10.12.2013 - 14.12.2013
Our '10hr' bus journey from Sihanoukville was elongated by pure SE Asian illogical processes including the duel use of buses as couriers for everything from leaky bags of fish to cement mixers and 50kg sacks of salt. Before we started this trip we were well aware of what to expect from bus journeys in the east. It's not until your looking out of the window of the bus observing the array of men loading the luggage hold with mentioned items whilst dressed in baseball hats embroidered with the Facebook/Chanel/You Tube logo, 'FBI' or our personal favourite 'wi-fi' (did he just love wi-fi or did he have a modem installed under there? We'll never know!) Its these moments and the future 15 hrs on that bus where you get a chance to stop and think about where you are and what you might think of it all. At the 13hr mark when we stopped for a rest break where Dan had a mini melt down- If they do this journey every day why do they pretend it can be done in 5 hrs less? Why do they sell food off dirty floors, litter everywhere and piss on logs next to empty toilet cubicles?! How do they know when to stop in the middle of nowhere to unload a box of fish for a man at the side of the road?...and so on. - He had been listening to the Ricky Gervais XFm shows for the majority of the journey so the rant was at bit Karl Pilkington and entertaining for me. When we finally got to the hotel late at night we were to hungry to go into town for food despite having only a tube of pringles each all day. Our logic was to spend the saved food money on double the amount of food tomorrow.
We spent our first day in Siem Reap running errands (replacement camera $125-ouch!) And catching up on the walking dead mid season finale.
On day 2 we got up at 4:30am to get to Angkor Wat for sunrise with our extremely jolly tuk tuk driver who said 'I see your face and ha ha ha ha' I think he meant 'I want to familiarise myself with your face so I know which white people you are later when you come back out'- same same? We went to the temples on the mini circuit observing crazy Korean ladies running to each photo opportunity using their cameras like machine guns.
When it got a bit too hot and busy we retreated for lunch and a nap. In the evening I got a pedicure and some much needed new t-shirts from a market stall with a lady laughing telling me I need xxxxl as I tried on an xl. Which fitted me well thank you very much!
In the morning of day 3 we did a Khmer cooking course learning peppered tomato soup, spicy prawn salad and amok. On the course were a family from Holland with two boys who helped out with the mortar and pestle action.
In the afternoon we paid $3 to use a swimming pool in a $100 a night hotel (our hotel is $6 per night) this along with checking all the cubicles before settling on a squatty is probably one of my top backpacking tips.
We returned to more temples on the next two days and tried not to moan about it being 'too hot' and just accept that we were both a sweaty mess. I continued to wear my silly hat and blend in with the Koreans.