Hello this blogs going to another country now Cambodia, the last one I told you bout the train journey from Bangkok to the east of Thailand to go o Cambodia, when we o off we had to get a tuk tuk to the border of poipet and that's when we knew the fun would begin, the Cambodia border crossing is notorious for its scams so we had spent a lot of time reading up about what's legitimate and what's not and other people's experiences and wrote them down so we knew (very sensible of us I know) the tuk tuk was driving us to the border which we saw straight ahead of us the Thailand visa office to stamp you out the country and then the tuk tuk turned right and we thought oh here we go we had read about this scam already so they had chosen the wrong people, this scam Is a visa scam they tell you that the building is the Thai visa office and that they need to stamp you out the country and give you your Cambodian visa and they charge you a radiculous amount for it but unfortunately some people fall for it lucky we were too smart for them. We to out the tuk tuk and a man came other shaking daves hand and talking perfect English asking us where we were from and telling us to come in the office, Dave wanted to hear what he had to say so we didn't interrupt him but when wed heard enough we walked off from him and kept walking when he was calling us back and walked straight on where the tuk tuk should of dropped us off too the border. We went through the Thai visa Side and queued up and got our exit stamp in our passport and then walked down the road to go too the Cambodian visa Side to get our visa to enter, we went in to the office and filled in the paperwork and went to the desk and gave them our application passport photo and passport which they took and then gave them the $20 usd ( the currency they use in cambodia is us dollars) for the visa and then they asked for 100 baht processing fee which is scam number 2 we read about but I didn't mind paying that its only just over £2 would of been more hassle to argue. After about a 5 10 minute wait we got our passports back and visa and we got talking to an English guy called alex and Russian traveller in the visa office and agreed to share a taxi with them to siem reap so it cut the cost for us all, we walked down the road even further to another office to get our visa we purchase stamped and photos taken and then walked out where we had finally fully crossed the border but its not easy from there taxis aren't allowed near the border to get passengers the government don't let them as they want you to get on there government bus to the bus station where u could then get a bus or taxi that are all cartel owned to your destination but we knew it was quicker and cheaper to walk past the bus and walk further down the road to get a taxi (as we got advised to do by everyone online) so we jumped in a taxi to go siem reap it was still another 3 hour taxi ride to go nd was $10 usd each. When we got in the taxi he police spotted and came over and to the taxi driver hd to pay him off to take us.
After the 3 hour journey the taxi took us to siem reap where he pulled over and we then had to make the journey into he town via tuk tuk, I'm not sure why obviously another government thing but taxis are not allowed into siem reap town and I had already read online that this was going to happen so I was ok, the man took us to our hostel we were staying at Angkor wonder and he was being very persistent trying to get us to book him to take us around Angkor wat but we politely said no about 100 times and went and checked in.
I'm not sure why but at this point I wasn't sure if I would like Cambodia I think it was because I knew how Thailand worked and I was not put my comfort zone and how there was a lot more poverty in Cambodia, hardly anyone has electric etc and its hard to see but I knew the main areas we will be staying it weren't going too be like that it was just when you drive between places etc you see it, I'm not sure why I just didn't feel safe here.
The hostel was nice we had a Private double room with our own balcony and bathroom. We had some clothes to wash so I thought I would get that out the way and do it and we put them on the balcony to dry and no lie they dried in about 10 minutes it was crazy!!
After we relaxed and had a little nap it was time to get showered and go for dinner, char was in Cambodia a couple of weeks before us and she messaged me with a few hints and tips, one being that we had to go to viva for dinner a Mexican resteraunt, we hadn't had any lunch where we had been travelling and it had been a long day so we figured we could treat ourselves and go.
It took us a while to find viva but we did and it was quite busy, we sat on a Table outside and got a well deserved beer and we splashed out and got a starter to share (we obviously thought we were rich this night) we got some nachos and salsa the salsa was homemade it was amazing. For main we ordered chicken enchiladas with rice and they were seriously so tasty there was so much cheese in them too they weren't tight with it like Mexicans back home and the rice and ceaser side salad were amazing too. After the meal we headed bak as we were just so exhausted and had n early night.
The next day we had a well deserved lie in and then the plan was to go and have a look around the town although there nots really anything here people only visit siem reap for one reason, Angkor wat. But the weather had other plans for us as it starting raining all day really heavy too it was crazy so we went out in it to grab some lunch when it died down but other than the we were room bound.
Later on that day when it stopped raining we got showered etc to go grab some dinner and a few beers and to book our Angkor wat trip, we met Jordan downstairs (the one I said was in the Bangkok hostel) he had came to Cambodia the day after us and facebooked us to meet up and he was with his friend that flew from America to meet him called julius.
We went to reception and booked the tuk tuk service for 3 days to take us round Angkor wat as you can't walk round it its massive and then went for dinner with the yanks on a street stall and went for some beers down pub street and sat in a bar down there outside where the draft beers were 50cent so 30p bargain! We didn't have a mega late night as we were still exhausted and so were the Americans as they had done the same journey as we had the day before to get from Thailand to Cambodia.
The next day was the first day of our Angkor wat tour I was so excited and it wasn't an early start today it was 9am thankfully and we headed off in the tuk tuk it only takes about 15mins to get there and the breeze from the tuk tuk was no nice driving around. We went to the ticket office and got our 3 day pass to angkor wat which was $60 usd each I think but we knew it would be worth it, was the most expensive thing we had done so far though it was costing us £150 for us both to see it and hire the tuk tuk a lot of people just do a one day pass and see the main ones, but we know we are never going to get the chance to see this again so we wanted to see it all.
On day one we did the less known ruins and they amazing me the detail that went into the carvings and the buildings them selves were unreal I had never seen anything like it, if any of you have checked out my pictures make sure you do so you can see what there like.
The tuk tuk driver took us to a street food resteraunt for lunch and we looked at the menu and the prices were radiculous was obviously another place where its one menu for locals and another for trvellers, so we had to share lunch nd just ordered chicken fried rice with basil, luckily it was a big portion. We saw all the ruins we were meant too for day one and headed back about 4pm and arranged with the driver to do the sunrise tour the next morning to see it rise behind the beautiful Angkor wat building herself, this meant being picked up at 5am so as you can imagine we didn't do much that night we went to the supermarket and had some dinner from a stall and headed back for an early night.
I woke up at 3am the next morning which was annoying an hour before the alarm, maybe it was excitement? And we ate our cereal and yoghurt which was weird at that time and got us and got ready and went down t meet our driver at 5am and off we went to the temples we drove through the entrance and was driving around the lake and I could see the sun rising behind us which was so annoying because I knew I was missing it, when we got to Angkor wat we just catched the end it was beautiful the sky was lit up red but I was upset I didn't see it rise so we decided we would get up early the next morning and do the sun rise again. We then walked round Angkor wat and I could see why it was the main one and the one that the whole area was named after it was amazing there was so much detail on it again you need to look at the pictures to see this. When we got to the back of the temple we saw all the monks on the grass getting ready to pray. There is two monastery's at the side of Angkor wat one for the men wearing the traditional orange robes and on the other side of the building was a monastery for women which Is something you don't really see a lot and they all wore white robes. There was so many monks there gain we got pictures of this it was lovely too see. After there morning prayers they go back to the monastery's so women walk off one way and men the other, myself and Dave walked off back through the building and as it was open at the side we could see the women monks walking in a Line past the building next to us and I was shocked when two of them who were quite young like teenagers stepped out of line checked none of the higher ranked monks were watching and pulled a mobile phone out from there robe took a picture of them selves and then jumped back into line all serious like nothing had happened, I was shocked ha was funny to see!
We saw a few temples on day 2 it was all the main ones that if you only had one day you would go and see, a couple of them that stand out the most were Byron and the tomb raider one. Byron was a Beautiful temple the design was good, they had faces all carved into the rocks. And the tomb raider one was here tomb raider was filmed obviously and it stuck out because of the roots and trees attached to it and coming from the rocks, which again you can see from my pictures.
We didn't get back to late about 2pm as we started so early so we just went or a walk around and to get some lunch, when we were in the supermarket we saw someone falling for the milk scam I read about, basically children or parents will come up to you with a baby and ask you to buy them milk as the don't have to the money too feed there baby, they then go in the shop with you and you buy them milk formula powder which isn't cheap, they thank you and go off. They then go to another shop that there working with and give them the powdered milk like returning it and the shop keeper gives them half the money and puts it on there shelves for sale. A few people hd came up to us trying to do this scam but were too clever we read up about too much before going there to be caught in it. When we were in the shop the old Australian couple who had fell for the scam were trying to buy the formula milk for the baby and when they got to till the till worker called another worker over and he was saying to the couple that he didn't want to serve them and I don't think they really understood why due to the language barrier he was just saying to them that its not real. So myself and Dave just quickly added in to them that it was scam and it would be returned elsewhere for money. We then went off and got the bits we needed and the women had bought the formula still and given it to the kids who had ran off but hey all you can do is warn them if they still want to do it then what can you do.
We just got dinner and had an early night again as we had day 3 of our Angkor wat tour in the morning and this time we were being collected at 4.30am, we asked to go earlier to make sure we don't miss it.
Day 3 of the tour started not in a very good way I woke up with really bad pains in my stomach that I couldn't even stand up it was horrible, I had breakfast and took some paracetamol and had a lil cry because I wanted to go so bad and pulled myself together and somehow got myself out the door. We got to Angkor wat when it was still dark and I had to walk around all day like Quasimodo bent over with a hunchback ha. We got a good place for pics at the front of the lake and saw the sun rising and it getting lighter but annoyingly as it was cloudy the sky didn't go red it just went lighter. After that we were meant to go back but we went to take another sneak peak at the monks, I don't know how they do this early morning everyday. They were all there again we took a few more pics and watched them for a while and headed back to the tuk tuk, today we were heading away from the main Angkor wat area and was heading about 45mins away to the old capital where we saw some more ruins that were lovely to see we were glad we did a 3rd day, I bet a lot of people don't come to these ones but they were missing out. The one annoying thing about Angkor wat though is the children I know they are just trying to make money but they pester you to try and buy postcards and when you say no thank you they just follow you around thinking you will pay to get rid of them it was so annoying!!
Day 3 of the tour didnt last till late again due to the early morning and we were back for lunch time so we ate at a food stall and sorted out with our hostel our bus for the next day to go to Phnom Penh the capital.
For dinner that evening we went went and looked around the night market and then both agreed we needed to have another viva Mexican before we left, which we shouldn't have done as it was expensive but it was so worth it, it tasted amazing again!! And this time we got chicken tacos to start they were full with filling and only 1 usd each bargain! My stomach was ok by this point I don't know why it was knots in the morning.
We then went back and packed and got ready to leave for Phnom Penh in the morning. My view on Cambodia had completely changed by the time I left siem reap, I really liked there as long as you know what's safe to do and what's not you were fine and the people were so lovely there they really are the friendliest people so far in Asia it's just a shame there so hungry for your money but I suppose they have to do what they have to do to provide for their family's, it's just a shame that its at another persons expense.
I love you and miss you all x