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The end of the road...

sunny 35 °C
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Greetings all!

Well when we finally dried out from the Phnom Penh adventure it was time for us to head north to Siem Reap and the Temples at Angkor. We travelled by bus, and had a delightful lunch stop at a little village where they had some rather charming delicacies on offer including frog (whole) and deep fried tarantula. Yes, you heard - tarantula. Not only were there women walking around with trays full of crunchy looking spider crisps, but one woman was strolling about nonchalantly with a live spider on her shirt, occasionally stroking it as she went about her spider selling business. Did we try one, I hear you ask? Hell no! I'm all for trying out the local cuisine but the though of biting into one of the chubby little hairy legs didn't really appeal - we stuck to the safer and less repulsive option of a salad baguette :) A chap on our bus did buy a rather large bag of them although sadly we didn't see him tucking in to them. That was pretty much the highlight of a relatively uneventful trip, and about an hour ahead of schedule (unheard of!) we arrived at our destination.

Siem Reap is a pretty little town, that seems to exist entirely to service Angkor - it is thus full of 5* resort hotels and some rather lovely restaurants. We had a day to relax and get our bearings before being collected at 5am by Lee, our tuk tuk driver for our first view of the temples and a spot of sunrise. On the first day we visited 13 temples, including Prah Prohm - otherwise universally know, it would seem, as "The Tombraider Temple". Haven't seen the film myself, but we overheard many a tour guide explaining the scene in detail to people...something to do with tigers apparently!

The following two days followed a similar format - up at 5 for sunrise, a good 7 hours of templing, back to town for lunch and a rest then back to the temples for sunset. The three days were exhausting, most of the temples are in a pretty bad state of disrepair, and there are lots of very steep flights of steps to scramble up and down (not easy in flip flops, I can tell you!) - but it was an amazing experience. Words can't really do it justice, all I can do is pop some pictures on Facebook and encourage you all to go and see for yourself!

After our three days it was time to return to Bangkok - yet another terrifying twin prop plane (Siem Reap Air...would you trust an airline from a place with a population a fraction of the size of Reading? Think Air Wokingham!) but we made it back safely in the knowledge that our next plane would be something of the sturdier variety, and not with an airline that's not allowed to fly over Europe due to it's poor safety record as is the case with many of the SE Asian airlines! We had a pretty quiet few days of winding down and getting ready to head home, including a bit of shopping, a trip to the Grand Palace and the Khao San Road to see how the backpackers actually live and a visit to the most amazing cinema EVER! The room had no more than about 30 seats, and each of them had individual controls to allow you to completely recline, they gave you a blanket in case the air conditioning was too chilly and they even brought us beer which we stowed on our rather handy side tables. Awesome. We discovered just how patriotic the Thai folk are when just before the film commenced we were treated to the national anthem (everyone stands up at this point) which was accompanied by what can only be described as a music video with "We love the King" tag lines and lots of footage of him giving money to the poor and generally being an all round good egg. Can you imagine that in the UK?!

So before we knew it, we were sitting at Bangkok airport waiting for our 12.45am plane back to the UK. Four months, 10 countries, and more amazing people, incredible sights, stunning scenery and good times than you can shake a sizeable stick at. We hope you've enjoyed the blog, although it's occasionally been a bit of a pain finding internet access good enough to write it, it's been a good way to recall all our favourite moments and reassure people that we're not lost in the big wide world somewhere :)

That's all from us, hope to catch up with you all soon!
Over and out,
Sue & Chris xxx

Posted by SooMagoo 15:34 Archived in Cambodia

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