The day we left Phuket it was raining quite heavily so we were not too sad to be leaving. The flight back to Bangkok was uneventful and we met our taxi transfer after a little searching at the exit. On arrival at the Royal hotel we dumped our bags and went onto the swarming mass that is a Bangkok street. Without a map and just from memory we managed to find Wat Arun ( The temple of dawn)
We were considering a trip around the local canals but after being accosted by an over enthusiastic boatman wanting 2,000 baht (£40) for a one hour trip we decided to hop onto a local ferry across the river for the princely sum of 6 baht (12 pence).
We headed back to the hotel and decided to look for a suitable establishment for dinner. After much searching we found what looked like a suitable restaurant and entered to be greeted by the sounds of screeching coming from an "open mike" session further down the restaurant. This looks fun we both thought and sat down to eat. The performers were very enthusiastic but unfortunately not that talented. If you have ever heard a performance of Chinese opera which has been described as "cat strangling to music" these efforts were slightly better. We were invited to take part and Nigel had delusions of knocking out a bit of Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" but without the music, the words or the talent Helen suggested that this was not a good idea. We politely declined the offer.
The following morning Nigel was still suffering from a heavy cold (aka man flu) but stoically got to his feet to visit the grand palace and the reclining Buddha. We were ready for the planned 1pm meeting with the group we were traveling with only to be told there would be a delay as they hadn't arrived and we would meet at 6pm. On meeting the group the majority seem to be seasoned travellers and we went to dinner swapping "war stories" of trips we had been on.
After a pleasant meal the group split and we returned to the hotel so that we could prepare for our 4.30am alarm call the next day.
At breakfast there were some sore heads as some of the group had stayed out until 2:30am drinking. We were apparently to travel to Cambodia by train but due to some serious flooding the train couldn't get through so the early start was to catch a coach which we hoped would be able to negotiate the flooding issues. On arrival at the coach station we loaded our baggage into the main coach compartment, on enquiring why the bags weren't going into the purpose made luggage lockers under the coach I was advised that they could get wet due to the flooding. The coach set off for the Cambodian border half empty so Nigel decided to take a seat at the back of the coach and catch up on some sleep. However as the say "The best laid plans of mice and men" as there was a stop after about an hour and Nigel woke to the coach now fully loaded and sitting next to a grandfather and his two grandsons for the rest of the trip. After negotiating the flooding at the Cambodian boarder on the coach, we were very lucky as we were told the next day that the same road had become impassible. We then had a short trip to our next hotel in Siem Reap where we were to stay for 3 nights. At the group evening meal we tried the local delicacy , Amok , a green curry served in a coconut shell. (photograph)
The following morning we went for breakfast at a recommended cafe, however the staff appeared a little overwhelmed and just about managed to serve us before having a nervous breakdown. While we were waiting for our breakfast a beggar approached us who was hunched over and limping using a cane to support himself. After pestering us and getting absolutely nowhere he eventually gave up. He then immediately straightened himself up and strode off with the cane under his arm, a miraculous change in circumstances. We quickly adapted to the Cambodian exchange rate as everything is sold in quantities of a dollar. We grew quite used to the street traders call of " One dollar" for almost anything of a small value.
We were also going to see a highlight of the whole trip, we were going to the Angkor Wat temple which is a world heritage site. Words cant really describe what we saw and we have included a few photographs, the best in our opinion shows both of us in front of the temple.
At lunch time we had cake as it was also Kelly, a member of the groups birthday.
The following day we took a trip into the jungle to see what has become known as the Lara Croft tomb raider temple as it was used in the film of the same name.
A selection of photographs have been included from the masses taken.
Tomorrow (13/10) we are heading from our current base at Siem Reap further into Cambodia and towards Phnom Penh.