Saturday, April 24, 2010

Travels: Siem Reap, Cambodia

We left Southern Laos bright and early in the morning, and were ferried to the mainland. After an hour and a half wait for our bus to show up we boarded to find that all of the large reclining seats were full and we were stuck in small seats at the back of the bus.
We quickly arrived at the Laos/Cambodia border, and were in for an interesting experience. There was a "stamping fee", and fee to pass the health check, and an inflated visa processing fee. After being scammed and ripped off for an hour we were back on the bus, on our way into Cambodia.
We were supposed to arrive in Siem Reap at 9pm .. making it a 13 hour bus ride. We arrived at 1am. 17 hours. Worst bus ride ever!
We then set out to find a room, checking at 4 guest houses before finding one with available rooms. By 2am we were settled and ready for some sleep.

The next morning we woke up, and after a nice breakfast decided to head to the temples of Angkor. After buying the $40 pass we were ready to go!

On our first day we saw the complex of Angkor Thom, and we very impressed.

Our second day included sunrise at Angkor Wat, a midday break by our pool, then Ta Phrom (filming location of Tomb Raider) and a few other tmeples in the afternoon.

On the third day we made the best decision of our trip, visiting Beng Mealea, a temple about 75km from Siem Reap. It was described as the "big sister" to Ta Phrom, and it did not disappoint. It was set out in the jungle, and was totally overgrown with trees and vines, and falling apart. The guide led us through the crumbling ruins, and it was actually strenuous to climb over the fallen stones. It was one of my favourite parts of our trip so far. So so cool!

The temples near Siem Reap were incredible, and I'd love to return someday. Another great part of the city is the food. We ate really well in Siem Reap. One of the really cool things was that many of the restaurants we visited were in place to fund charities for disadvantaged families, people with disabilities, and children involved in street begging. Good food and good causes - a win-win!

No comments:

Post a Comment