Monday, 23 November 2009

Our first week in South East Asia

What a week it's been, we've been from the sticky heat of Bangkok, to the majesty of Ankor Wat in Siem Reap, on to Phnom Penh for a quick look at Cambodia's Capitol and some of it's tragic past, and then this morning to the beaches of Sihanoukville.

The Cambodian people are wonderful, really friendly and not as pushy when trying to sell you bits and bobs. Siem Reap was our first stop, where we spent a day looking round Ankor Wat and its less famous neighbours, Ankor Thom and Ta Prohm. We got up at 4.30am to see the sunrise over Ankor Wat, and spent the time there discovering every setting on our little camera taking every picture imaginable! We popped back for breakfast and then back to the temples with our guide for the day Sambaht. He showed us round Ankor Thom, Cambodia's old capitol, Ta Phrom - the "Tomb Raider" temple, finishing with Ankor Wat. It was an incredible day, and by the end of it we were exhausted from clambering up and down and the information overload!

We picked up a few souvenirs from Siem Reap, and saw the local market with ladies sat right in amongst their produce. One woman was sat on the counter surrounded by assorted cuts of beef and pork - not quite the meat counter at a supermarket.

From Siem Reap we traveled to Phnom Penh, with the aim of seeing some of Cambodia's tragic modern history. We toured the S-21 torture Camp and then the Killing fields which was quite a horrible experience to be honest, what went on so recently in this country was horrific.

From Phnom Penh we bussed it to Sihanoukville, a Cambodian beach resort. It's quite nice, we're 70m from the beach and the seafood is great! The beach itself is strange, with bars built right up to the tideline. We did find some sand to pop a towel on, only to be pestered non stop by "mobile shops" selling pedicures, lobster, bracelets, sunglasses. Sara found the best way to get the girls to move on was to promise she wouldn't buy a bracelet from any of the was one of many tactics we tried!

Today we went on a snorkel/island hopping trip, taking in three uninhabited islands. We snorkeled off two of them, seeing some amazing coral and chasing some gorgeous brightly coloured fish. We had a BBQ seafood lunch on one of the islands, and then went through the jungle to the other side of the island, hearing (but not seeing :( ) monkeys, emerging on a perfect beach, with sand so fine and soft it squeaked as you walked on it. All in all it was a great day, and the towo days here has been great after what seems like non-stop travel and serious sight-seeing!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful pics of Ankar Wot. I'm sure it was an awe-inspiring experience - sunrise very special time - well worth getting up for! Pic with the dancers reminds me of something I've seen before (Rick Stein?!)

    Bit of news from Blighty - Cumbria hit by deluge of rain - the weatherman said it was a freak weather pattern "akin to the monsoons of south Asia" (if you're going to send us some weather - a bit of sunshine would be very welcome!). 15" of rain in 24hrs - shops in Keswick under several ft of water and water level of Windermere rose 7ft!

    Look forward to more pics and the next posting - really enjoying this - it's very uplifting!