A Travellerspoint blog

Phnom Penh & Sihanoukville

sunny 28 °C
View The honeymoon part 2 on Gem-Leight's travel map.

Phnom Penh
We arrived from a wicked time in Siem Reap at around 6am in the morning following an overnight bus which took around 13 hours. We jumped into a waiting tuk tuk and headed to find our hotel. To say we were both tired would be an understatement and the change from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh was massive. Phnom Penh is the largest city and also the capital city of Cambodia and the complete opposite to the previous 4 days. The most obvious differences were the motobikes everywhere, the sheer amount of people, the size of the city and how unkept the city appeared in areas. We didn't enjoy our first day and it was topped off by me dragging Gem on nearly an hours walk to see the olympic stadium to find an overgrown concrete mess. We also visited the national museum which was slightly better than the Olympic stadium.

The following day we visited two sites which form a big part of Cambodia's history, the first was the killingfields and the second was S21 (genocide museum). It was a day with very strange feelings more so as we both were unaware of the events that took place between 1975 - 1979. During the regime of the khmer rouge over 3 million of the 8 million population were murdered or died, with over 20 thousand sites discovered of mass graves throughout the country. What really struck me was thinking that imagine one in every 3 people you know being killed. We visited the largest mass grave discovered called Choeung Ek which has a commemortive stupa which holds over 7,000 of the skulls discovered. I was reluctant to take these photos and add them to the blog but throughout the visit the message is to show what happened to prevent it happening again.

The journey from Phnom Penh was around 5 hours and we were both looking forward to getting back to the beach life and out of the city. When we arrived we wasn't disappointed, the towns vibe was great with the beach aligned with bamboo huts selling drinks, food from the BBQ and playing music. We didn't do a lot there other than chilling out and enjoyed the sun and sand.

If we could sum up our visit to Phnom Penh & Sihanoukville in 5 or so words/statements.

1) hectic (phnom penh)
2) nice clean beach
3) crazy traffic
4) events of the killing fields makes you appreciate life
5) would go back to Sihanoukville but not Phnom Penh

Random sights/things in Phnom Penh & Sihanoukville.

1) wearing our surgeons mask

Posted by Gem-Leight 21:37 Archived in Cambodia Comments (2)

Siem Reap

sunny 29 °C
View The honeymoon part 2 on Gem-Leight's travel map.

We left Bangkok at around 7am in the morning as we booked a minivan to take us to the Thai border followed by a private taxi from the Cambodia border to Siem Reap with arrival expected around 4pm. The cost of both the taxi and the minivan was 800THB each which was really good value in the end. The Journey pretty much went to plan and we arrived in Siem Reap around 5pm, with only one issue which was when we tried to enter Cambodia without a visa as we missed the visa building (35min in a queue to be sent back on a ten minute walk to the do the visa). Talking of visas we picked up our first government fine at the Thai border for over staying by 1 day at a cost of 1000THB. I still blame the bus from Koh Phangan that arrived 4 hours late and dropped us off in the wrong part of Bangkok meaning we couldn’t leave that day due to the border opening times.

Our home in Siem Reap was Rosy Guesthouse http://rosyguesthouse.com/ which is owned and run by an English couple named Simon & Rachel. Our stay there excellent with the room cost very reasonable and it was great to have some English food (mainly the beef & onion pie, chips covered in onion gravy).

The guesthouse arranged our transport to Angkor Wat via Tuk Tuk and the place is pretty amazing. I went photo crazy taking over 200 pictures. It was a great day and something we would recommended to anyone who travels to Cambodia.

The other trip we did in Siem was the Tara river boat tour down the Tonle Sap Lake which is the largest fresh water lake in southern Asia. We booked the sunset special which involved touring the floating market which is an experience within itself and watching the cool sunset whilst enjoying all you can eat food and drink. The floating market is definitely an eye opener and reminds you of the things we take for granted.

If we could sum up our visit to Siem Reap in 5 or so words/statements.

1) Angkor Wat is amazing
2) The best pie, chips & gravy
3) Very chilled out
4) Didnt want to leave
5) would go back tomorrow

Random sights/things in Siem Reap.

1) Gem claimed to have seen a dog with one leg running down the road (it had three legs but Gem can't count)
2) A fully grown pig attached to the back of a moped (yes it was alive)
3) A moped with the driver carrying a ladder and another man on the ladder

Posted by Gem-Leight 20:48 Archived in Cambodia Comments (1)

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