Published: March 3rd 2006November 8th 2005
We set off at 5am in 2 minibuses, one with a Man Utd. sticker on the windscreen, which caused Adrian to rapidly shift to the other bus. Jenny and Babsi were left behind to catch their plane later on (had they been let in on what was about to happen??). Crossing the border itself was straightforward and Bol heartily welcomed us to Cambodia as we past through the official archway. The next stage was a 5 hour trip in 3 taxis to Siem Reap- to go about 80km (I think). Why so long? Well, basically because the first few hours are spent on one of the most uneven "roads" classified as a road. The drivers apparently do this 6 hour trip up to 4 times a day, so with a schedule like that, feel it necessary to drive as fast as possible, even though they are driving ordinary cars on a poorly maintained rally-style track. The video evidence obtained by Bruce and Rach, cannot come close to reality of this dehabilitating journey. Indeed, our crazy driver managed to bust his radiator, so we ended up getting towed along, tottering precariously close to either edge of the narrow track through the paddy fields, which added somewhat to the stickiness of a car interior without any functioning cooling system, and on Rachel's side a blazing sun- it is fair to say that Luke, Marie, Rach and I chose the wrong car. On arrival, we were assured that this was the worst road we would encounter (and it was, although having spoken to several travellers, it appears that one can quite easily travel by boat-so do that, even if it costs you ten times the dollar price!).
That night we had a fabulous buffet dinner at Jasmine's with all sorts of traditional local and not-so-local food (potential for odd combinations like mashed potato alongside shrimp noodles..). The coconut icecream was especially fab but I never managed to find it again. There was also a heap of traditional dancing including the Apsara dance (deities sent to dance and distract the demons), the courtship dance and the dance of the versatile coconuts - which seemed to dwell on their use as a sound-effect.
Drink of the day: Angkor Beer