Friday, February 17, 2006
SIEM REAP AND ANGKOR WAT!!!!!
My first wonder of the world ive ever seen and what a sight. Although the sunrise on our first morning was a bit cloudy it was still an amazing sight to see as my first viewing of this awesome temple! Spent 3 days trapsing up and down the Angkor Wat and the other Angkor temples in the heat and humidity but it was all worth it. Such a grand and amazing sight that i would recommend to everyone, especially in the next few years before the bus loads of tourists eventually wear this place down.
Phnom Penh Part II!
So after seeing all the Khmer Rouge horrors in the town you are definatley in need of some cheering up! I personally really liked Phnom Penh for this reason. It has a sort of buzz about it, not sure if this is all the time or just the fact that we were there for Chinese New Year and the parties and firecrackers can be put down to that! More likely i suspect! Phnom Penh was also home to two very enjoyable nights out at a funny club called the Heart of Darkness! Home of the Cambodian elite. Quite seedy but dance offs with crazy cambodian dudes and watching who we have dubbed the 'Cambodian Paris and Nicole' dance was quite funny! The lads are my new Cambdian mates who i ripped up on the stage, dance off style. All in all i think the photos prove we had quite an enjoyable night, haha.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Phnom Penh Part 1
The Cambodian capital! There are really two parts to this post. Firstly and quite importantly while we were here we checked out the Tuol Sleng prison. Also known as S-21 and home of some of the worst atrocities of the Pol Pot regime, although not the most enjoyable experience its one i would recommend to every traveller in Cambodia. This along with the ride out to the killing fields just outside of town has to be one of the most moving things ive seen. I was almost physically ill when you walk around the monuments that you notice that there are still bits of cloth and bones coming up through the dirt paths that you walk along. The top photo has a big tower like monument in the background, this is actually filled with 20,000 of the skulls that have been uncovered from this small stretch of land. Didnt feel to snap happy however so didnt take that many photos.
Sarah facing impending doom from the Venus Fly Trap like plant!
Kampot and Bokor!
After many days relaxing and holidaying by the beaches we set off for Kampot, a few hours drive away in our 'taxi'. Taxis in Cambodia aren't your ABC Cabs you expect at home, no no there Toyota camrys, old Toyota camrys,,,that havent aged well. A possible reason for the not ageing so well is the Cambodians theory of fitting in as many people as unhumanley possible. We had 6 and thought that was too many in the hot, dusty 3 hour trip only to hear and see horror stories of cars full of 8 or 9 people! You can see the poor 4 girls crammed across the back!
Got to Kampot and took a long walk around the dusty town before grabbing a bite to eat and booking ourselves on a tour of Bokor national park the next day/night! Was some amazing scenery and a really crazy little ghost town full of empty and rundown old building that were used by the french, then the king and then most recently the Khmer Rouge! In fact the park was only opened again a few years ago as there were reports the Khmer Rouge guerillas where still hiding out there! Another trek through the thick jungle (with rumbling sounds on either side eek) and some games of cards before the lights got cut at 9 finished what was a really interesting day!
Back down the mountain with 7 of us in our camry over road suggested by Lonely Planet to be handled only by 4x4 and we were off again!
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Well well, so goodbye nam and hello Cambodia home of smiling khmers and substandard vehicles! From crossing the border at and getting our first dose of the quality of Cambodian buses, we said goodbye to airconditioning and hello to spewing passengers, large amounts of dust my friend who for the first 45 minutes (before he decided he better sit with his wife) tried to practice his english by reading my lonely planet to me. Quite funny indeed, good on him for trying haha!
One night in a powerless Phnom Penh and were set off to Sihanoukville! beautiful beaches, lots of crazy french dudes and an even crazier hotelier named Polo. Poor bastard i was calling him Apollo for the first 4 days haha! Activities at this lovely little beach town included lots of reading by the beach, eating fruit, having a boogy at the nightclub next door even though they struggled to play anything half decent and getting bugged by small children to buy fruit, bracelets or PRAWNS. i think i was the only one in our group to walk away with less than 11 prawns each. And im not talking about the food here, these are little threaded things to adorn handbags and zippers etc..... can you see now why i didnt partake in the threaded seafood?
We also went to the movies a couple of times - $1 for an outdoor cinema - great value! Saw narnia - all in english too, although it still had english subtitles too which were a movie in themselves cos i really dont remember Edward finding a bar in Narnia!
Friday, February 10, 2006
Well well, what a city! What can i say about it but Tokyo mixed with the seedyness of Kings Cross. Speaking of seedy, while walking the streets during the 4 nights we were there i managed to rack up a personal tally of being offered 18 marjuanas, 2 ecstasys, 2 opiums and a coke. Young girls were also offered a few times but i lost count of that one. No dont get me wrong, i loved it and it was good to get somewere with a bit of personality about it! Was alot of fun to observe such a place and good to be in a big city again after a few weeks hitting up the smaller town.
I seem to only take photos when the sun is setting though...will try and work on that.
Ahhh beaches! After the cooler climates up north it was nice to hit some sand and sun and although they were not the cleanest (see mons blog for animal stories) they were still a sight for sore eyes and a lazy book read. First photo is one of a few nice sunsets we saw while here. Second is the club we went to.... oops sorry i meant that was the name of our bungalow! hahahaha there was also a pub called dragonfly but we thought that would be to much for one night in a remote vietnamese beach town =)
Mon and Julia on an evening stroll. Mon picked up this striped number over here
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Ahhh what a lovely little town, full of....tailors. Yup pretty much all it has to it is tailors.... lots and lots of tailors. Oh and an awesome little cafe down by the river which serves some awesome chilli! So as a result i really only have a few photos of this place. Of me doing a cooking course at the said cafe.. yes i know me COOKING!!!!!! whats going on, and of Sarah mid conversation/mid Gin and Tonic.
P.s. Mum get no ideas, i was pretty terrible at the time and remain, quite terrible.
So where were we? New years, doing well Chris, its now only Febuary. This blog stuff seems to be going about as well my travel journal. If only the girls werent here and posting so regularly i would be able to say i was very busy doing crazy wacky and wild things! not that im not!
hmm okay so after new years comes...
Quite an amazing little 2 day boat trip that involved alot of puttering around the very beautiful surroundings, some cheeky kayaking (thankyou Penny for your great photography) and a late night of drinking! suprise suprise!
A lovely little town filled with big flag poles, ancient cities, ancient tombs and ancient temples oh and the most satisfying cornetto i think ive ever eaten..mmmm. Although only here for a few nights i really enjoyed it, Oh and how hot is my flower photo, i used the special "flower mode" on my camera. Almost as good as 'food' mode i rekon.