We meet our new group leader this evening for our trip to Cambodia, his name is Kompact. There will be 12 of us on this trip, Marlenna and Martin from our last trip. Mike and Gemma from Aussie, Michelle and Shaun from Hawaii. Tom from San Francisco, Nick from London, Amanda from N.Z and Sally from Aussie. Unfortunately we cant go out for a welcome meal with our new travel companions as we are going out for a goodbye meal with our Vietnam travelling friends. We go out for our goodbye meal, then head off to a karaoke room, this is more like a comfy sitting room, not at all like a European Karaoke bar. Its really strange but Houng turns out to be a good singer and very funny(He sings O Carole to me) and every one is in hysteric. Emma and I sing, then Daniel sings and we all sing a few songs together. All in all its a fun evening.
Early the next morning we leave Vietnam and catch a public bus to Phonn Penh the capitol of Cambodia. We travel a couple of hours before we reach the border. Where we all have to get off the bus with our rucksacks, it is pouring with rain and poor Emma falls down some stairs, but luckily only ends up with some nice bruises and no broken bones. We continue on our journey and arrive in Phonn Penh about 3pm. We have a few free hours of free time before we all meet to go out to dinner all together. We go to a really nice restaurant called friends. It is run by a charity which helps street kids. It teaches them useful skills to be able to get jobs as waiters and cooks. The food is great and the deserts even better. I Have Lemon Meringue and its amazing.
Today we visit Tuol Sieng, where we go to the Genocide Museum, where we learn about the horrors that went on in the Khmer regime from 1976-1980. Then off to the killing fields, where there are lots of mass graves and a memorial made out of 8,000 skulls. A very humbling place. In the afternoon we have free time to explore and visit the local markets, the National museum and the Royal Palace. In the evening some of us go back to the friends restaurant because the food was soooo good.
Another early start as we head off on a six hour bus journey to siem Reep. We stay in a nice hotel with a swimming pool. In the afternoon we head off to see an amazing floating village. There is everything you need there, a school, a church, and shops. It is really beautiful and so much water.
My Birthday. I wake up and shower,Emma has put balloons in the bathroom on the bedroom door and above my bed. Emma gives me a little bag to open, first I have to bang it hard, then it goes bang and starts to inflate....Its a birthday balloon....really cute. We have a busy day visiting the hundreds of Temples at Angkor. One of the temples was used for the film Tomb Raider. Some of the group have elephant rides, but just feed them some banana's and have lot of fun feeding them. I go up in a Hot air balloon, the view of all the temples is great That evening we all go out for a really nice meal and have cocktails. Luckily its happy hour so we can get two for the price of one and they are delicious. After the meal Emma has organized a really nice Birthday cake for me, only thing is I don,t manage to blow the candles out as they are magic and keep relighting.... After the cake I get everyone to sing a song to me, great fun and we all have a good laugh. Emma Tom Nick and I all go on to a bar with good music and more great cheap cocktails. Emma gets me a T.shirt THAT SAYS YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO DANCE. very cheeky.....LOL. We have a few dances and a cute 18year old buys me a birthday rose. All in all a great Birthday, I leave Emma and Nick still drinking and dancing the night away.
We are suppose to meet at 4.45am to see the sun rise over Angkor Wat, But we decide to have a restful day and use the pool. Its great we lay in bed until midday then lay in the sun and swim....Bliss. We meet up with most of the group for our usual meal.
As usual another early start, today we are moving on to Battambang another 6 hour journey. We have a quick rest when we get there before we head off to go to see where they make sticky rice in bamboo. Then we head off to a fish market where they pickle fish, the smell is really disgusting and makes me feel really nauseous. Last stop is to see where they make fresh noodles, would have been good but they had finished before we got there, but there are lots of great little kids there who are really cute. That evening we all head off for a home meal in a Friends of our leader Kompat,,s house the meal was great and so much food.
Guess what ? Yes another early start, this time on a road called the Dancing Road. The weather is not good, it starts pouring with rain in the night and continues most of our journey. We all manage to get on the bus without getting wet. We have a toilet stop after a couple of hours and to get to the toilet you have to wade through water calf deep. We go through the border into Thailand, where we stop for lunch. Both Emma and my Bank cards are declined, so we can only get a few Bart out of the Bank by exchanging our lst few dollars. We continue on our bus and arrive at our hotel (which is reelly nice) about 6pm after a nine and a half hour journey. We all go out for our final meal in a nice restaurant , but sadly sit inside in a large room with no atmosphere at all, but we have fun and all decide to meet for breakfast.
Heaven.... a lie in an no bus journey, we all meet for a yummy breakfast in the hotel restaurant (all except poor Amanda who had to catch an early plane back to N.Z ). We all say our goodbyes but hopefully we will be able to catch up with some of our new friends as we travel. Emma and I with Sally catch a taxi to get to our new accommodation for the next few days. Its a nice Hostel called Lub D