Published: February 4th 2011February 3rd 2011
The bus journey to Siem Reap was an interesting one. Although I was secure in my own seat, the bus kept stopping for locals to hop on and hop off. I think it doubles as a bus services for the towns it passes through but there weren't enough seats for everybody, so from nowhere littles plastics stools appeared for people to sit on in the isles lol... it was funny... but he was driving pretty close to the edge sometimes...
Siem Reap is a small town to the North of Cambodia. It provides a base for a visit to the Temples of Angkor and as a result there is a hotels, bars and resturants district for people to entertain themselves in the evening, this is a buzzy area that revolves around 'Pub Street' and you'd never think you were in Cambodia! The town is set on a picturesque river and is home to a small late night market. The suburbs, however, are a dusty set of backstreet roads.
I got a three day pass to the temples and used two days. I was up before 5am on day one to get a Tuk Tuk to the temple of Angkor
Wat, in time for the sunrise over. It was a long day and I felt really templed out! There are numerous temples but the 'main' one is the temple of Angkor Thom and in particular the Beyon Library, which was my favourite. Although there are coach loads turning up, independently, I found some areas they weren't shown. Dark winding alleyways with weeds growing from between the stones and only the sounds of bats from above, there was no one there.. I don't know why, the area was a free for all. after a few more temples, my Tuk Tuk driver took me to Ta Prohm. This is where some of Lara Croft and Tomb Raider was filmed. Trees are growing on top of temples and their roots intertwinned with the buildings before making it into the ground.
I think one day was probably enough for temples for me, but on day two, not wanting to waste my pass (I originally though I would want two days), I hired a bicycle and cycled the full 30KM / 18 miles around the world heritage site. It was worth it. It seemed to me that not everyone bothers because there was nothing
like as many people over the far side so it was worth the effort in 35 degrees C.
After three nights in Siem Reap, I'm going to Battembang for a night to have a look round and organise my exit to Thailand. It looks like I will have to get to Poipet by bus, then walk across the border controls, get a Tuk Tuk to the first town in Thailand and then a bus to Bangkok?!?! It's the Chinese New Year today so It might have to wait until tomorrow?!?!
There are more photos below