I've been in Cambodia with Ellie for almost 3 weeks now and we both enjoyed it very much. Cambodians are so kind and friendly. They sit down with you even if they can't speak a word of English and they constantly smile.
I didn't particularly like Phnom Penh as I found it a bit grey and there's definitely too much gold on these temples! Ellie thought it had its charm, but we were both glad to leave after 3 days. We then went up to Battambang and from there by boat up to Siem Riep to see the famous temples of Angkor.The floating villages on the way were really cute.
Siem Riep was very pleasant, chilled and clean although very touristy. Angkor city and its temples were just amazingly beautiful. I must say that I found the Angkor Wat a bit disappointing compared to the other temples. It's huge, but not very well preserved, whereas Banteay Srei was breathtaking and Ta Prohm really impressive with all these trees coming out of the temples' stones. Not to mention Angkor Thom with all the huge smiley faces looking down to you...
We then felt like having a little adventure, so we went up to the Thai border to see Prasat Preah Vihear, which is a temple (or what is left of it) on the top of the mountain. It was a bit tricky to get there as the roads are not so good and you can get by car only up to a certain point, then the only choice is to get a motorbike. We thought it was not so bad after all, but after 9 hours of bumpy roads we were not so sure... Not sure the temple itself was worth it, but the location was beautiful and the road (?) to get there really interesting. The pictures show the state of us when we finally got back...completely covered in red sand and mud (yes it also rained on the way back and believe me it's really not much fun on the back of a sliding motorbike...).
From Preah Vihear we went to Kratie to see the freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins (we actually managed to see lots of them) and we visited also a super little island opposite Kratie which was idyllic. There were just cows, huts, horses and a few humans. It felt like we had jumped a few centuries back!
We are now in Ban Lung in the Ratakiri region in Northeastern Cambodia, famous for its jungle and its crater lake. We went for a 2-day trek in the jungle, which was really an adventure as we literally made our path by cutting bits of the jungle in front of us and we slept in hammocks in the middle of the jungle.
The way back was not so much fun as I dislocated a knee by taking an over ambitious jump...we all agreed that it was a real adventure to get out of the jungle with an injured person...but we made it!
Tomorrow I have to go to the hospital for X rays, but I'm pretty optimistic as although it hurt like hell when it happened, after a couple of days of rest it feels already much better.
In a couple of days I'll cross the border to Laos and Ellie will fly back to England. Travelling with her has been fantastic. We've known each other for years but it was our first trip together and I couldn't have asked for more.
In 3 weeks Ginger Paul is going to meet me in Vietnam and Wendy just booked her flight to meet me in Indonesia in May. Happy days!