The final day in vang vieng was up there with the craziest of all..everyone started out pretty slow but it was one of those things that basically just had to be done..there was no avoiding it and so like all good citizens we put our best foot forward and away we went..more sun, girls, swings, buckets of whiskey, shots of whiskey and ridiculous stories..Tommy and i met a nice pair of NZ twins and the night fritted away in the usual manner..
I finally decided that it was time to get my act together after 8 days in vang vieng and so booked a bus to siem reap in cambodia..after a tearful (not really) and weed soaked farewell (sorry mum and dad)i headed off on some what of a high (ha)..I didnt realize i need a bus ticket (go figure?) and so the old guy from the guest house had to drive it down to me..Thus begun a 38 hour bus ride from hell/heaven..
I got a "sleeper" bus from vientien to parkse (on the boarder) and met a nice dutch couple who too me under their wing (like i needed it!ha)..upon entering the bus my initial reaction was "oh this isnt so bad, little bit of room, bed to yourself"..but i soon realised that there were 2 strangers to every bed and i was no 39, meaning i was part of a 4 way spoon up the back..it was classic hahaha..all the whities couldnt believe it..it really is only something you would ever see in asia..All in all not a bad sleep, a lot of rocking around and exhaust fumes but im pretty sure that only added to the pleasant nature of the sleep..
Upon arrival in parkse i was informed that i infact didnt have a ticket to siem reap and would have to pay another $350000 kip..after my initial self condemnation (at the fact that i was a little high at the time i should have been concentrating the previous day), we realised that there were a few of us in the same boat (so infact weed was not to blame)..so, after some stubborn behavior and mild arguing we got the tickets that we paid for and off we set towards Cambodia..I met 3 Canadian girls on one of the 750 mini buses that we caught over a 38hr period and they proved to be good company for the journey..it was hot, sweaty and dirty and i was lucky that i was with the girls as they ended up having to pay for me to get across the borer into Cambodia (you could use kip, only dollars and bhat?????????)
the rest of the trip was uncomfortable if uneventful with one highlight..i didnt have enough money with me for starters, and i also didnt have any money in the correct account (which meant i couldnt get a tuktuk to the hostel upon arrival) so i was a little concerned about how it would pan out..so we rocked up to a food stop at 8pm in the middle of nowhere and asked if the had the internet..they didnt, but their son had an ipad which he said i could borrow..so, instead of serving tables (like he was supposed to be doing) he got a new sim card for me, registered it, sorted it all out and let me use his ipad all at extreme urgency..i couldnt believe it and it helped me out sooo much so i gave him my sunnies as a token of appreciation and he was so stoked..very cool..
We got into siem reap at about 1am, all destroyed after the journey..i shared a room with one of the canadian girls (nothing suss) and after listening to her blabber on for an hour had a great nights sleep!
THe next day we all went to the angkor wat runins on the tuktuks..the temples are incredible and everything you imagine when you think of ancient, tree covered runins..it was stiffling hot and we didnt stop sweating but we did our best to see as much as possible (including the temples used in tomb raider) and finished the day atop one of the temples watching the sunset! It was one of the most incredible things i have ever seen! After a traditional cambodian dinner with the girls i bailed, excited by the prospect of a full nights sleep!
The next morning i caught a bus to phenom pen (the capital)..i got in at around 2pm and headed straight for s-21 which was one of the concentration camps during the kahmer rouge era around 1975..i had previously heard very little about the civil war and it was quite frankly unbelievable.. the place was horrifying and the stories of those imprisoned even worse..
Follow that i went out to the killing fields where many of the "defectors" we taken to be killed..it was even worse that s-21..there were mass graves. tress that babies heads used to be smashed against etc etc..it was highly disturbing but at the same time highly educational..
I happened to run into my future danish wife (not the most romantic place to meet again) but we sorted out a hotel for bangkok so definitely looking forward to that..
The ride home on the tuktuk was one of the best yet..peak hour, sun setting, dust and fumes flying, people yelling and beeping..awesome!! Time for another quiet night before heading down to shinoukville and the ocean..hopefully see some nice islands and recuperate befere the storm arrives on the 4th!!yew