trails & tribulations

by Jakob

The 4000 islands in Laos are beautiful, but four days being lazy is a bit too much for me, so I decided to take a bus to Siem Reap in Cambodia.
A longtail-boat would pick me up at for about 8 o’clock in the morning to bring me to the main-land. In Laos everything goes quite easy and I didn’t expect the boat would really come at 8 o’clock, but after waiting for almost one and a half hour I became a little restless. Eventually the boat came, at half past ten … hopefully the bus was still waiting for me. The bus was still far from intending to leave and after waiting for another hour, we could board the (sleeping)bus . This time I had a bed for myself, quite a pleasant.

After an hour on the bus we arrived at the Cambodian border. I checked out for Laos and then filled out the paperwork for Cambodia to check in.
An official of the Cambodian customs held as a device against my neck to measure my body temperature … shit happens: my temparature was too high, he tried again, but again the same and he said to me: “you have a problem Sir”. “Yeh, for sure” I thought and I went to a shady place for a attempt to cool down. After a couple of minutes I called the official: “Sir can you try again.” This time everything was good and I quickly stood up and walked fast to the Cambodian visa office before he got the chance to measure me again.

After customs formalities, we continued our journey by bus. In Kampong …me and some other passengers had to transfer in another bus for the final leg to Siem Reap, where we arrived at 12 in night and of course there were many, many tuktuks waiting for us to bring us to the best hotel / hostel in town and actually our tuktuk-driver did: he brought us to a very cheap, clean and very good located guesthouse!

Siem Reap is pretty touristy, a bit too much to my taste: the pubstreet reminds of Khao San Road in Bangkok … not really my thing, but in company with some good friends it turned out quite nice.

The ruins of Angkor are located only a few kilometers away and because in daytime there is not much to do in Siem Reap, except for viewing / buying souvenirs, I bought a three day ticket for the temples of Angkor and rented a bike for the same period. A visit to the temples is really impressive, you can easily stay three days and then you still have not seen all, but actually I think that one day of temples could be enough, cause a lot of temples are a bit of the same. The temples that should not be missed include Angkor Wat of course, Angkor Thon and Ta Prom (the latter has never been restored and impressive roots of trees embrace the ruins, it’s a popular backdrop for filmmakers). Having visited these highlights, the other temples seem to be a little less interesting.

Anyway, after three days of temples and a bit of nightlife in Siem Reap it was time to leave again and I took the bus to Phnom Penh.

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