Monday, October 26, 2009

The Road to Siem Reap

We started our day off right . . . with a pool-side breakfast! Some fuel for the long trip to Siem Reap that was ahead of us.

Believe it or not, this was one of my favorite parts of our vacation. We were lucky enough to get the front seats of the bus so we had a panoramic view of the Cambodian countryside for the entire 6 hour journey.

It took us a long time to get out of downtown Phnom Penh, due to the horrendous traffic, but once we crossed the Tonle Sap it was smooth sailing.

The trip was truly mind boggling! This tiny little road was the most well-kept highway in Cambodia and it was packed with travelers. The bus weaved in and out of traffic and there were too many close-calls to count. A little bit nerve-racking but it was a really neat experience.

The vans and trucks were jammed with people and cargo. Every square inch was accounted for.

How would you like to sit on the roof of a van in 90 degree heat with 10 other people for six hours? Well, if the price is right. . .

Those pigs were alive!!

We saw a lot of Monks out walking in their iconic saffron robes.

This guy had quite the ordeal when getting on the bus in Phnom Penh. He had a boat propeller that must have been 8 feet long. They tried every which way to get it in the luggage space under the bus but to no avail. Eventually, he was forced to manouver it on to the bus and lay it in the aisle. (Imagine the Greyhound employees dealing with that!) Well, he made it to his destination - prop in hand - and seemed quite content.

The bus ride was only about 300 kilometres but it took 6 hours because of all of the cows and tractors and tuk-tuks in our way. Plus, we stopped twice. These weren't the normal 'hit the restroom, stretch, grab a coffee and get back on the bus' type breaks, either. The people got off and had full on sit-down meals - rice, curry, turtles, and the works. Twice!
Well, we finally made it to Siem Reap and checked in to our guesthouse, The Golden Mango. Here's the view from outside our room . . .

That's right . . . it's a CROCODILE FARM!!! How cool is that??

Here's the view from our window . . .

Once we had sorted out our arrangements for visiting Angkor, we went out for some dinner downtown. This is called 'Pub Street' and is totally built for tourists. We didn't mind though - it was a chance to get some Mexican food (dont' forget that we've been in Korea for six months so any chance to get some fajitas is hard to pass up) and maybe see some Apsara dancers. . .

and we did . . .

Off to bed now - we'd have get up at pretty darn early if we were to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat tomorrow.

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