Temples and a bus crash!
03.01.2011 - 09.01.2011 32 °C
Last time I left it I think I was on a bus on my way to the Cambodian border – which I might add is notorious for scams and cons. I arrived at the bus station about 6km from the border of Poipet and I heard it was 80bht for the ride and when I asked how much the Tuk Tuk driver said 80bht straight away – obviously something was up lol.
Then he dropped me at the side of the road at this building that said Cambodian Immigration, hmm… I swear that should be after I get stamped out of Thailand – the guy came out and greeted me and was like come in come in, welcome to the Cambodian immigration – now I aint stupid – but obviously a lot of people are as they were paying $45 for their visa there! I asked the tuk tuk driver to take me to the actual border, which his response was very rude. I found out that a lot of people get really hounded by these people to buy the visas at these places. Luckily I could see the border crossing so I said goodbye – in a very polite way of course and headed to the border. I have just been reading this paragraph back and it does bring a smile to my face… my mum reads this blog and when reads that I had yet another argument with a taxi driver it will prove her theory that I have a vendetta against them. Which I haven’t of course ;-) I just hate getting ripped off! Im going to start a revolution against them ha.
So across the border and it didn’t get much better to be honest… the bus companies are all set prices from the border so it costs a flat $9 for the 3 hour journey – not bad you think but when they stop at a restaurant – one that they have an interest in – when you are just 20 minutes for your destination it does get on your nerves – and to top it off they said we were staying there for an hour! Yes one hour! I almost got a taxi there and then, out of protest no one on the whole bus spent a penny in there (step one of my revolution).
Right enough with my moaning – Im not painting a very good picture of Cambodia am I?? I met a few people on the bus so we teamed up and said we would all rent a Tuk Tuk for the day and head to the Ankor Temples. Now I said it takes a lot to impress me these days but I was very impressed – we started off at Ankor Wat in the morning which was without a doubt the best temple I have seen, and I ve seen quite a few on this trip. It really is huge! I can see why it was so busy. We headed to Ankor Thom afterwards which was almost as impressive – Ankor Thom has a maze of tunnels and steps, it quite easy and we all did get separated but we all met up back outside. We stopped for lunch and headed to Ta Phrom , known by all the Tuk Tuk drivers as the Tomb Raider temple as apparently it was filmed there. Ankor Wat is a more impressive temple but this one was my favourite, it has been left untouched and unrestored. The trees have grown over the buildings and it looks amazing! Just see the photos.
It was getting close to sunset and we heard it was best to see at a temple on the hill over looking Ankor Wat, it would have been very nice if there wasn’t another 500 people up there with us. I have to admit temple aren’t really my thing but if your in Cambodia you have to go and see this place – its amazing. We returned back to Siam Reap in a pretty disgusting state – it was so dusty around the temples my clothes were all brown along with any part of skin showing. We went out that night and to my absolute delight the local beer was only 50 cents – awesome!
Now I was on a pretty tight time scale as I wanted to get in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville before I had to catch my flight back in Bangkok to Hong Kong so the next day it was off to Phnom Penh. One thing you realize when you get buses that all the advertised bus times are wrong and not just by an hour – our 5 hour bus was actually an 8 hour bus to Phnom Penh, anyway we arrived to late to visit the Killing Fields so we headed to S21 – the famous prison that thousands of Cambodians were held, tortured an d killed only four decades ago. I didn’t know how to feel really – its got hundreds of photos of the prisoners and what happened to them. It wasn’t the nicest experience – I mean we all know people get killed in wars but this was only 40 odd years ago and is the reason there are hardly any old Cambodians here. The feeling was even worst when we visited the killing fields – this was just one of over 200 that were around the country but it has been opened up to the public. We hired a guide because I really wanted to understand what happened here. It was shocking to say the least to hear his stories. Bodies were buried everywhere, we were walking over bones that come up through the earth during the rain. It was a must see but not in a good way if you understand what I mean.
That afternoon I headed down to Sihanoukville on the coast I fancied a day or to on the beach to relax – didn’t quite happen though – the beer was only 25cents in the evening and my first night there had me feeling so rough I wasn’t sure if I could handle another. It isn’t exactly what I would cool a pretty town, its just a tourist town – the beach isn’t that impressive either but I had a good time and got the night bus to Bangkok which was advertised as being 15 hours – likely story. The bus was so uncomfortable in the seat I was quite happy when we crashed… yep, went straight into a car – or the car went into us – I wasn’t quite sure, luckily no one was hurt but the bus and the car were pretty totaled – so we were on the side of the road when another bus pulled up – me and two others were heading straight to Bangkok so they put us on that bus so we could make our connection so we had to sit on the steps of the bus – luckily we were only an hour away from our connecting bus so it wasn’t that bad.
We had an hour stop over to wait for our bus where a Canadian guy was going off at the guy that was sorting the bus connections – I actually had to step in- everyone was just watching! It was all over the fact that he was told that it was a direct bus to Bangkok and he had to wait for a connection – ok he was lied to but everyone was – no need for that at all. If he gets upset over the way things run over here maybe he should go home – which is exactly what I told him – he really got on my nerves…
We had another couple of annoying stops but made it over the border pretty quickly nothing like they way over. When we got to the otherside we were expecting a bus but instead they crammed us into a mini van – my legs were around my head!I was soo thankful when we arrived in Bangkok! So I writing this while having a beer outside my hotel – Im going to try and fit in a dentist appointment whilst im here and just catch up with a few things. But you know what I wasn’t the biggest fan of Bangkok before but this is my third visit now and its grown on me – I love just sitting watching the people go by… with a beer or two obviously.
Next Bangkok to see Fion!