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Charissa' s Travel Journal

Day 8 and 9 - Bangkok to Siem Reap, Cambodia

CAMBODIA | Monday, 23 April 2012 | Views [543]

I was so glad when my wait at Phuket airport was finally over. While boarding the plane I was lucky enough to be standing in line with Englands two biggest brats. So surprise surprise when they landed up sitting behind me in the plane. I had two little feet kicking into my back all the way to Bangkok. The kicking was also accompanied by a huge amount of whinging and screaming. Fun! The flight was extremely turbulent and was very surprised that the plane managed to land in one piece. Some creepy old man sitting nearby in the plane kept staring  at me and when we landed he just kept following me and asking me where I was going and the name of my hotel. I tried to escape by stopping to find something in my bag but I had no luck. I was stuck with the creepy guy until I managed to slip off into the toilets. My bags didn't take too long  to arrive and I was in a taxi on my way to Bangkok central before I knew it. An hour later I arrived at a descent hotel in the middle of a bustling street around the corner from Khao San Rd. I liked this location much better than where I stayed last time I came to Bangkok. I had a quick look around before meeting the group I'm touring with. There is only 9 on my tour (3 girls from Sydney, an English couple, 2 girls from Turkey and an older women from Wollongong). I felt a bit worried about the people after initially meeting them but we had dinner together and everyone seemed pretty easy going and friendly. After dinner I explored the strip of street stalls before having an early night in preparation for our 6 am start. At 6am we were all packed and waiting in the lobby for our long drive to Cambodia. The trip took approximately 9 hours although it didn't feel that long. My feet got absolutely swarmed by mozzies at one of the truck stops and then followed us into the mini van. I was a bit worried about malaria but all should be fine with my antis on board. The border crossing between Thailand and Cambodia was really interesting. We were not allowed to drive through the crossing so we had to walk. Our big bags were taken by some random people with these huge versions of a wheelbarrow and we just had to trust we'd find them again in Cambodia. We had to line up for ages in Thailand to have our passports checked. One of the girls was really sick and just started throwing up into a bag while her passport was being checked. Awkward! We then had to walk 2km through no mans land to Cambodia. In no mans land there are a ton of casinos that lie on neither countries land. On arrival in Cambodia we had another long wait to have our passports checked before searching for the shuttle bus to the transit centre. At the transit centre we changed buses again onto the bus we will have for the duration of our time in Cambodia. Another 2 hours and a stop for lunch and we reached our destination, Freedom Hotel in Siem Reap. Had a swim in the pool upon arriving but it was so hot in the water and was not refreshing at all. But I stayed in the water, what a surprise! We all had dinner at the hotel and an early night. So far the food here is not as spicy as Thailand and slightly different. I've had an Angkor beer which was very mild and actually very nice. This morning it was another early start, up at 4.30 for a 5am trip out to Angkor Wat to watch the sunrise. Angkor Wat was pretty spectacular but not as awe inspiring as I had imagined. It was a lovely sunrise though. Lots of steps and there was a particular set at the very top that were so so scary to climb and even worse to come down! Now I've had breaky and a short rest and I'm off to explore the town before more temple trekking this afternoon. Oh, and I forgot to mention that I failed to readjust to the use of drop toilets and managed to wee all over my foot yesterday. Very unpleasant in the heat! And I'm pretty certain something has crawled into my ear. 
So now I've had an explore of the town by tuk tuk. The tuk tuks here are a but different. Just a bike with a carriage that can be a bit unbalanced! The very kind driver gave us a 30 minute tour of the town for $5. Siem Reap is a very cute little town with lots of trees and a wide river that runs through it. The people seem very friendly and the town is much cleaner than I had expected. After our tour the driver dropped us at a spa. I had a $3 fish spa which consisted of hundreds of tiny fish nibbling at my feet while I squealed and squirmed. It was so ticklish and a very weird sensation. The girls at the spa were fascinated by my clothes (tshirt and gypsy pants) and asked a hundred questions. I learnt that okun means thanks. Afterwards I headed to the market for a quick look before being picked up by the same tuk tuk driver. Now I'm back at the hotel chilling out and cooling down before our next bit of temple trekking! 

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