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World Tour Jesse and Justine decided on this trip to see the world before it's too late and life takes a hold of them.


CAMBODIA | Wednesday, 1 July 2009 | Views [269]

We arrived in Cambodia in late June, from Vietnam, and got to Phnom Penh around 8PM. A little weary from the bus trip, we immediately ventured out to the streets for a feed. What a dive. There was rubbish everywhere and we had a few young kids trawling us, and my immediate thought was that they were after my wallet.

Having escaped the followers, we eventually found a feed. Our first impression of Phnom Penh was shite to say the least and we immediately headed for Sihanoukville, and for what we thought would be lovely beaches. What we found were in fact very nice beaches as well as lively backpaker scene, especially by night.

After a few days in Sihanoukville we headed for Coconut Island, an hour and a half offshore by longtail boat. The island was very relaxed with bungallows right on the beach. We took a liking to relaxing in the bungalow and at the bar, where numerous games of chess were played out.

It was then back to Sihanoukville for a night before making our way back to Phnom Penh. This time around the place was much nicer. Phnom Penh is on the river and the town has some awesome monuments and architecture. Highlights were snacking on snails while drinking beer as well as seeing the darker side of Cambodia's history.

We went to see the S21 museum, which is where many thousands of Cambodians where tourchered and killed by the Khmer Roughe. We then went to see the killing fields, where thousands were murdered and buiried in mass graves. What makes the whole thing so bad is that no one know why they killed who they did.

Following Phnom Penh, we went to Siem Reap, base to explore the Temples of Angkor. Siem Reap was amazing and by far the best town we'd been in Cambodia. It was really laid back and the rubbish that was som promenant everywhere else had been cleaned up.

On our second day we went to see the temples and they were amazing and it was such a surreal experience being there. We did the small tour, which started at 5AM and finished at 1PM. I'm not sure how people do it for 3 days or more because we were knackered. The rest of the time in Siem Reap we spent relaxing and exploring the town. Another highlight here was a party with the locals, who are the toughest drinkers I've drunk with. If there is a toast everyone must down their glass, which is then promptyly topped up again in readiness for the next toast. They come thick and fast. The bugs went down a treat too.

After this we took a slow boat down the river to Batambang, which is supposed to be the 4th biggest tourist town. What we found after the 9 hour boat ride (we were told 6) was another dive of a town and we decided we'd bail the next day. The boat trip was awesome though. Very scenic with much scenery, including vegetation and wildlife as well as many floating villages. Oh yeah, and the boat cought fire briefly too which caused a major panic for 10 minutes or so.

Next stop would be Thailand again, after realizing North Vietnam would be a little tight for time and money.

Tags: angkor wat and batambang boat ride., coconut island, khmer people, siem reap, the darker side of cambodia

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