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Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap March 5th 2017

Angkor Wat is probably the grand finale of Cambodia and of this whole trip, so getting up for the sunrise seemed in order, but a 4 a.m. start seemed a bit early when the sunrise is at 6:40 and we are only 15 minutes from the site! Of course no one had explained the hour long wait to get the tickets. Not sure why there was an hour long wait, I just think they like to complicate things round here, and it true to say that if they wanted to arrange a party in a brewery they would struggle. Anyway, on schedule, up came the sun, and it was round and orange as usual. The hundreds of people all oohed and ahwed, lots a awesome were heard, but why does the really tall guy (wearing a ... read more
Bayon temple
Four faces
Nature takes over

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh March 1st 2017

Public bus today, to get across the border. So we were told we had to walk to the bus station, just round the corner, but our luggage would go by rickshaw. We walked and walked, not to the bus station, and it was obvious that our new "leader" didn't know were we were but assured us this park was the bus station, and no luggage. After 10 mins he talked to someone, and suddenly we had to hurry across the park, and there was the bus, we had to assume our luggage was on it. 3 hours later we got to the border, all our passports were taken off us on the bus, and we were led into cages within a warehouse! Had to stand in female and male lines and then waited for 40 mins. ... read more
Genocide memorial
A classy hotel see rule one

Asia » Cambodia » Central » Kampong Chhnang March 1st 2017

So, after a morning at the Genocide museum in Pnom Penh, we set off for our home stay. It was a 3 hour drive, the last hour on dirt roads that had huge ditches to negotiate. If we had been warned what to expect we would have coped better, but we arrived to find we were basically sleeping on the floor, under mosquito nets that had holes everywhere, one toilet (hole in floor) and one wash area, which was a big cistern of water and a jug. We walked up the track to a local wedding, I think we were being paraded round. Good job no one understood us, when Ken asked if the person in Red (the bride) was a chap in drag! After we were fed at the community centre (rice) we watched local ... read more
The bride and groom
Dinner
Entertainment

Asia » Cambodia February 28th 2017

The mini-van (not mini-bus) to Kampot was to pick me up at the Guesthouse 66 at 10.30am. It was a little early, 10.15am, but then spent a long time driving around picking up other people and sitting at depots so we didn't actually leave Sihanoukville until 11.15am. It was two hours to Kampot. I wasn't quite sure where we were in town when the bus dropped everyone off but I had seen the "durian roundabout" along the way, and I knew there were a lot of cheap accommodations near there, so I just started walking back in that direction. There were a few cheap hotels along the way, but I was hoping for something less than US$8, so kept going until I found a US$5 room in a guesthouse above a mini-mart at the durian roundabout. ... read more
Pileated Gibbon (Hylobates pileatus)
Pileated Gibbon (Hylobates pileatus)
Pileated Gibbon (Hylobates pileatus)

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 27th 2017

Today was Angkor day and we knew it was going to be a long but fun day. We woke up really early as we were meeting everyone in the hotel lobby at 7:00am. Our tour guide told us that we needed to get to Angkor Wat as soon as it opens as it gets crowded quickly. They took us to the east gate as it was not crowded. We walked past the mote that surrounds Angkor Wat and then proceeded down a long tree lined path and then Angkor Wat suddenly appeared. It really is an impressive site and our tour guide did a great job of taking us to through the east gate as the sun was behind us and shinning on the buildings. We took a group photo and then got in line to ... read more
The east gate building
Walking the path
Our first view of Angkor Wat

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap February 26th 2017

Interesting day planed today as we are going to be riding an ox cart through a small village and then riding a boat to the floating city. We all gathered on the bus and headed out of Siem Reap about 45 minutes to a small little village to ride our ox carts. It was a lot of fun to ride through the cute village and wave at the locals. Everyone is so friendly here. After our ox coat ride we drove along some narrow dirt roads for quite a while heading to the boats that would take us to the floating village. We stopped along the way and took a picture of a beautiful lotus field as well. I wound up boarding the boat first so I got a great seat at the front of the ... read more
IMG_1476
Everybody getting off the bus ready for their ox cart ride
The parking lot of ox carts

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 25th 2017

This morning we are off to Siem Reap, home of Angkor Wat. We had to wake up early and meet our group at 7:00am so we could catch out flight. We were flying on a small prop plane again but the flight only lasted about 40 minutes so it wasn't too bad. At least this time I got to look out the window. We arrived in Siem Reap and immediately were taken to a large park wth a temple. We say some bats in the trees and all learned how to fold lotus flowers. We then gave the flowers as an offering in the temple and made a wish. We then headed to lunch before the group split up with half going to the museum and the other half going to the hotel. Drury went to ... read more
Our hotel rom view
Construction workers piling in a truck to go to work
Our very small plane

Asia » Cambodia February 24th 2017

The buses from Siem Reap to Kratie all go in the morning. At the Mingalar Inn where I was staying they had a bus schedule. Two left at 7am and cost US$22 and $18, one left at 7.30am and cost $13, and the last left at 8.15am and also cost $13. They all would take seven hours. I chose the 8.15 one because that would give me time to have breakfast without rushing. I wouldn't be doing anything that afternoon upon arrival in Kratie, so it didn't really matter if I got there at 2.30 or 3.30. Kratie, incidentally, is pronounced krah-chay. That's not important, I just thought I'd mention it because it isn't the way it's spelled. In the morning I was sitting out front at 6.45, waiting for my breakfast to be ready, and ... read more
dolphin boat at Kampi

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 24th 2017

I finally figured out why we are always waking up so early and heading out to visit temples or palaces. It is so cool in the mornings and our guide does not want us overheating so he schedules outdoor activities during the morning and tries to schedule museums or indoor activities in the afternoon. I am very grateful for that as it is so hot here. It actually is only in the mid 90's but with high humidity and no wind it is HOT! Our first stop this morning was the Royal Palace in Cambodia. The architecture of this Palace was definitely the prettiest I have seen so far on this trip. The buildings were just so beautiful I could not stop taking pictures. I may have posted too many of the palace but I was ... read more
Drury at the Royal Grounds
Our group listening to our guide Sophia
Royal Palace Selfie

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 23rd 2017

Today we are off to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We are flying on Vietnam Airlines on an A320. I had asked at the counter for an aisle seat or exit row, but he said he didn't have any so I got stuck on a window seat with no window right in front of the exit row so my seat didn't recline. I guess the guy at the counter really didn't like me. Anyways it was only an 1.5 hour flight so it wasn't too bad, but it was a full flight. We all boarded our new bus in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and this is by far the nicest bus we've had so far on the tour. It has so much leg room it is amazing and everyone has two seats to themselves. It also has a great ... read more
Our Plane to Cambodia
Watching the flight to Phnom Penh
Our very fancy bus




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