We had the easiest border crossing so far into Cambodia and arrived late on Sunday to our hostel in Phnom Penh.
On Monday we woke early and, after a mission to find a cashpoint, we were driven in a tuk tuk to the S-21 museum. The site is a former high school which was used as a prison and execution centre under Pol Pot and the Khymer Regime. We were lucky to get a guide who spoke perfect English with little accent so that we could fully understand all of the museum and had someone to answer our questions. The pictures were very graphic but it was all so interesting. We then travelled in the tuk tuk to the Choeung Ek Killing Fields. Thousands of people were taken to work, and subsequently die, in the killing fields and they are now mass graves to the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime. The entrance fee paid for an audio guide and we all wondered around at our own pace. It was a very sombering day but both were worth visiting to understand the atrocities committed by the Kymer Rouge. Unfortunately, it was only a flying visit to Phnom Penh and we didn't have much time to explore the city.
On Tuesday we got a very sweaty 8 hour bus with faulty air conditioning to Siem Reap. Some friends from my Borneo volunteering program continued volunteering for a 3rd month in Cambodia and were staying in Siem Reap for a few days. I was excited to see them so I walked to their hostel as soon as we arrived. We spent more than 3 hours exchanging stories about what we had done in the past month before exploring the Siem Reap town. It made me miss Borneo, and the friends I made there, a lot!
We were told on arrival at the hostel that the following day there would be no water or electricity in the whole of Siem Reap. Jess and I therefore decided that we deserved a day by the pool while we waited for it to come back on... It was very very hot! When it came back on at 5pm there was a rush for the showers and then we went for dinner with a few people from the hostel to a cheap local restaurant.
On Thursday Jess, Rachel (a girl we had been with since Vietnam) and I were picked up by a tuk-tuk at 5am and taken to Ankor Wat for sunrise. We almost left too early because it was very light when the sun actually rose but I'm fortunately we didn't because it was a stunning sight! We then walked around Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and the Bayon Temple, Ta Prohm (tomb raider setting) and a few others until 1pm when the 43 degree heat became unbearable! The whole site was spectacular; it was so ancient, big and detailed that I couldn't get my head around it. It was definitely one of my trip highlights!
We had a nap in the afternoon and then went for a last meal with Rachel at a very nice, slightly more expensive (£5), restaurant! Jess and I both really liked the atmosphere and smaller size of Siem Reap. At night fairy lights lit the bridges and streets (possibly a girly thing to like).
Tomorrow we travel to Bangkok where I meet Chris!
Lots of love xxx