A Travellerspoint blog

Cambodia

Beach bums at last...

The second half of our trip in Cambodia.

sunny 33 °C

Hey Everyone,

It’s been a while since our last update; we hope you all enjoyed a lovely Easter Bank Holiday and an extra long weekend due to the Royal Wedding – lucky sods. Haha. Here’s out latest update of our escapade…..

After a few days of temple spotting in Siem Reap, we made our way over night to Sihanoukville on the southern coast of Cambodia. The bus arrived at 7am, where we got a moto each to Otres Beach, although we couldn’t check in until 12pm so we headed straight to the beach to check it out. The beach had gorgeous golden sand, amazingly clear water and was pretty much deserted, however the rain clouds had been following us and it wasn’t a very nice day, so we sat in a bar with a few drinks watching the rain fall…poor us ey?!

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Once 12pm hit we headed back to where we were staying, a quirky little place called Mushroom Point. It was set out into different mushroom-style huts, each with a little bathroom hut to go with it which was cool. The huts had a circular bed, a fan, some fairy lights and a full length mosquito net to cover the bed, so it was definitely a change from the hostels and guest houses we had been staying in so far.

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By the evening the rain had cleared and the sun was out, so we spent the night on the beach with some ice cold drinks watching the sun go down. At last, we were beach bums! :-)

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The next day the weather was perfect, so we headed straight out for some breakfast and spent the day on the beach. We went into the sea for a swim and it was amazing, pretty much like bath water hot which was cool. Then we did a few hours of sunbathing, and with it being about 33-34 C you can see what’s coming here!! Yep, we both got nicely burned and were bright red for the next day or so! Haha!

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On our last night at Sihanoukville we headed down the beach to check out a pizza place we had seen a sign for on the first day. When we got there, we realized the place was selling its ‘famous happy herb’ pizza, so of course we had to go for it! The pizza itself was actually really nice, and after mixing it with a few Angkor beers we were well on our way. The owner of the bar, Joe, was a really nice guy and Phil ended up having a game of pool with him while Kayleigh played against his wife Sally - we both lost, but we can blame that on the pizza! ;-)

A few hours later we were all well and truly hammered, as Joe had been drinking with us and loads of other people had shown up to join in. When we finally went to pay for everything, it was lucky his wife had stayed sober as Joe had no idea how much we owed him! We realized then that she was the mastermind behind the whole thing lol!

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We were up early the next day to catch a bus to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, where we planned to stay over before heading to Viet Nam. Our main highlight of the city was going to the Mekong River Restaurant in the evening, where we watched a film about the recent history of the country and the rise of the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot. The film was a real eye-opener, as 2 million people had been killed in the space of 4 years during the 70’s, a quarter of the Cambodian population.

Once the film had finished we enjoyed a nice meal at the restaurant, although it didn’t go to plan exactly! We had a power cut, which is actually quite common in Cambodia – but we continued to eat our food by candle light. Phil had ordered a simple beef salad, we didn’t realise it included the hottest chillis ever…it was a work out just trying to finish the dish. Ha. This was our last night in Cambodia and in truth we were a little sad to leave, they are the friendliest people we have ever come across.

We had no trouble at all getting our visas for Viet Nam from the Embassy and the 5 hour bus journey to Saigon was ALMOST without incident. After going through immigration we got back on our bus and were ready to continue to Ho Chi Minh, when the Officer stopped us and demanded to search the bus again. They went through a number of boxes the bus was transporting and questioned the driver for about an hour – we had no idea what was going on but from the sweat and distress on the driver’s face it couldn’t have been good. They eventually let us continue without the boxes to arrive in the backpacker’s epicenter of Saigon - Pham Ngu Lao Street.

We will update you in the next few days about our time here and our plans for heading up the Viet Nam coast.

Speak to you all again soon.

Lot’s of Love

Phil and Kayleigh

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Posted by JoyRyderRTW 00:09 Archived in Cambodia Tagged cambodia phnom_penh sihanoukville joyryderrtw mushroom_point happy_herb Comments (2)

Across the border we go

Making our way overland from Thailand to Cambodia

semi-overcast 33 °C

Hey everyone,

We just wanted to say a big thank you for checking out our blog and for all your comments. :-) Here is our next update….

Our intentions were to leave Chiang Mai on Saturday 16th, but all transport was fully booked due to everyone leaving after Songkran. We booked another night at MD house and went out later that night, had some Mexican food and watched City beat United in the FA cup! So, did we leave the next day I hear you ask??? Nopes, Kayleigh was very poorly sick with heat exhaustion (not nice). Eventually we left on the 19th and by then we were more than ready to go somewhere new.

After another 10 hour bus journey from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, we were lucky enough to be dropped off pretty much outside our Guest House. We checked in at 6am and slept most of the day. Ha. This was just a stop over really before leaving the following morning and making our way to Aranyaprathet to cross the Thai-Cambodian border.

We had heard about many scams involving people charging excessive amounts for visas and charging you to leave the county etc, and sure enough they were all on form! Before we even reached the official border itself we found ourselves in an office being told we needed to pay 1200 baht each before they could let us go any further. When we told them we would not be paying their fee the fake officer guy got pretty moody with us and threw a bit of a paddy saying that we were out of order for not trusting him, Lol….cheeky sods! After that it was pretty plain sailing, there were no queues for our visas that we got once in Cambodia and just an hour later we were sharing a taxi to Siem Reap (although the taxi driver over charged us we found out later, dammit).

Anyway, our Guest House was incredible; we were greeted with fresh orange juice, a cold towel and a warm welcome from the manager called Sonny. We decided to get something to eat at the little restaurant next to the Guest House, and ended up finding our new favourite (and very cheap) beer, Angkor! :-)

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The ultimate reason for visiting Siem Reap is the temples, particularly the world's largest religious building, Angkor Wat. We decided that we would wake up really early and ride our rented bicycles to the temple and watch the sunrise. Although when our alarm went off at 4:30am we decided to stay in bed – only to be woken up 15 minutes later by the way-too-efficient Sonny who had remembered our plans, HAHA! So, up we got, hopped on our bikes and raced the entire distance (about 6 miles lol) to try and reach the temple in time – we made it but unfortunately it was a little too cloudy to see the sun....typical. By then we were absolutely shattered from riding at full pace in 33 degree heat.

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The temple was well worth the trek on the bikes though, and we spent about 2 hours walking round the gardens and up the main tower to get the view. After having a bite to eat for breakfast, pancakes with lemon and sugar, we moved onto Angkor Thom, the once 'Great City' within the region.

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On the way we stopped to see some wild monkeys which were playing and jumping between trees, they had found a great spot by the road where locals were giving them fruit to eat.

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After about 5 hours of temple-spotting, we decided to call it a day and make our way back to our Guest House. The weather had improved the more the day had gone on, so we rode back in the sunshine. About 10 minutes away from our Guest House however, the heavens opened and it absolutely threw it down, so we made a quick detour and got under the nearest shelter. With rain in Cambodia though, 1 minute and your absolutely soaked! :-)

Our next move in Cambodia is to visit the beach town of Sihanoukville, about 8 hours south of Siem Reap. We intend to be beach bums for the next few days but will keep you updated as much as we can.

Speak soon,

Kayleigh & Phil

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Posted by JoyRyderRTW 23:45 Archived in Cambodia Tagged temple cambodia siem_reap angkor_wat angkor_thom joyryderrtw Comments (9)

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