1st - 5th July 2009
The bus ride to Siam Reap was one of the worst we've had. It was so overcrowded that a local man had to stand up for the last three hours of the trip bent over in a minivan. He called himself 50 cent and turned out to be so rude to everyone that didn't buy tours through him that a group of about eight of us moved to another guesthouse to get away after a few days. When we first arrived at 1am at the hostel (Nice Place 2) one of the first questions they asked was 'What do you want to do tomorrow?'. After an awful 12 hr journey from Laos that was the last thing on our minds!
The morning after our arrival we woke up and went for a walk around Siam Reap. We found a market and Sammy bought a smaller backpack for US$15 which has turned out to be a great investment as his last bag sucked and cost $US150. Matt and Sam also bought matching elephant shaped bags which I'm sure they would wear to bed if they could. We were a little naughty during our time in Siam Reap as we constantly went to the haven of KFC which had these amazing cheesy wedges we couldn't resist. There's a main tourist strip (pub street) in the centre of town and on our first night we went there for some dinner and drinks with Matt and Sian and on our walk home we went and got a Four Hands massage for US$10 each. Matt and Sian only got two hands and also paid the same price so we're not sure what happened there but rubbed it in nonetheless.
We had a few days extra before Bri and Kate were to arrive as they were delayed with staff travel. We had one huge night out in Siam Reap where Sammy met a really interesting American soldier. It turned out that the poor guys wife had died when she drove over a land mine in the middle east. He'd also killed a lot of people during his duty there and even called in one air raid which killed at least 50 people. He was only 24 years old. Matt and Sammy spent hours talking to him whilst Sian and I carved it up on the dance floor with a huge American weight lifter. We all then started drinking buckets and getting the American guys to lift us up on their shoulders so we could take photos. We didn't end up home until 6am. It was a really fun night but rendered us absolutely useless the following day.
After we moved to the new guesthouse we hired a tuk tuk and went out to the floating village. It was famous as everyone there lived in houseboats and would move around according to season and river height. Even the schools and any other buildings floated. There was a crocodile farm and a big python which the boys held and Matt even tried to kiss but couldn't quite do it even though the owner said it was okay. There were also a lot of beggars including a boy who only had one arm, the other he'd lost in a boat propeller, and he would float around in a big steel bowl with one oar. He was very entertaining and happy and the boys both gave him money because he worked so hard for it - jumping into the water and back in his bowl whilst never failing to lose his smile.
We got back to the hotel and after only half an hour or so there was a knock on the door. We were very surprised to see Kate and Bri on the other side as we weren't expecting them until later that day. It was so great to see them and there were hugs all round. We went straight to Pub Street for a few drinks and on our way home it started pouring with rain as it does most afternoons. Kate insisted we walk in the rain so we headed back down the flooded streets as whenever it rained half the street would fill with water leaving the footpath so slippery you can't really use it, especially when wearing thongs. That night we had a lovely dinner and us girls headed back early as we wanted to get up for sunrise at Angkor Wat. The boys stayed out and had some Sheesha and they got more than they expected when they ordered 'Double apple' as it seems it was a little tainted.
At 4:30am we got up and headed to Angkor Wat. Bri even woke up and came along. It was a beautiful sunrise and we visited some of the other temples as well. It was great having Kate along as she new all the best poses so we got some awesome pictures. We met up with Sammy and Matt later in the afternoon at Tomb Raider temple which was by far the best. There were lots of huge trees growing through this temple and there was one beautiful tree that had grown on top of the temple wall with its roots cascading down. Later in the trip I jokingly asked Sian 'What came first, the temple or the tree?'. She said 'The tree!'. I laughed but she responded with 'You don't know you weren't there' which I had no argument for. Very funny!
That was our last day in Siam Reap as we needed to head to Phnomh Penh to meet Kahlee. Overall we had a great time in this city and it's definitely been one of the highlights of our trip.