Hey Team, how are you all? Nick here. Its is now my turn to write to you all. I hope my writing skills are up to scratch. I dont think builders are meant to be good at this sort of stuff, but ill give it a good crack.
So it has been about 3 weeks since we last updated, and in that time we have flown to Bangkok, crossed the border into cambodia and have now seen a good chunk of the beautiful country.
So we arrived in the busy hustling and bustling bangkok to find it absolutely stinking hot. Bangkok was only a quick stop over before heading into Cambodia, but we were both super excited to hit the street and get stuck into some local food. Pretty sure the first thing we did was head down Koa San road for a $1.50 Pad Thai, and some meat on a stick. The heat got to us pretty quick though and we found ourselves chilling out at our hostel more than we should of watching movies and reading books. Ive actually read 4 books now while we have been away, which is more than ive read in the last year and and half. Pat on the back for Nick. So before we knew it, we were up early and on a bus heading for Cambodia………. We spent our last moment in thailand getting scammed at the border, spending way to much for our Cambodian visa. Gutted for us. We actually knew we were getting scammed, but they still got us. Dam you thailand.
Our first stop in Cambodia was the beautiful city of Siem Reap. We were only intending on staying one quick night before heading to Phnom Phen, but we found ourselves a really nice room for super cheap and stayed an extra night. We hired out bikes here and did a small tiki tour around town and followed the river for a while. We also went and visited the old market and the night market. The night market is massive, but full of stalls selling all the same stuff. Finished our day drinking 50cent beers at the garden village roof top bar. Beer here is cheaper than water. AWESOME.
Our next stop saw us catching another long bus down to Phnom Phen (capital city). We checked into a pretty nice backpackers called Velkommen. We treated ourselves to an air-con dorm. Actually cost more to stay in a dorm here than have our own room in Siem Reap. But you cant really argue with $6 each….. First day here we shared a tuk tuk with a canadian dude (Zach) we met on bus, and went to visit the killing fields used by the Pol Pot regime, and S21 prison also used by the Pol Pot regime. We took an audio tour through the killing fields, which explained all the history behind certain parts, graves, trees etc. and had storys from survivors from the regime. Seemed to be quite a depressing day, but we rounded it off with some good local food at the night market and $2 jugs of angkor back in Phnom Phen.
Spent 2 nights in P.P before heading for the beach town on Sihanoukville. Checked in our first night at a cheap backpackers, looking to be party animals and meet some more people on our travels……. but i think we are turning into upper class travelers. Nat got bitten about 20 times in the night and the room was about 40degrees. So first thing next morning we had our own nice cool double room in the hotel across the road, plus it had a massive pool and was very well priced ($5 each). Sihanoukville is a pretty chilled out town, which is popular for its nice white sand beach, bbq’d seafood and cheap beers on the beach. So you can probably imagine this was quite a relaxing time for us. Spent most of our time either sunbathing and swimming on the beach, sitting in the big comfy satelite style chairs in front of one of the beach shacks drinking 50cent beers, or eating bbq’d fish, shrimps and calamari. “Tough life aye”. One hidden treasure we did find though was ‘Slumdog Curry’. Had the nicest and cheapest currys out, with fresh naan bread cooked for you on order. Umm we both miss that place.
Next stop was Battambang (2nd largest city in Cambodia so im told), via P.P for one quick stop over night to break up the bus trip. Our first impression of Battambang was it felt like a bit of a ghost town. Didnt seem to be many, if any, tourists there, everything closed up early, and there was not much of a night life. We did a day trip by tuk tuk with our driver Scorpio. He took us to a bamboo train, several temples and monuments and a killing cave used by the Pol Pot regime. Best thing by far was the bamboo train. The bamboo train runs down a small piece of unused railway used by the locals to transport goods to the small villages along it. We caught one and took it 7k’s down to a small village and back. The train consists of a bamboo platform, two axles with small railway type wheels and a small engine. The funniest part is when you come across another train heading in your direction. You have to stop, dismantle your train, let the other one pass, re-assemble your train, then keep on going. We had to do this 4 or 5 times. And that was our Battambang experience.
Back to SIEM REAP.
So back to Siem Reap we went. Have been here the last 5nights, and have seen alot. Spent the last 3 days visiting the temples of Angkor. Day 1 we visited 8 temples close to siem reap, finishing off with a nice sun set and a cold beer on top of Pre Rup temple. Day 2 we headed out of town and visited the oldest temples. Then yesterday, day 3, we did sunrise at Angkor Wat (the big one), and visited the temples of Angkor Thom. Obviously doesnt mean alot to you if you havnt been to them, but they are all pretty special and amazing in their own way. For instance Bayon is known as the temple of faces, for the many faces carved into its rock. Over 3 days we saw 14 temples and are now well and truely ‘templed out’. One nice thing we have done while in Siem Reap was meet up with a local guy Tola (friend of a friends), and Narin (hope i got his name right) who is sponsored by our friends family. We took them both out for dinner with the instructions to order and eat what ever you want and as much as you want. Our one mistake though was taking them out for Mexican. Poor Narin had probably never eaten mexican before and ended up ordering a large starter and a large main and probably only ate any of it to be polite. Luckily he had some good old chocolate icrecream for desert which didnt touch the sides. I must say thanks Jenny and Greg for putting us in touch with them and kindly giving us $ to take them out for dinner. It was quite a fun experinece.
In between all of this, we have met some very nice people, and drunken some very cold beer, but i cant write everything….
So here I am today (our last day in Siem Reap) looking forward to going for a swim (Nat left me ages ago for the pool as I type way too slow) and finishing typing. We are off to Bangkok tomorrow morning for one night before flying to U.K. We are both excited to get over there and see people we havnt seen for along time. So I guess our next update will be in a few weeks from England, or the start of Europe.
I hope everyone back home and in the U.K is well. Scott how are my trees looking????
Drop us a line or comment on our blog. Look foward to hearing from everyone, or just anyone…..
Peace out people.
Nick and Nat