and it’s way better than Vietnam. I am loving it, less confusing, more people speak english and they don’t all appear to see you as a walking wallet. Which is nice for us skint backpackers (or actually flashpackers as I believe the technical term is)
We did a early morning bus trip from Saigon to Phnom Penh. Which took about 6 hours and arrived in the rather hot afternoon. Where apon we decided to walk to our hotel. Gosh the tuktuk drivers think you are insane if you walk. It was fine tho, only about 4 blocks. And we checked into our rather nice (and air-conditioned)hotel. Best $17 I’ve spent for a while. Bizarely, Cambodia is firmly in the grasp of the US dollar and you can use it pretty much everywhere. The exchange rate between dollar and rial hasn’t changed in years, and everyone just does the maths in their heads.
Phnom Penh was great, much more chilled out than Vietnam, the population of Vietnam is approx 85 million and the pop of Cambodia is approx 12 million. The difference in people and the size of the cities is incredible. PP is a fun little place with some superb restaurants (we ate at one called Friends which is the original Jamie Oliver place where they train street kids in cooking, service etc) and the food was delish. A kind of Cambodian tapas plus one of the nicest Raspberry Daiquiries I’ve ever had!
The next morning we boarded a bus to Siam Reap – which means Siam Defeated (bit of a kick in the teeth for the Thais!) and its the home of the famous Angkor Wat complex. We did quite a few temples today – mainly Bang Mealea and the Roelus Group – both of which were completely different and utterly fascinating.
We’ve been getting around in a tuktuk driving by our new friend Ken. He was the lucky driver who collected us from the bus station when the bus arrived and once we discovered that he was exceptionally pleasant, spoke excellent english and knew the area very well, we hired him as our driver. We’ve worked out a nice little itenary with him and tomorrow we’re seeing Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm and some of the closer temples. We’re doing sunrise at Angkor Wat so have to be up at 5am – ouch!
Still it’s all good and I’m completely enjoying it, even tho typing on this utterly bizarre keyboard is driving me insane!Pictures to follow shortly