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Hannah and Jase's World Tour

Cambodia: Phnom Penh - Siem Reap: 28 March - 1st April. .

CAMBODIA | Sunday, 1 April 2007 | Views [1190]

The Lady Monk who for a photo enticed me into the Buddist shrine to put some incense sticks in the pot for good luck. Obviously a little donation was need too.

The Lady Monk who for a photo enticed me into the Buddist shrine to put some incense sticks in the pot for good luck. Obviously a little donation was need too.


Hannah and I are currently (1st April) in Siem Reap, central Cambodia, recovering from our first full day of exploring the amazing Angkor temples, Angkor Wat and the like. We have been in Cambodia since 28th March and we have thoroughly enjoyed it and the sights have been very impressive.

We arrived in Cambodia on 28th March after a tiring 7 hour bus journey through the Mekong Delta from Vietnam's Saigon. We decided to bypass a boat trip on the Mekong as it would have taken a whole day to get to the capital of Cambodia - Phnom Penh and also cost 35$ instead of 4$ bus trip.  

We spent 3 full days at Phnom Penh, which was great. The western influence is only just starting to creep in. Again, grappling with another currency. Although it is 8000 riel to one pound, the main currency used here is very much the US dollar which ironically seems to make Cambodia more expensive than Vietnam or Laos,
something that we were not expecting. Generally a drink is 1$. Saying that, since our arrival in Cambodia we have been doing the sightseeing circuit so naturally it will be more expensive.

Whilst in Phnom Penh Hannah and I visited the S21 genocide prison museum, an old high school taken over by the Khmer Rouge where they detained thousands of people between 75-79 and tortured them before
transporting them 15km to the killings fields where they were executed. They did some horrific stuff to the prisoners, who were tortured and given only three spoons of porridge to live on, No water! I’m not gonna go into the other stuff they did.  Visiting this S21 prison and the killing fields was certainly a very humbling experience.

It was great to visit the national museum holding various Khmer sculptures and Hannah enjoyed
visiting the many art galleries set up in Phnom Penh resulting in us buying some Cambodian art! We also took a look at the Russian Market and Central Market.  Both eye openers.

On our last evening we went to a local art theatre and watched a traditional Cambodian show with shadow theatre, acting and dancing in great costumes, it was brilliant. Tourism here is so wrapped up with the dark side of genocide museums and execution sites of the past that it was really nice to enjoy some fun traditional culture.

Yesterday, 31st March, Hannah and I took another long 7-8 hour bus journey through Cambodia to Siem Reap, the home of Angkor Wat and many other impressive temples that are just as majestic. Today we
hired a tuk tuk driver to take us around the first part of the temples for 7 pounds and bought a week pass to explore the temples. As there are temples everywhere over such a large area there is no real method to route of exploration, so in a week we hope to cover them all. Wanting to see Angkor Wat at sun rise, this was an ideal start so we had a very early start this morning, 5.00 am! THE most amazing temple and saw another five temples too.  All very exhausting as its reaching 40 degrees here. It must have been about 28 degrees at 10am
- I'm not exaggerating.

Approaching Angkor Wat was very impressive. Through the gates, walking down the walkway with Angkor Wat imposing everywhere! Must see the photos. With our week pass Hannah and I intend to visit all the temples and see the more impressive ones at various parts of the day. We will certainly re-visit Angkor Wat in the noon sun and for sunset. Certainly a case of a picture (photo) paints a thousand words. So we intend to remain here for another 6 days and indulge on some Angkor civilisation before making our way through West Cambodia
and back into central Thailand towards Bangkok.

Cheers

Jason and Hannah.

Tags: The Great Outdoors

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