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Cambodia

Cambodia

Phnom Penh - Siem Reap - Ankor Wat

sunny 33 °C
View Overland to Europe on adamandmeg's travel map.

Just a quick update - I am pretty sure we only send emails to keep track of where we are up to and where we are headed. Useless. . .both of us. . .we have completely forgotten how to make use of our brains. Adam tried to spell Gorge today and it came out as George and couldn't work out how to fix his error - casing point my friends. . . .and a little scary.

We arrived in Phnom Penh without incident. Actually there was one, the last email we said that we were both well. . .well, about 5 minutes after pressing send Adam said that he was feeling funny. I asked if it was funny haha or funny weird or funny sick. Started as funny weird then turned into throwing up for a solid five minutes at the very not sanitory bus station toilet (I use the term toilet very loosely here. . .). Bless him, he soldiered on, made the bus trip and was actually ok that night. Normally I am the one that gets sick first. . .but I normally save that for Christmas Day when we are travelling. Cool, I have plenty of time to prepare.

We arrived in Phnom Penh and it was complete madness getting off the bus. Dudes everywhere, all good though . . .We ended up lakeside (cheapo backpacker haunt) in a guesthouse with ok rooms, a nice deck and really weird staff. All fine - we stayed there for about three days and met some new friends who made us drink beer until 2.30am. That is late for nannas like us!!

We went out to S21 which was an old prison during the Khmer Rouge Regime - it has been converted into a museum of sorts. It was a haunting but strangely serene place with original cells and torture machines still in tact. There was some graffitti (spelling - told you our brains were on the blink) on the wall saying "Never Forget" then underneath someone had scrawled "But somehow we forgive". I guess that explains the feel of the place. These people and this culture experienced genocide on a massive scale. . .the wiping out of generations of intellectuals, thinkers, ordinary people yet they all seem incredibly positive and upbeat. How is that possible? And they continue to be devastated by the Vietnam War era due to the extensive use of landmines and still they continue to farm and live. Amazing. We really don't want to leave.

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We went out to Angkor Wat and other temples yesterday. What a brilliant place. . .full of tourists though. We spent the whole day out there just wandering around. We met a monk who bailed us up for a chat (we know you are really jealous Stephen!) and he poured his heart out to us for about 45 minutes. He told us much about Budhism and his life and we had little to offer in return. It was a great experience and he was a charming man. That was a highlight for us. Angkor Wat was truly beautiful and very different from anything we have seen before.

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The Aussie couple we met in Phnom Penh are heading home via everywhere after working London. They did the Transiberian, China etc. Great to chat and find out the inside story. Fantastic people - we caught up with them in Siem Reap as well. We got some good travel tips for China and Russia, always handy . . .

We are going to head to Vietnam tomorrow. We may only get as far as Phnom Penh so we will be in Vietnam no later than the 12th. Riding looks to be out of the question - logistics with back packs etc may have beaten us. We will keep you posted. Glad to hear from everyone and I am not going to write that we are both feeling well because we all know what happened last time. . .

Posted by adamandmeg 22:37 Archived in Cambodia Comments (1)

Thailand to Cambodia

The Southern Route through Ko Kong

sunny 33 °C
View Overland to Europe on adamandmeg's travel map.

I know it has been a while but we have had some technical difficulties in getting this long awaited, much anticipated email out (ie. Adam, in a cut and paste frenzy deleted the email - if this one is a little lack lustre be aware that the original one was hilarious).

We left Bangkok some time ago - it feels like ages but in reality it was only about a week ago. The plan was to head to Ko Chang for some beach time and then go to Cambodia via the southern land border crossing. Sound easy?

We jumped on a bus at the Bangkok Eastern Bus Station. According to the Lonely Planet the local buses are very reliable and generally better than the private companies. Mostly, we agree with that assessment. The bus trip was meant to take 5 hours but we took six and a half. We were late partly due to a late departure and partly due to the bus catching on fire. No, it actually caught on fire and we all piled off in a bit of a hurry especially when flames were spotted underneath the bus near the engine. All on video of course . . . .

Naturally in the face of near disaster, Adam found a friend who proved to be very helpful. She was a local woman who owned a bar on Ko Chang. We basically followed her to the island and then her and her Dutch boyfriend gave us a lift to the town and then put us up in their hotel at a discounted rate (which was still a bit beyond our budget!!). It was a welcome bit of luxury with hot water, TV, fridge etc. After that adventure we were pretty tired, so we went to bed and watched Air Force One. Awesome. . . love a bit of Harrison Ford as the American President. . .

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The next morning we checked out and found some less expensive digs - which turned out to be amazing. A little bungalow right on the water with a great view and our own bathroom. We decided to stay three more nights at the expense of our budget and travel plans. We're on holidays!!!

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We went out to another island and did some snorkelling - beautiful place but the snorkelling wasn't fabulous. The next day we hired a kayak and cruised around for about four hours enjoying the scenery and getting very sunburnt (yes Mum, we had sunscreen on. . .). It was a very relaxing four days and a great way to recharge the batteries before the Cambodian border onslaught.

And so here we are in Cambodia. We have heaps of time to kill because we missed all of the morning buses to Phnom Penh and now we have to wait for three hours for the next one. Good work Team!! The border crossing went very smoothly. We caught a truck to the ferry at Ko Chang, then the ferry to Trat, then a truck to the bus station, then a mini bus to Hat Lek (border), walked accross the border, then caught a taxi to a dodgy guest house on Koh Kong. Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy describes Koh Kong as Crap. I want to elaborate but I guess that pretty much explains it. Good baguettes though - only saving grace. The guesthouse was a haven for a drug dealing Australian who has been there for months. We were sure that it may have also been a brothel in its former life. Charming place. . . .

The next morning (and not soon enough I might add) we walked to the Ferry Pier (via baguettes of course) and boarded a dodgy looking boat for the four hour trip to Sihanoukville. We sat next to the exit window of course and were fairly certain that our packs would float better than the life jackets. Uneventful trip (lucky - because we haven't got much luck when it comes to boats) except for the terrible music TV / Karaoke channel on ten minute repeat at ear drum bursting volume. We arrived at Sihanoukville, caught motobikes to a guesthouse that the drivers work for of course, and met up with all our other ferry mates who had also been sucked in. The guesthouse was cheap and alright and close to the beach. The beach was fantastic with restaurants and bars everywhere as well as tourists.

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Cambodia has been discovered! We enjoyed a lovely afternoon and night there and then got up early (not early enough obviously) to catch the bus to Phnom Penh.

Our plan is to spend one or two nights in Phnom Penh then up to Siem Reap for a couple of nights, then back to PP and then on to Vietnam. Not much else to report - we are both well, no real health incidents apart from bus on fire and previously mentioned sunburn.

Posted by adamandmeg 19:30 Archived in Cambodia Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

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