We crossed the border by land and it was quite an adventure! We arrived at the border in a mini bus, got out at the Thai border, then got our visa and walked to the Cambodian side. After that took a free bus to the main bus station in Poipet, where we took taxi all the way to Siem Riep.
Crossing the border doesn’t sound so much like an adventure, but it really is… specially the part where everybody tries to take money out of you. Our own driver tried to sell us the visa for double of the price! Even the police officers that sell the visa on the border, ask for extra money… sometimes they say that if you don’t do so, they won’t give you the visa. But the thing is, don’t be intimidated and don’t trust any of those people you meet on the way. They’ll say you HAVE to do it, but you don’t! If you don’t want to spend some time arguing, you can offer than an extra dollar… but don’t be a fool like me and give them more than that! 😉
We found Siem Riep a charming city, with a colonial and chinese style architecture, a river crossing the town, an old market, a PUB street, rice fields, floating villages and of course the Angkor Wat! We spent 3 days there and wish we’ve stayed more!
On my birthday we walked around the city and went out for a nice dinner at the Pub street! In the restaurant, we watched a Khmer dance show. As a dance lover, I can say it was a great way to celebrate my birthday!
On the next morning we woke up at 4:30 AM to watch the sunrise in Angkor Wat. The view was amazing and even though the place was very crowded it was totally worth it! We spent the rest of the day visiting the massive temples and it was one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen so far!
After that, we took a bus to Battambang, a city on the northwest of Cambodia. The city itself is not so nice and not so clean, but it has this interesting bamboo train ride where you go around rice fields and small villages. It’s quite fun!!
We also saw the killing caves where many people were killed during the civil war back in the 70’s. Sad thing to see… and the highlight of it was to watch thousands of bats flying out of the cave after sunset! There were so many bat that we could have watched them for over 45 minutes!
Now we’re in the capital city: Phnom Phen. It’s a big city, full of traffic and noise! We visited the killing fields and got to learn some history about the civil war that took place on the 70’s. During the war, there were land mines spread around the country… and you can see some on the streets with a missing hand or a missing leg… so sad and I guess it’s something to all the world remember.
Ohhhh…. I also have to mention that Cambodian people are so friendly and always have a smile on their face, trying their best and sometimes trying too hard to please the tourists! Their food is delicious and has some similarity to Thai food in a better way!
Tomorrow we’ll leave to Singapore! Can’t wait!! 🙂