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Cambodia; the Killing Fields n Siam Reap

sunny 32 °C
View RTW - Part 1 (Russia, Mongloia, China, S/E Asia) on RosiePony's travel map.

Well, the Mekong River, we have been on it before (in Laos, 2008) and using the best Thai quote "Same, Same but Different"... a two day trip passing by floating Vietnamese villages turning into floating Cambodian villages and we arrived in Phnom Penh on the eve of the second day. We decided to stay around the lake area (as opposed to the river side) which was a hive of activity. We are travelling as a 3; James who we'd been with throughout Vietnam is travelling with us until Siem Reap...
We visited the Killing Fields (it rained as we saw and learned about the horrors of the Khmer Rouge), S21 (the former school turned prison under the Khmer regime), the Phnom Watt, and the History Museum before heading south west to the beach...


Kampot is a small town where we stayed for three nights...we went on an (illegal) jungle trek (i should state now we were told this after booking and about to embark into the forest) where we saw a baby monkey (cute!) and heard lots of jungle chatter.
Our trek guide grew up during the Khmer Regime and all his family were killed whilst he ran into the jungle to escape with his life; as a teenage he survived alone for 2 years in the jungle...something i still find hard to imagine having trekked through it. It is common for Cambodians to talk freely about death and such experiences - it's good to talk...
From Kampot we headed to Kep a much smaller fishing village where life is a slow repetitive day in the heat, farming and fishing. We had the best crab there which is what it is renowned for and visited a small island (Rabbit island) to sunbathe for the day. on the way over we saw a group of dolphins in the water from the boat. after debating jumping in, we decided we'd better not, in case they eat us! no sign of them on the way back however :(
We went from Kep directly to Siem Reap, a 10 hr (delightful) bus journey...where we settled into our hotel room after bargaining a good price. we ended up staying there 6 nights, longer than expected because it is such a nice place to be. The temples of course are stunning - a three day pass is enough to see all that you could ever want to as long as you do as much as you can each day, which we did. The temples are split into two circuits - the small one and the big one. We started with the small one which actually was a longer day than the big circuit. Angkor Watt in the sunrise (stunning) followed by Angkor Thom and its temples.
Angkor Sunrise (6am)

Angkor Sunrise (6am)

The Bayan with all its heads looking out from multi directions, and finally Ta Prohm (think Tomb Raider) with the trees propping up the temples as you wander through the twisting roots and passages. All the climbing and clambering up steep temple steps made our lunch time ice cream all the better, enjoyed in the shade of a tree....sigh...after Siem Reap we had a boarder crossing into Thailand, where we headed for Bangkok.

Posted by RosiePony 21:46 Archived in Cambodia Tagged backpacking

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