Sue, Todd and Harriet took a late night bus to the border starting off our Cambodian whirlwind tour. Seven days later we were back snug in our beds in Bangkok. We went through Siem Riep to Angkor, shipped through to Phnom Penh and then down south for a day before the multihopped trip back. Take a look at the pix and if'n yer interested, we've put in some highlights of places to visit, eat and stay below. The highlight of it all were the people that we met, both locals and travellers.
There were some amazing sights in the country, as in any country, though some here were truly unique to us. These are all listed in the guide books so nothing here requires much further explanation:
- The road to Siem Riep from Poi Pet - 9 hours and 150 km of bumps and dust. Truly well worth the ride. You get to see some of the truly rural parts of the country. When Bangkok Airways non-construction contract ends in a year or two, this road'll look like anyother paved road in the area.
- Angkor - Wow. It was great to see this, especially after seeing related structures in Thailand and Vietnam. Dozens of complexes.
- Koy Vy, Siem Riep - Guide for Angkor complexes. Was well worth the money - his knowledge of the history, both recent and ancient was fabulous. Independent guide.
Tel: 855 12 700 982, 128, Group 2, Mondul III Village, Siar Kram Commune, Siem Riep province
- S-21 Prison - Frightening, but well worth the trip. Over 17,000 people were killed there during the dominance of the Kehmer Rouge, most of the guards killing their replacements.
- Killing Fields - One of many sites around the country, this was where most of the victims of S-21 were dumped.
- Central Market - Loaded full of shops in an older, massive colonial building.
- Grand Palace - By no means as extensive as the one in Bangkok, it was still worth the stroll. The Ramayana painting in the throne hall were fab.
- Wat Phnom - We didn't spend more than a few minutes here, but the location and the building were quite impressive.
- Russian Market - Interesting stroll through though we didn't buy a thing.
Had some great little guest houses during our stay in the country:
- Beng Mealea Villa, Siem Riep - fell into this one from the road trip in. The rooms were very clean, comfortable and the staff very helpful. Free motorcycle rides into the center of town and nice cold beer.
0126 Watsvay Village, Salakomrerk Commune, Siem Riep province
- Swiss Guest House, Phnom Penh - recommended by a friend this little hotel was family run and quite comfortable, Not central bu loads of local motorcycle taxis around..
105Eo, Street:214/125, Sangkat Boeung Pralit, Khan 7 Marka, Phnom Penh
Slurps and Sells
- Golden Sun Hotel and Tours, Phnom Penh - Mr Tang Heng was honest, helpful, immensely polite and had a comfortable car. We did a trip out to the Killing Fields with him..
Tel. 855 23 721 317, 6B St 278, Beoung Keng Kang 1, Chamkarmon, Phnom Penh
- Boddhi Tree, Cafe Restaurant - Directly across from S-21, the food here was excellent and was presented in a forest of trees and plants. Kinda wish we'd have spent more time.
50, St 113, Beoung Keng Kong II
- Mex Restaurant - Right out of the guide book, this place was tasty. Great Mexican food right beside Indepence Monument.
Corner of Norodom & Sihanouk Blvd
- Ivy Guesthouse and Bar, Siem Riep - Excellent food and great decor. Todd feels that the french toast here was the best he'd had in 10 years - real maple syrup too...
Beside the central market