29.06.2007 - 04.07.2007 30 °C
Really hung over Fabian and myself took the bus from Phnom Phen to Siam Reap and the same thing happened here once we got off the bus... people just attacked us with offers. Quite scary sometimes, as they all talk at the same time and pinch you and pull on your bag and all that....\
We found a really nice hotel run by an Austrian. Siam is really nice. We went out for a few drinks again and ended up having another late night. Met some really nice Dutch guys and the next day I felf rubbish so I decided to have a lazy day and not go to the Angkor Wat and have an early night. Really didn't want to be hung over when seeing such a spectacular sight.
Wow! is all I can say after having spent 2 days in Angkor Wat now. The temples are so impressive, it's undescribable. Probably one of the best sights I have ever seen, so the $40 are worth it. My first day in Angkor I went with Fabian and we hired a tuc tuc from the hotel to do the Great Tour. The driver was disappointing as he didn't tell us anything, the usual... and also couldn't answer any questions.
It was really good though. Those temples are incredible. I have taken millions of pictures. Angkor Wat is basically a whole city built between 9th and 13th century. God knows how they managed to build these massive temples in those days. Apparently elephants were carrying them. A lot are partyly destroyed, either by time, by the jungle or by the Khmer Rouge, but still what is left is breath taking. And it adds to the atmosphere that some of it are only ruins and not in perfect condition. We did the Great Tour which covers all the surrounding temples but not the main ones like Angkor Wat itself.
It is quite exhausting though, the heat, constantly a new temple, lots of walking around but hey ho, what an experience! I just didn't feel too well all day. Although I had an early night, I lay awake half the night and got really bad stomach cramps. Hopefully not my first bug....
After the temples I tried to organise my journey to Laos, but it doesn't seem to be as easy as I thought. Apparently it takes 3 days overland to get the Laos border.... The roads seem to be really bad and we did get a bit of a taste of it on our journey to Phnom Penh, so I can't do that and will need to fly instead. As I was getting quite stressed about my whole trip to Laos, as I had no idea where to go when I am there, I had a proper look at the map and made the decision to skip the South and not got to the 4000 islands, which is a real shame as they have beaches too and I really could do with some relaxing. Ah well, after checking the flight schedules I have no decided to fly to Vientiane and probably try to keep my time in Laos rather short as I am getting desparat to get some time by the beach.
Spend the evening with Fabian, the Irish guy he met the day before and the Dutch guys again and as of tomorrow I am by myself again which is good ;-)
After another horrible night (not sure what is wrong with me....) I went to the sunrise over Angkor Wat. I got picked up at 4.30am! Ouch! Unfortunately it was cloudy so there wasn't much to see. I was one of the first tourists to get there and stumbled in complete darkness through the gates to find a spot to watch.
Really nice atmospehere and even a bit spooky walking through those impressive temples in darkness. Although there were quite a few people it was a nice atmosphere and I am glad I went, even though the was no realy sunrise. I also expected far more people, so was pleasantly surprised. To visit the temples after sunrise was fantastic. Angkor Wat is certainly the most impressive one. There are so many levels, floors, corners, outbuildings and that sort of stuff where you could wander around and wouldn't meet anyone else. Really cool and they also pretty much left you walk and climb everywhere. I spent 2.5 hours in the main temple and absolutely loved it.
I saw loads of other temples thereafter but one of the other really impressive ones was Ta Prohm which looks as if it comes straight out of an Indiana Jones movie and it is the place where they have shot Tomb Raider. So many parts have fallen apart and been left to nature. Amazing crumbling stonework everywhere and a lot of them have collapsed. So many trees and roots strangle the stonework, it is just incredible and looks amazing.
I finished around lunch time, went back to the hotel, was glad to have a room back to myself. The rest of the day was quiet, just sorted out my flight, went to the Internet and had dinner.
My last day in Siam Reap was meant to be a very quiet one. I decided not to go for a third day to the temples as 2 days is really enough and the third day would have been really expensive too and you just can't take any more temple in after 2 days. I was planning to spend most of the day on the Internet, maybe a massage or going to the pool in a nearby hotel but it all came different... of course!!! It never works out the way I plan it :-)
I started the day well after a proper nights sleep again. Eventually I managed to slee propeerly again. At breakfast I met some really nice Germans, Ben and Tobias, and we were chatting away until 11am and arranged to meet up for dinner. Just while I was leaving to get on with my day I met a couple who also was lovely and is travelling for a whole year and we started swapping traveller stories and tips, so at least I got my Laos trip finalised that way. Have to skip a few things but I rather leave out a few things and not be in a rush. Suddenly it was 3pm already when I was rushing into town to get a few bits and pieces and got at least some time on the Internet. I think I just have to accept that I will never manage to catch up... I then went for dinner with the two boys and had such a great evening. We had such a laugh and there wasn't a single dull moment. Especially Ben was highly entertaining. Really nice guys. Such a shame I couldn't spend more time with them. Damn "good byes"!!! Tobi left at one point while we were already back at the hotel sitting outside drinking more beers. What was meant to be just the one night cup ended up with 10 beers at 5am in the morning. So funny! I have to get up just before 7am and hadn't even packed, so I didn't get much sleep :-) but for once I managed to catch my flight. I was so paranoid that I would miss the flight as the next one was only in 2 or 3 days time. I wonder how poor Ben was coping. He can't have had any slepp, as they went for the sunrise.
What a finsish to my time in Cambodia.... :-)