SIem Reap, New Year and Phnom Penh

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January 3rd 2008
Published: January 4th 2008
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New Years Eve - Took a tuk tuk out to the Floating Villagesin the late afternoon (apparently the quietest time). Quite a shock as the people here are obviously very poor which we have not seen much of yet. Still even though they live in squallor and minute falling down shacks they still have TV and Radio!!!!. When we drove up it was so crowded with buses and tuk tuk's we actually debated on not bothering with the river trip. Still as we were there we did - whole boat to ourselves - luxury. It is a most amazing sight, they have floating schools, a floating basketball court, shops, service station, church, pool (8 ball) room - apparently very hard to play due to water movement and lots more. In the dry they tow the boats into the mountains and in the wet right out on the lake. The lake itself is 75km wide and 100km long - HUGE. Saw the fast boat to PP (DEFINITELY NOT A DESIRED WAY TO TRAVEL). Back to hotel to change for New Year.

The main area was blocked off for a street party and fireworks, with various music blarring from every bar. It was certainly heaving with people everywhere - except in one lovely looking bar run by an Aussie. His bar was empty - he chose not to have music but was playing a very loud, violent movie - maybe not that suitable for New years eve. We ate at our favourite restaurant "Little India", food is great here but also the waiter is just fantastic. He is very young, new to the job but he just laughs and smiles such a lot it is so cute. We want to take him back to Oz. Steve nicknamed him Smiley which also made him laugh even more.

Off early in the morning for the 5.5 hours back to PP. As usual PP is never as you expect, the rooms we booked turned out not to be what we booked and that took a while to sort out. Then finally off to the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. Very disapointing, we did not really think it was worth going to but the gardens where kind of nice.

Next day, off to Killing Fields and the Conservation Park (Zoo). Killing fields very chilling. The Conservation Park was interesting, the Sun bears were so cute and they had a lot of them. The one that started all the conservation on bears had an amputated leg as did a baby elephant (from a landmine). Still at least now things are being done, it's a start.

This morning Chris and I had a Japanese style massage (definitely not our favourite style). The Khmer one in Siem Reap was a lot better. Still at 5 US for 1 hour you can't complain.

Steve and I leave this afternoon for the coast and Chris flies home tomorrow (She is not happy about that!!).

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