Holiday in Cambodia

Real travelers go overland! And that’s what I did to get to Siem Reap in Cambodia. Of course I could have flown from Bangkok, but where’s the adventure in that? No this was a full day affair, with a bus to the border, a walk across the border, and then a short bus to the “bus station”, then me and 3 other travelers (a Slovakian couple and a German guy) crammed into a taxi for the 3 1/2 hour drive (to go 75 miles) along a muddy and then dusty, poor excuse for a road.

In Cambodia they drive on the right (unlike in Thailand) but this car has the driver on the right. With the way driving is over here, it took me a while to realize we actually were driving on the right.

I have crossed some pretty sketchy borders in my travels, but this one might have been the oddest. I was greeted with a plethora of gaudy casinos in Cambodia even before I got to the immigration post. In fact, as I walked into Cambodia I was worried I had missed it, but it eventually came – never mind that I could have passed right by and never even gotten stamped. But one thing was very clear, I was not in Thailand anymore, let alone Kansas! I was definitely going from second world to third with a capital T. That was clear when we stopped for gas here:

Yes, that’s gasoline in those glass coke bottles.

It was a long bumpy road, but I was glad to be back in a place where I was greeted with stares and smiles – even if it’s a little dirty. And no, that’s not gasoline in that bottle.

We stopped for a bite to eat, and while the others dutifully went into the open air restaurant, I wandered off to have a look around this new country. That’s where the above picture came from. The same was true at Angkor Wat. While everyone was wandering the great temple complex, no foreigners could be found just a stone’s throw away where I heard this gamalon kind of music. I had to have a look. Apparently some boys were becoming men and there was some kind of celebration going on in this little village right next to the great temple.

This is a bit more than a sprinkle of holy water, but hey, it was something like 95F.

Oh yea, that’s why I came here in the first place – the great temples and ruins of Angkor Wat. I did get to see some of the many temples in this sprawling ancient city of ruins today.

There are laterally hundreds of sites around Angkor Wat. In some cases the sites have been well preserved with incredible relief carvings in stone everywhere.

In others, nature continues to take its course:

And now nature will take it’s course with me getting some much needed sleep. I have two more days poking around these temples before taking a peak at the capitol city of Phnom Penh and the killing fields of Cambodia.

2 Responses to “Holiday in Cambodia”

  1. 1 Salmon King June 12, 2008 at 6:34 am

    Wow, you are not in Kansas anymore! I like the photo of the kid drinking the gasoline! Bring some of that back, it will be about $5.00 a gallon by July 4th they said. Where are you staying?

  2. 2 PlanB June 13, 2008 at 12:04 am

    Now that’s impressive – I’ve seen a lot of interesting things in third world places, but never gasoline in coke bottles! Just don’t mistake it for a refreshing soft drink… not that you drink them, I know…

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