Published: February 26th 2012January 21st 2012
After leaving a rainy 4000 islands, we reached the border to be greeted with sunshine and lots of queues. Eventually we were stamped into Cambodia and after a bit more waiting we were on our way to Kampong Cham.
We were dropped on a random street in Kampong Cham and jumped onto the back of a couple of motos to complete the journey to our hotel. We had a relaxed evening and took advantage of the cheap wine on offer. The following day we took a walk round the town and enjoyed looking through the market and at the many temples around. The following day we were heading to Siem Reap, so got up early to enjoy the sunrise over the river whilst we had breakfast.
We arrived in SIem Reap and enjoyed a G&T whilst waiting for Stuart’s parents to arrive. We then headed to Pre Rup to enjoy the sunset and get a first view of the temples. The following day we went to the Angkor Wat museum, which was very enlightening and gave us a good insight into the Angkor complex and a little of the history of why all the temples were built. In the
evening we went on a boat trip around the Vietnamese floating village, where we got to visit an orphanage and were lucky enough to once again enjoy another sunset…
The next day we went to see Prasat To
and The Lady Temple. We also visited the Land Mine Museum, which was very educational and thought provoking. In the evening we went to see a traditional puppet show, which was interesting as it was all done in Khmer, though we think we understood what was going on. We also visited the night market and took advantage of the cheap beers available.
We then had an early start to go see the sunrise at Phnom Beklang. This was a recommendation of our tuk tuk driver, and it worked out well as only about ten people were there! After some breakfast we visited about six other temples. Including Angkor Thom, Bayon, Preah Kham, Neak Poan and Ta Som. Feeling a bit templed out we headed back for some food and a nap before heading out in the evening.
We had a slightly later start for the final day at the temples. This time we only visited two, Ta Prahm and
Angkor Wat for the sunset. We spent several hours looking round both and exploring the many buildings and grounds. We then headed back and out for a final meal with Stuart’s parents before we would go our separate ways.
Our next stop in Cambodia was Kep, a little town by the sea (though the beach leaves a lot to be desired!). After a long journey down for Siem Reap, we spent a few days enjoying the hammocks and the extremely fresh seafood (crab with green Kampot pepper being the local speciality) before heading on to Kampot.
We arrived in Kampot, settled in and took advantage of the happy hour beer, played mini golf and pool until the early hours. The next day was a bit more restful and we had an earlish night, ready to go to Bokor Hill, where City of Ghosts was filmed.
Up on Bokor Hill we got to see the abandoned Kings residence, the church and the Casino. However some families had moved into the Kings residence and the church and the Casino was having construction work done on it. A 3 star hotel is also being built as there are plans to
create a resort on the hill. We also got to visit a Wat (temple) and a waterfall that had very little water as it was the dry season!
We had intentions of leaving Kampot on the Tuesday, however Stuart volunteered to help behind the bar (in exchange for free beer, food and board), after covering for a couple of hours. So we spent about two weeks there, during the day we would walk around the town and play pool. In the evenings Stuart would work and Charlene played (and mostly lost) pool and mini golf.
We left Kampot for Phnom Penh. Whilst there we visited S21 (a secret prison where hundreds of people were tortured into confessing to crimes they did not commit) and the Killing Fields (where thousands of people were killed in a brutal way in order to save on bullets as they were too expensive). This made for a very somber last day in Cambodia, however we are glad we visited them as it gave us a good insight into what actually happened and shows the strength that Cambodians have to move on with their lives.
We really enjoyed our time in Cambodia, however
with our visas expiring at midnight, we reluctantly left on a flight to Bangkok……
There are more photos below