Monday morning my travel companion, Marius, and I left Bangkok and headed towards Cambodia. We decided to be a little adventurous, so we took the public bus from Bangkok to the Cambodian border and then shared a taxi with two locals from the border to Siem Reap. The bus trip from Bangkok to the border was about 4.5 hours, then we spent at least one hour at the border to get the visas, and lastly we drove on a very bad road in an old uncomfortable car for 3 hours before we finally arrived at the hotel in Siem Reap.
Marius is not coming back to Bangkok with me since he will spend more time traveling in Cambodia on his own, and I was originally planning to take the same route back to Bangkok, but when I arrived at my hotel on Monday afternoon, after a long and uncomfortable trip across the border, I decided to go back by plane instead. I must admit that it was an interesting experience to travel across the border on the ground, but frankly, I make too much money to put up with that kind of shit more than once! 🙂
During the last three days here in Siem Reap we have been visiting some of the many temples in this region. The most famous temple is the impressive Angkor Wat, and it was amazing to finally see the wonder with my own eyes after having read about it and seen travel photos for many years. There are in fact a large number of old temples around Siem Reap, and we booked a 3-days ticket to see the temples, and we hired a tuk-tuk driver for the three days to make sure we had a guide and someone to take us around. It turned out to be a great idea since our driver, Mr. Yon, knew where to find all the temples and he only charged us 65 US dollars for the two of us the entire time.
In addition to the temples we have also had time to see other interesting parts of this country. Last night we went to see a local dance show on one of the more expensive restaurants in Siem Reap, and today we have been at the floating village outside of town. So far the entire trip has been amazing, and the people in Cambodia are very friendly and accommodating. The only thing that has been quite disturbing is to see all the landmine victims. It is difficult for physically disabled people to make a living in a poor country like Cambodia, but many of them are playing musical instruments or selling guide books by the temples to earn money. Marius and I donated money to these people when we met them, and hopefully other tourists are doing the same.
Tomorrow I will be flying back to Bangkok in the afternoon, and spend one more day in the Thai capital before I go back to Singapore. It will definitely be sad to leave, and I envy Marius who will be traveling for another 5 months before he has to go back to Switzerland. He will be relatively close to Singapore, so maybe I will try to catch up with him again some time before he goes back, especially if he travels to an interesting destination where I have never been before. Well, time will show… 🙂