Phnom Penh - Siem Reap - Ankor Wat
04.02.2007 - 11.02.2007 33 °C
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.
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.
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. . .