Phen and had a nightmare finding anywhere to stay and was hounded by bloody Tuk Tuks! Was quite a shock to the system as the city itself is more developed than I thought and the prices reflected this. Everything is in dollars though they accept the local currency Riel (or anything else for that matter, it seems as long as you have some sort of currency, they'll take it!).
Next day took a Tuk Tuk to the Killing Fields where Poll Pots regime tortured and killed thousands of intellectuals. (It is only when you get out into the surrounding areas of the city in daylight you see the poverty these people have to endure and witness the large number of disabled, malformed and landmine victims struggling to make money.) The Killing Field site is marked with many chilling ditches and signs about where things happened, all situated around a central memorial consisting of a huge glass case with the skulls and torn clothing of some of the bodies found in mass graves. After this our Tuk Tuk driver took us to the infamous shooting range which was a stange event; we turned up and were led through some iron gates, sat down at a table and shown a menu...yes a menu...of various guns and even explosives to choose from. I decided to have a go at the AK47 as it was the best value although would have like to try some of the others (the rocket launcher at $200 would have been fun if I had had the money!) and although I did actually ask to throw a grenade they told me unfortunately they had run out!!! After popping off some rounds we headed back to the city and to the Golden Palace where the King still resides sometimes. It was a nice open space with lots of grand temples and pagodas pretty similar to the Grand Palace in Bangkok.
The following day we took the bus up to Siem Reap and arrived in the afternoon on Thursday. We were shocked by the explosion of people crowding the bus offering to take you to places but worst of all the starving, filthy kids clawing at a bag of bread Lauren was holding and begging all around...we let them have the bread! Again this was in contrast to the centre of Siem Reap which was full of nice restaurants and bars.
Arrived just in time to get ourselves sorted and catch a Tuk Tuk to one of the temples and watch the sunset from it which was a nice experience. Bought our tickets for Angkor Wat on the way and were very excited to start exploring in the morning. We weren't disappointed, when we made our way to Angkor Wat the next morning, it is quite honestly breath taking! In our first day we spent 6 hours travelling round seeing various temples in varying conditions, some covered with huge trees that look like they are growing out of the stone! (Ta Phrom where Tomb Raider was filmed is covered in these trees called 'Spung'...no laughing...and is surrounded by jungle.) We have just finished our second day and saw many of the smaller surrounding temples / sites which were all very interesting. Last night tonight before we fly to Kuala Lumpur in the morning. Looking forward to a change but also a bit sad to see the end of time in this part of Asia has come to an end (although I wont miss the fing Tuk Tuk drivers...pardon my French...speaking of French - well done the Argies, was a great game and worth staying up till 4 in the morning to watch!).
Well that is it for now, will try and write again either in KL or maybe when we move to Borneo. Take care all and COME ON ENGLAND! xxx