CAMBODIA
Crossing thee border could not have been simpler, though we did have to explain how to fill out and stamp the carnet, then it was time to find out if the Cambodian roads were as bad as we had been told, well they are bad but we found worse roads in Pakistan and India, It is about 100 miles from the border to Siem Reap (Angkor Wat) this we did in about four hours, better than we had been led to belive. Because Siem Reap is on the doorstep of Angkor
Wat, It was a bit more expensive than we had expected but that's the price you pay for visiting one of the wonders of the world, and Angkor is certainly big, It costs you $40 for a three day pass which has the advantage that you do not need to rush around the site, over the three days we visited Angkor Thom and the various temples within, Angkor Wat and several other sites that are spread around the area,
The classic Photo of Angkor Wat
We spent our first day at the Angkor site with a young lad on a scooter that had made friends with us the night before when we arrived and insisted on showing us all the hotels with parking until we were happy. He rode his scooter and we followed on Cliff's bike. We were glad that we had taken the bike as the mini-tour around the temples is still 17km long - it would be impossible by foot. The temples are amazing but our favourite had to be Ta Prohm which has not been interfered with by archeologists and is as it should be - complete with crumbling walls and trees growing from the top of the structures. It had a more natural appeal to it and clambering over fallen debris was more interesting that the laid out or worn walking paths. The second day we spent a long time just at Angkor Wat - several hours - it is a huge temple on it's own without all the other ones. Our third day we did the grand tour - around 30km and saw some of the farther temples that are also less frequented by tourists. It was quite possible at these temples to be the only people there. The rows of stalls outside the main gates to the temples are manned by the nicest girls you could ever meet with the loudest voices - the minute you step back towards the road they start - up to 10 of them at once shouting "water, food, cold drink, bag, T-shirt" etc. etc. If you so much as looked one of them in the eye you were hers and she would sell you something if it killed her ! But it was all very friendly unlike Indian or Turkish hasslers.
Overgrown Ta Prohm - the roots of a 100ft plus tree that looks like it has sprouted from the roof of the temple structures.
Cliff doing his macho biker bit outside Angkor Wat !
From Angkor we went to Phnom Penh (the capital). We stayed two nights deciding that we really ought to visit some of the sights there and it was a good stop point on the way to Vietnam. The city is big but not massive and we didn't get lost !! We decided that we would visit the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda and leave it at that - off we strolled only to find that the Palace was closed today as there were special visitors !! Ah well, off to Wat  Phnom them - another temple but this one apparently stands on the point where Mr Phnom founded Phnom Phen as the new capital of Cambodia (it used to be Siem Reap). We paid our $1 like good tourists and up the mound we went - it was fairly disappointing. The usual golden Buddha, paintings on the walls etc. etc. However, this one had the main Buddha and we reckon about 100 other ones dotted around the place - it looked like a dolls shop at Christmas ! The most interesting part was watching the monkeys in the surrounding trees ;-) That is apart from the Tiger statues that we have not come across before. The devotees place pieces of bacon in it's mouth and an egg ! We watched one man do this - actually cracking the egg into the Tiger mouth - one day we might find out the meaning of it all.
Full English Breakfast please................
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