Saturday, May 2, 2009

Cambodia Update

Well we arrived in Siem Reap (Angkor Wat) today from Battambang.  We only spent two days in Battambang but it was probably one of our least favorite places so far, very dusty, dirty town with not a heck of a lot to see.

The  best part of Battambang was organizing a tuk-tuk for the day and going for a tour of the countryside.  We saw a couple of neat Wat's (Temples) and an ancient ruins site that was supposedly a model for Angkor Wat.  It was a long hike up 338 stairs to reach the ancient ruins but we made it!

A lot of our time was spent getting to these sites and we were COVERED in dust by the end of the day.  We also looked at going on the bamboo train  which is a gas powered "train which is really just two axles and a platform over the top with a gas engine attached that go careening along the abandoned railroad track.   When two trains meet the one with less cargo is taken apart and pulled off the track then reassembled once the other train goes by.

The other strange thing about Battambang is there were NO tourists there.  We saw about 6 other westerners in our 3 days and 2 nights there.  Our hotel had about 50 rooms and I swear a couple of nights we were the only guests.

Today we took the bus from Battambang to Siem Reap.  This used to be considered the worst road in Asia but it has only recently been paved and we made the 200km trip in 3hours.

Siem Reap has changed greatly since Betsy and I were here on our honeymoon 5.5 years ago. Most of the roads are paved and not dirt, they have proper ticket offices now to get your Angkor tickets and they are building new hotels, restaurants and shopping like crazy.  You can't even recognize the place anymore.  It feels more like Las Vegas or Disneyland than the eighth wonder of the world!

Internet is horrible in Cambodia, I have pictures from the south of Vietnam waiting to upload but can't get a good enough connection to upload them so one of these days there will be more pictures.

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