Staying in Kampot a day turned into a week and we were still reluctant to leave. Days passed whiole we lazed on inner tubes in the river and read our books in one of the many hammocks. We took a few days to visit nearby Kep, Sihanoukville and an island off the coast.
We broke up the trip to Phnom Penh with several days visiting smaller towns and cities.
I always get renewed energy when I arrive in a big city. The possibilities of things to see and do in a place that never sleeps are endless and I can spend hours just walking around looking at all the new and foreign things. Phnom Penh didn’t let me down – it was buzzing day and night! One of the most important sights to visit in Cambodia is the S-21 Prison and the Killing Fields, both the sites of a horrific genocide with monuments and, in the case of S-21, hundreds of photographs of the victims. This made for a really hard and emotional day but helped us better understand Cambodia’s history and the resilience and spirit of it’s people.
Cambodia has been my favourite country to travel, and the easiest. The people that live here are so beautiful with their warm smiles and eagerness to talk to you. We first checked in to a luxurious (by our standards!) guesthouse in Siem Reap with a pool (!) air conditioning and cable tv. We spent about 5 days there, mostly exploring the several temples of Angkor, eating and drinking in the town, or chilling by the hotel pool. I’ll try and limit the number of temple photos I post but they were so spectacular it’s hard to pick! Some were built almost a thousand years ago by kings and rulers trying to outdo eachother. The thing that always surprises me is that you can walk and climb all over them – no red tape or security guards like you’d find in the western world.
About midway through our stay in Siem Reap we bought motorbikes from other tourists. It took a few days (or weeks) to get used to the traffic and road rules here (stop signs and traffic lights are mere suggestions). Meet Winston Hung Fat and Polley Hung Lo!
We left Siem Reap with a full tank of gas, a road map (in Russian), and the excitement of getting a new toy at christmas. Our first leg of the trip was along Route 66 through rural cambodia. It has only been ‘rideable’ for a few years and has undergone demining and lots of roadwork. Even still it was mostly a dirt path covered in potholes! I’m not complaining though because we got to see some amazing sights and see a very ural part of the country. There was no chance of finding an english speaker but the kids were all smiles and waves and the adults just looked shocked/confused!