|Left Phnom Penh with Finn & Elin (all quite pleased to be leaving!) and headed to Siem Reap - famous for the temples of Angkor Wat! The bus ride was definitely an experience. Not so much the bumpy road, heat and dust that got to you - more the filthiness of the bus and the air conditioning unit that (obviously didn't work) and was infested with cockroaches!! Every now and then a few would drop out of the vents and land on your face or lap - totally disgusting! If that wasn't bad enough, the driver then proceeds to put on a crap karaoke dvd onto the tv (yes there was a tv, which was totally random on such an old battered bus) with very loud Cambodian music totally grating in your ear...this was pretty annoying but soon turned quite funny when the video actually turned out to be a soft porno movie...hilarious! Not sure if the driver realised - he probably did! Not amusing though for the local family sitting opposite me who had 3 small children with them. They were very cute but also very very dirty and naked and causing chaos on the bus running up and down, eating food scraps off the filthy floor. I was playing with the youngest one and thought he was very cute until he just squats down in the aisle, starts concentrating very hard and then does a big poo. They have no nappies. The mother picks it up off the floor, he carries on running around and eating from the floor and 10 minutes later does a wee on the floor and still runs right through it...charming!! But again, all these people & children seem to survive so just shows how over-protective and molly-coddling people in the UK can be...Definitely a bus ride to remember anyway!
Our arrival to Siem Reap was also pretty bad - it's quite normal when you arrive at bus stations to be mobbed by taxi drivers, hotel workers etc etc to try and get you to go with them, but this greeting was just ridiculous. People were crowding all around the bus making it almost impossible for us to get off. Men grabbing us and our bags and pulling us in every direction trying to get us in their tuk-tuk - just all so poor and desperate for work. So it was very chaotic & a bit scary (especially when one man told me he'd stab me if I didn't go with him! which is actually the second death threat we've had in Cambodia!) but eventually we managed to get away and found a great hotel where we could chill out and relax.
Our driver Vang was great and he ended up driving us around Angkor Wat for the next couple of days. The temples at Angkor are situated over a huge area and you really need days to explore them all properly. 2 days was enough for us as we got to see all the main sites and I couldn't have coped much more traipsing around in the immense heat - am pretty much templed out now! And all the hoards of children trying to sell you souvenirs gets a bit much sometimes - you get no peace anywhere! The temples were spectacular though and just so old (some from 12th century) that was quite amazing to see and I really enjoyed the days spent there. We saw the sunset on the first day and had a very early start the second to see the sunrise. After that it was time to just chill out in Siem Reap, shopping at the markets and have a proper night out at the bars (the first in weeks!)
So we're leaving Cambodia after only a week here -there's a lot more to see in the country but I've seen the highlights, learned a lot and am now keen to get back to Thailand and hit the beaches and just relax. The last few weeks of traveling has exhausted me and now I just want to do nothing, no more sight-seeing and just totally rest before I come home.