Wednesday, 9 September 2009

In Siem Reap

Well, i have a bit of down time today so thought i'd do a quick post. Got into bangkok on sunday, stayed at the rambuttri village inn for 2 nights. Rooftop swimming pool = awesomeness. Anyway, monday i went to the kings palace which was pretty awesome (i'm saying awesome too much, i am aware of this :/). There was this weapons section with some crazy old school stuff. Had pad thai for lunch at a place called O Hungry near to the guest house. For my first meal in Thailand, it was amazing. And cheap as hell of course. Spent the rest of the day by the rooftop pool, met a bunch of people. Swedish guy who's been in Laos for a month and has decided to go to Burma for a while, crazy place. Bought loads of snacks because on Tuesday i was travelling to Siem Reap. Walking around Khao San in Bangkok, it feels quite touristy, and people endlessly trying to sell you stuff. the weirdest one is quite a lot of peeps are trying to sell you suits. Why would i want to buy a suit! It's hot, sweaty, i'm clearly a dirty traveller. And when they find out where you're from, the usual 'loubbly jubbly' comes out. Good times.

So, Tuesday, got to the bus station, got on a bus to Aranya Prathet. They showed Star Trek dubbed in Thai. Spock sounded pretty hilarious. Once i got to Aranya Prathet a tuk-tuk took me to some Cambodian Visa place where i got my Visa sorted. They also offered me a shared taxi once i crossed the border to Siem Reap. I was being pretty guarded as the lonely planet book doesn't rate the place too highly. Anyway, made the border crossing and into Poipet. What a hole! Scams abound in this wild town, shuttle bus to bus terminal. There was an epic amount of confusion, none of the buses were running and the guys trying to sell share taxis seemed to be working against each other. But then they tried to tell me that i could get on a minibus with some other travellers, i'd already paid about $10 for it, but then i ended up getting in a share taxi with two Italian people for the $10 i had already paid. Turns out i was too worried that they were trying to scam me to actually trust them. Long road to Siem Reap, there really is only one road, and everyone seems to live beside it. Loads of cows and dogs wondering around, fun times were had dodging them! Get to outskirts of Siem Reap and taxi drops us off with Tuk-tuk's, which is expected, as they try to take you to a certain guesthouse to get a comission, and they also want to be your driver to the Ankor Wat temples. I decline both, and get taken to my guesthouse, the Ivy 2. Pretty laid back place, nice area upstairs with hammocks and comfy chairs.

Go out and get some food, find a place with $0.50 draft beer, yes sir. Meet an English guy whose name i still cant remember and feel really bad about :/ he's a diving instructor, been working in the cayman islands for 5 years and is on his way to Aus to work for 9 months. We agree to share a tuk-tuk to Ankor Wat the next day. They all say, 'come for the sunrise!' so we do, i meet him at his hotel at 5am, we get driven in. Ankor Wat has the most insane temples. It's so incredible. Anyway, the sun didn't rise (it is rainy season) it just got brighter! We met up with an English guy and a girl from Amsterdamn that my friend whose name i still cant remember met the night before. We wondered round Ankor Wat first. Huge place, so much detail and carving on every stones, pictures and scripture. Took about an hour and a half to walk round, tuk tuk takes us to a place for breakfast where kids try endlessly to sell us stuff, but they have a suprisingly good understanding of English. A girl would ask you where you were from, and she says 'if i tell you what the population of that country and the capital city, will you buy my book.bracelet/etc. Much fun was had with that as we met some other people from Australia and Ireland, and started saying obscure countries to see if they had anything to say for that.

After breakfast we went to a couple of smaller temples, like Ankor Thom, which had these Eerie faces carved into these huge rocks that stare down at you. And finally, Ta Prohm, which had huge tree roots wrapping itself all over the place. Crazy/awesome. Probably took about 150 pictures. Its now midday, gonna go back and maybe sleep for a bit or watch a film, then have a few more drinks tonight with the guy with no name and whoever else we happen to meet. Probs gonna stay in Siem Reap for 2 more Nights, then Phnom Penh for 2 nights, then onto Vietnam. I emailed the consulate and they said its ok for me to enter after the stated date of entry on my Visa, so i'm gonna spend some more time here. Its a cool place, awesome food, good people, its nice to have gotten away from the touristy-ness of Bangkok.

That wasn't as short as i thought it was going to be :/

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