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montana to bangkok to siem reap

CAMBODIA | Friday, 29 December 2006 | Views [813] | Comments [2]

wooohooo!  after over 30 hours of flying, stin and i practically waving to each other from our respective airplanes, we arrived in bangkok around 2 am on december 27th.  my luggage was still languishing somewhere in denver, but managed to arrive the following day.  we stayed the first "night" at a posh hotel found by orbitz, where we tried to adjust our sleep cycle without success.  our first (and only) day in bangkok was spent wandering the streets, enjoying kiwi iced green tea and napping.  bangkok is a remarkably clean city, there is no trash anywhere and there are many jobs for street sweepers.  it is also a very peaceful city, where cars actually stop for pedestrians and no one is in a hurry.  even the dogs are mellow.  it is hard for me to let down my guard after so many years on the streets of central america.  

we moved from our hotel to my friend derek's house that afternoon.  i knew derek from my glory days at UCSB and have not seem him for probably 5 years.  although he is very responsible and hard-working now, he is still the derek i knew in college...  he and his brother welcomed us into their home with open arms and filled our bellies with delicious, authentic thai food.  we are so grateful and hope to treat them when we return to bangkok in february!

yesteday we embarked on our journey to siem reap, cambodia, the jumping off point for visiting the ruins of ankgor wat.  the trip involved a pleasant 5 hour bus ride to the cambodian border, followed by a tuk-tuk ride through immigration, and then a "grueling 3.5 hour, baja-off road adventure in a toyota camry" as described by stin.  we shared the "taxi" with a lovely couple from france, who managed to laugh along with us for most of the journey.  much to stin's delight the driver honked at absolutely everything we passed.  there are really no words to describe it other than dusty, bone-jarring, and fascinating.  we were exposed to the extreme poverty of cambodia, and the stark contrast between cambodia and thailand that begins at the border.  cambodia has been through hell but it full of strenght and pride.


finally landed in siem reap after dark, a gaudy tourist town surrounded by giant hotels and funky restraunts.  hardly the essence of cambodia, but inevitable if one wants to visit ankgor wat.  we found a simple, air conditioned room recently sprayed generously with raid for $11 a night, one of the few places with any room available.  after showering off the layers of dust acquired from the trip, we sat down to delicious thai and khmer food, stin enjoying his favorite panang, and i an unusual pumpkin and tofu dish.  we are now well fed, well rested, and ready to explore...

Tags: planes trains & automobiles

Comments

1

Hi guys! so glad to hear you made it to your first destination! I am checking daily for adventures. I will be living vicariously through you!! I bet the thai food is like no other! Glorious traveling my friends!
SaraMae

  Sara Mortenson Dec 30, 2006 4:24 PM

2

Hi Stin and Kendra -- so glad your travels were safe. It is gorgeous!! Thanks for sharing your pictures. We really enjoyed your company over the holiday -- Stacey

  Stacey Arnt Jan 3, 2007 11:54 AM

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