Wednesday 3rd of August 2011 and of course, I was dead tired at midnight. DARN, the one night I don't want to go to bed and I'm dead tired. I left my apartment 4 o'clock in the morning in search for a taxi to take me to Sukhumvit Road Soi 12.
I was very lucky and there was a taxi leaving the condo across the street when came down. The security stopped the taxi and I was at 7 Eleven on Soi 12 five minutes later. There were already people waiting and filling up visa application forms at a table that Jack Golf had put up outside 7 Eleven.
There were plenty people, I think we were 30 or 32 passengers. 15 passengers for the one day tour and a 15 days VISA. The rest were going to stay in Poipet until Friday.
I had booked a single room, this is 1000 Baht extra and I had expected all the others to have done the same, at least those travelling alone. But no, here is 1000 Baht to be saved and now they had to start pairing people to share room. They asked me if I wanted a single or double room.
- Single room, I have booked a single room.
We left Bangkok 5 o'clock in the morning and I was dead tired. I had spent the night drinking tea and Diet MAX in order to stay awake. Now it was impossible to fall asleep because I was about to piss my pants. We had been on our way for an hour when we stopped at a gas stop. I could not believe my luck, I had expected a non-stop trip to Poipet.
- 10 minutes break! The girl announced.
She called me Mr. Sweden. Hello Mr. Sweden and Mr. Sweden this and that. She will never forget me, I was in my worst good morning mood when I arrived to 7 Eleven and we were swoon in an argument. But now she was happy again.
And I never bothered telling her that it was Mr. Skåne and not Mr. Sweden. But I doubt that I would have been able to explain the difference. Well, anyway, I was out of the bus in a jiff and I dashed off to the bath room and then I was off to the convenient store to buy a Minute Maid. Maybe the best orange juice in the world.
We left the gas stop and I didn't need to concentrate on avoiding pissing my pants and I tried to sleep. I slept for a few minutes and then I woke up again and it continued like this until we reached the border. Then Miss Sweden started to talk in the PA system. She was explaining how this was going to work.
The PA system was worse than the useless PA systems onboard airplanes so I heard almost f@ck all. We will pass the border and we would be met by a guy from Cambodia when we had passed the boarder. Yeah, I know what you think, how the would we know what guy it is coming to pick us up?
No problem, Miss Sweden gave us an excellent description of the man.
- You will be met by a VERY handsome guy from Cambodia.
He was not handsome, but VERY handsome. We got out of the buss and all the passengers got their passports, except me. Miss Sweden kept my passport because I was going to transfer my entry stamp to my new passport. This took 15 minutes and I was waiting at the immigration.
Miss Sweden came with my passport and I crossed the border to Cambodia and I was looking for a VERY handsome guy. I don't know if it is just him and me, or if she describes all guys at VERY handsome.
But she must have described me as VERY handsome because Mr VERY handsome approached me on the other side of the border.
- Are you with Jack Golf?
Hmm, I don't even dare to think about it. But what if she had described me as Mr VERY Porky? Then I prefer to be Mr. VERY Handsome. Well, anyway, Mr, VERY Handsome took me to a van for transportation to our hotel. The Tropicana Hotel and Casino.
Believe me, it sounds much more exciting that what it is. Breakfast buffet, there was exactly nothing that I could eat.
Not even tea!!! What the is this, a restaurant without hot tea? I had been in the restaurant less than 2 minutes when I had the whole staff around me.
- I WANT HOT TEA!
No tea, yes, I was disappointed and when I visited Tropicana's web page to check out the hotel it took less than 5 seconds to come under the impression that the sun was shining from every arse within a kilometre or two from this hotel. Reality, I could not see the sun shining from any arse, no Diet MAX and no internet on the room.
HA! And there you are expecting exciting updates from Cambodia!
I regret that I didn't make my VISA trip to Shanghai, Singapore or Laos. But I will hopefully get to see Angkor Wat. The breakfast buffet, one of the hotels main attractions was nothing but, well, shit.
I asked one of Jack Golf's friendly staff if there were any restaurant nearby so I could have my breakfast.
- There is one on the way to your room
- Is it better than the buffet?
- It is more expensive and it is not including in the price. This buffet is included in the price.
I asked the guy from Jack Golf about Anchor Wat and he would arrange a guide and a car for me.
- 5500 Baht and food including
- Careful! I don't want to hear another word about “Food included”
We would meet in the reception at 12 so I could get a copy of my passport signed by the immigration. I asked the girls in the reception to wake me up at 12 and I went to my room. I stopped at the restaurant and I ordered tea, yes, they had real tea. An omelette (American breakfast) and a cheese ham sandwich with my tea.
I ate the cheese ham sandwich and my omelette and I left the sausage and bacon behind.
- Oh, Aladdin serious with his diet!
- No, it was because it tasted like.....
I felt asleep at 10 and they called from Jack Golf at 12:15. He was waiting for me in the reception. No call from the reception at 12 as I had asked for.
There was a Japanese guy sitting with the Jack Golf guy and he was going to Angkor Wat tomorrow.
- You can go together!
- I was going alone!
- Better with 2 and now you only pay 3500 Baht. We're leaving at 7 o'clock in the morning
- What the ?? 7??!!
I asked the Japanese how long he wanted to stay at Angkor Wat and he only wanted to be there for 2 to 3 hours so we decided to go at 8. My plan was to go there alone, start with some nice breakfast in Siem Reap and then drive through Angkor Wat doing all the sights in 10 minutes before returning to Siem Reap for an Italian or Japanese dinner. I have come to realise that here is nothing in Poipet regarding restaurants.
- But wasn't that your plan?
Yes, I chose this destination to avoid any unnecessary party. But at least I had expected a cup of tea. And as here is nothing to eat I had to order 2 milkshakes for lunch. The girls made my milkshake while I was hanging over their shoulders.
- NO NO NO!!! NO ICE!!!!
- Only banana, ice cream and milk!
I got my milkshake and it was a darn good milkshake and I finished them in a jiff.
I asked the girls in the reception why they hadn't called me at 12 o'clock.
I also asked for a mini mart and a massage place. Can as well kill an hour getting my right shoulder massaged so it will be in good order for Bangkok Fight Club on Friday.
- Ask the driver to take you to the mini mart and there is a massage place next door.
I bought 4 cans of Diet MAX and I went to check out the massage place. I told them that I wanted massage for my right shoulder. They handed me a pyjamas and I told them again:
- I only need massage for my shoulder.
She insisted on the pyjama and I left. I took a hotel van back to the hotel and I watched a movie trying to kill time. I was dead tired, but I didn't want to sleep and thus waking up 2 o'clock in the morning.
I left my hotel at 16 thirty, I had decided to go check if there were some place to have dinner. Down at the reception and I asked for some restaurant suggestions.
- There is a Japanese and Chinese at Holiday.
- Thank you!
I left the reception and I hoped in to one of the hotel vans waiting outside the hotel. I asked the driver to PLEASE take me to the Japanese restaurant.
Obviously only one Japanese restaurant in Poipet because the driver took me straight to Holiday. I was disappointed at first. The sign said: AIKO Japanese Buffet Restaurant. But I decided to go inside to check it out. Luckily enough they had a menu and I ordered Teriyaki or whatever it is named. And I asked for two plates of salmon sushi.
The Waiter suggested a JUMBO plate and he pointed in the menu.
- 300 or 400 Baht
- I take the 400 Baht plate
My Teriyaki beef arrived and, yes, I was lucky that there wasn't anyone I knew in the restaurant. Would have been embarrassing if they would have caught me crying in the restaurant. What the is this? Dog food? It was not good and I started to cry when I thought about the Teriyaki at Tempura in Manila. Must be the best Japanese restaurant in the world since they closed down KOTO in Go:teborg. I will hopefully soon be able to visit Manila and Tempura again.
But latest news is that they have waist-high flooding in Manila so the area is to be avoided for a while.
They arrived with my salmon, must have been a kilo of salmon. But why Sashimi, I ordered sushi. I had expected nagirisushi and I went to the kitchen to see what was going on. I asked them to do salmon maki. And if they had sesame seeds they could PLEASE add some. After a few minutes they arrived with my salmon maki. Now they had filled the sushi with crabstick, cucumber and I don't know what.
OK, enough already! I was hungry and now I returned to the kitchen with the waiter. I asked them to do a sushi with only seaweed, salmon, rice and sesame seed. The Cook started to do the first and I checked him. He started with sea weed and rice.
- Please pour sesame seeds over the rice.
- Please, a wee bit more.
He topped with salmon and he rolled the stuff in to a maki. He cut it up in pieces and put on my plate. He was about to get started to decorate the plate with cucumber and stuff.
- Please, not necessary.
He gave me that plate and I confirmed that I wanted 2 more plates and I took my plate to my table. Now I started to cry for the second time. The wasabi or whatever they call it was so strong I started to cry. But the salmon was gorgeous.
My first good meal in Poipet and I was in a pretty good mood even though I was tired. And the staff, very friendly and helpful.
I took off on a motorcycle towards the mini mart for a few Diet MAX before returning to my hotel. They will hopefully manage to wake me up at 7 thirty tomorrow and we will take off to Angkor Wat at 8 o'clock. An adventure I'm looking forward to. Not the 7 thirty part, but Siem Reap and Angkor Wat.
Thursday 4th of August 2011 and I woke up and I just knew that it was in the middle of the night. I looked at my wrist watch, 20 past midnight.
- Darn and double darn!
Luckily enough I felt asleep within a few seconds and next time I woke up and I just knew that it was in the middle of the night. I looked at my wrist watch, 4 o'clock.
- Darn and double darn!
Luckily enough I felt asleep within a few seconds and next time I woke up I could feel that I had enough sleep. I looked at my wrist watch, 15 minutes past 8.
- Darn and double darn!
What happened with the wakeup call? We were supposed to be on our way to Angkor Wat
Our Guide called a few minutes later.
- I'm sorry, I cleaned my car so I was a bit late
- OK, I'm coming down
I came down and our Guide and the Japanese guy were waiting at the reception.
- Can you just wait a few minutes while I have my breakfast?
- No problem
I went back to the restaurant (I stayed well clear of the buffet restaurant) and I ordered tea, toast and omelette. They started to make a cup of tea and I told them that I wanted to drink from a big glass.
- Same as yesterday
The waiter took a big glass and he poured hot water in the cup and he added the tea bag.
- Hey! I want to drink from the big glass!
Obviously he was going to make the tea in the cup and then pour it in to the big glass. And my tea were soon black in the thimble they used as cup and I had to react forcefully. Yes, making tea is no joke and if you have strong tea it starts to get a bitter taste and then it is never mind how much water you add. You will never get rid of the bitter taste. Well, of course, if you adda cubic ton of water it will taste like, yes, water. No surprise there.
I was the only customer, the rest of the guests were at the buffet restaurant so I expected to have my food in a jiff. And I told them that I was in a hurry with a car waiting. I had finished my tea and still no sign of the food. 20 minutes passed and I was chewing my nico
chew like there was no tomorrow
- Where is my food?
The toast came and the toast was cold and gone by the time my omelette arrived, almost 30 minutes later. Good luck trying to explain that you want to have the toast with the omelette.
Well, I had actually decided to leave when the omelette arrived and I finished the darn thing in 0,5 and I left for the waiting guys in the reception and we took off towards Angkor Wat just past 9 o'clock.
On Jack Golf's web page it says that it is a bumpy road between Poipet and Siem Reap, but it was an excellent road and we were hauling arse. We passed plenty gas stops on the way. Indian style with bottles of gasoline. This will soon change when they have more cars than motorcycles.
At some of the gas stops you needed a tank to reach the pumps
We also saw the progress on the railway construction. They are building a railway between Poipet and Phnom Pen so in the future it should be possible to take the train from Poipet. But I doubt that it will be quicker than by car.
We reached a town after an hour or so and we stopped to buy water. I had asked our Guide for a 7 Eleven.
- We don't have any 7 Eleven in Cambodia.
- Well, any place with something to drink will do!
We got our water and we were soon on our way again. It took us about one hour more to reach Siem Reap. There was some road work when we crossed Siem Reap city limit and we were rolling forward at slow speed.
There were cows crossing the road ahead of us and I thought that this will be no problem as we were rolling forward at slow speed.
But suddenly I just knew that we were going to end up in trouble, and I was obviously alone with the thought.
- Watch out for the calf!
No reaction and we hit the calf and my mood turned to very bad.
- You have to brake!
The calf disappeared and I was worried, luckily enough the calf rose up and walked away, in shock. What the ! If you have a living being in front of your car you brake. Don't hit it as it will hurt. DARN!
He was worried about a stupid plastic spoiler or something. I was hoping that the whole fromt would be cracked so he would take it easier in the future. This is what you do, observe, assess/ analyse and then acting accordingly. And yes, sometime you have to do this within a blink of an eye.
Well, of course, we can all fail on the assess/ analyse and then acting accordingly steps. How many times haven't observed a case of beer just to skip the “assess/ analyse and then acting accordingly” steps and then found myself with a severe hangover.
Well, we had been in a good mood for the whole trip and my mood instantly turned to very bad after the calf incident.
We were going to pick up our Guide for Angkor Wat in Siem reap before going to the temple. When he arrived we continued towards Angkor Wat. Our temple Guide told us that Angkor means city and Wat is temple. So Angkor Wat is the temple city.
He also told us that we were going to see three places, namely:
1) Angkor Wat
2) Tree in the temple temple
3) Angkor Ton
(Can as well have been Tom, but my bet is Ton)
Obviously we needed to buy a ticket, including in our trip. The ticket was good for all the temples in the area.
When we approached the ticket office our temple guide asked us if we wanted a 3 day or a 1 day ticket.
- 3 DAYS!!! DO THEY HAVE A 20 MINUTES TICKET?
And they obviously have big problem with people giving away their tickets for others to use so we had to have our picture taken.
Our Japanese friend and I got our tickets and we got in to the car. 25 meters away they stopped us and checked our tickets. It took us about 5 minutes to reach Angkor Wat. Well, to reach the place where we had to leave the car behind.
We had to walk the last kilometre.
We walked a few hundred meters and we reached the West or East gate to Angkok Wat. But we had not reached Angkor Wat, when we had passed through the gate there were still several hundred meters to go to reach Angkor Wat.
Well, my irritation over the calf incident faded away pari passu with me getting hotter and by the time we reached Angkor Wat I had forgotten all about the calf in Siem Reap.
When we arrived to Angkor Wat our Guide and Japanese friend entered the temple.
- I will have a walk around the temple, I meet you here later.
Our Japanese friend and the temple guide disappeared and I turned right and I started to walk counter clockwise around Angkor Wat and when I had finished almost the first side I ran in to an onslaught of haggling. The girls were running at me.
- ONE DOLLAR!!
- GUIDE BOOK!! ONLY 5 DOLLAR!!
- COLD WATER!! ONLY 1 DOLLAR
- COKE! ONLY 1 DOLLAR!!
- COCO NUT!!
- ARE YOU HUNGRY?
I just continued my walk, the first
5 or 10 minutes I tried with “I HAVE NO MONEY” but then I gave up that and I just ignored them. But it was not easy.
I reached the other side, this was obviously the main gate to Angkor Wat with a stone bridge over the moat that was digged around Angkor Wat symbolising the ocean and Angkor Wat was the centre of the earth. 1000 years ago.
All this according to our temple guide. He told us the story in the car coming here. About 1000 years ago and the pulled all the stones from the mountains to build the temple. They used elephants to drag all the stones. But even with the help of elephants it must have been a hell of a job. And the moat, I don't remember how long it was, but it was huge. All handmade.
I told the guy that it would have been better to spend the money and energy to feed and educate the people. Same in Europe, there are big churches all over the place, 1000 years old and back then there was ni safety shoes and “HARD HAT AREAS” People died like there was no tomorrow building all the churches, and all of them were the poor hard working suckers.
And the religion held back science by several hundred years in Europe. Hmm, maybe a good thing. Or we might have destroyed our globe a long time ago.
I'm starting to walk back on the other side of the Angkor Wat and I buy a bottle of water when I reach the place where I left our temple guide and our Japanese friend.
There were several groups of Korean and Japanese tourist leaving Angkor Wat while I was waiting.
And jumping in front of the camera seems to be the latest thing to have caught on. But don't expect to see me jumping in front of a camera. Imagine me knocking someone unconscious with my flapping belly. Pure horror and this is an experience I can live without.
well, I would have prefer to make this trip alone. But I got a good feeling for the Japanese guy from the start and I turend out to be right. I had been waiting for a few minutes when our temple guide and Japanese friend returned. He was pretty much like me and as I said when we were back in the car.
- Very good, I was afraid to end up with someone that were going to spend 6 hours at every temple looking at every stone he came across.
And he turned out to be an even better travelling company when our temple guide asked us if we wanted to eat our (included) lunch. And believe me, I was ready to take on an aircondition restaurant. But I told the temple guide to ask our Japanese friend what he wanted to do.
- He is the Boss!
And he was ready for some food. I asked what they had planned.
- What food are we going to eat? I want a nice restaurant!
- We have planned for traditional Khmer food.
- What is that? I want Japanese or Italian. Or at least salmon, something nice.
- “Fish in the mouth” and coconut
- Fish and the what?
What the is “Fish in the mouth” and coconut? I don't know and for sure, I didn't want to try.
- We don't want to eat on the street, I said.
Our Japanese friend wetted himself laughing.
- We don't want “Fish in the mouth” and coconut. And we don't want to eat on the street.
We agreed and we wanted a nice restaurant. After a full day at Tropicana and Poipet we needed some food, some tasty food.
- OK, we have to go to Siem Reap. There are restaurants at down town Siem Reap.
- OK, let's go.
Our temple guide suggested that we should have a look at the exciting “Tree in the temple” temple before we went for lunch.
- It is close buy and then we can look at Angkor Ton (Can as well have been Tom, but my bet is Ton) after lunch.
- Sounds like a plan, we said.
We took off to the exciting “Tree in the temple” temple with smokin' and screamin' tyres.
The story behind this temple was that it was abandoned for 200 years and there were trees starting to grow on the temple. The roots are as you can see on the below pictures on top of the stones and buildings. Nothing that makes you want to fly half way around the world, but when you are in the area.....
It was hot and even though it was interesting I started to wonder when we were going to return to the air condition in the car.
As our temple guide said:
- It was a little hot yesterday, and it is hotter today.
Yeah, I was ready to go back but no signs of our tour to be over. I could not believe my luck. We reached a sign “UNSAFE AREA” and I thought that we were going to turn around.
I was wrong, we continued and I could not believe my luck. We reached a sign “NO ENTRY - WORK AREA”
- YIPPEEE!! Lunch time and air condition!!
I really thought that we were going to turn around. But there was nothing stopping our temple guide.
He just continued no matter what perils they were throwing our way. We trotted on and on and by now I was soaking wet.
But finally, we were starting to move our way back to the car and I could see the smoked salmon in front of me.
Now I really hope that they can find a nice restaurant, but I was full of hope. There were plenty nice restaurants in Phnom Pen so why not in Siem Reap?
We left the “Tree in the temple” temple with smokin' and screamin' tyres and I was delirious with anticipation. We were hot, tired and hungry and our guide were taking us to a “VERY NICE” restaurant. And with a guarantee that we would not have to run in to any “Fish in the mouth” and coconut.
We stopped outside a restaurant in Siem Reap. 2 tour busses outside and I looked at our guide while giving him my “Are you for real?” look. I knew what kind of place it was, but I didn't wanted to be the wet-blanket so we went inside.
Maybe our Japanese friend wanted to eat here even though I had decided not to eat at this place. We entered the place and I'm sure that all of you have experienced one of these restaurants while on tour. Cracked and missing floor tiles were replaced by concrete. And it was dark like a night club.
We chose a table, but we changed table due to tracks from previous guests on the table. They gave us 3 menus, a plastic binder with homemade menu pages in plastic pockets. Yes, I think all of us seen those plastic binder menus.
• Fried rice 25 Baht With a picture of fried rice
• Fried rice special 30 Baht, pretty much the same picture as above.
I went outside for some fresh air and the guys arrived a few minutes later. I asked our Japanese friend if he wanted to eat here.
- NO WAY!
I asked our guide, yet again, for a restaurant.
- You want an expensive restaurant?
- No, I want a good restaurant.
If you pay 200 Baht for a 100 Baht omelette it is and expensive omelette. If you pay 200 Baht for a 200 Baht omelette is OK. And if you pay 200 Baht for a 220 Baht omelette it is cheep.
- Raffles, he suggested
- What is that?
- A 5 star hotel
- Let's hit the road!
We arrived to Raffles and this was more like it. We got a table and I had a pot of tea in front of me in a jiff. They also brought a wooden box with small surprises with my tea.
They were soon bringing fresh bread, butter and stuff to our table.
- Please have some complimentary bread
- Oh yes, we will!
I ordered a salmon panini, or patini or what ever they call it for starter. Smoked salmon and other good stuff in a grilled baguette.
Spaghetti Carbonara to chase down the salmon with. And I had them coming with tea all the time.
It was an excellent meal.
I had discussed mango sticky rice with our guide on our way to Siem Reap and they had sticky rice in Cambodia.
- But we don't have white rice in Cambodia. We have black sticky rice.
The Waiter came with the dessert menu. No mango sticky rice so I asked the Waiter if they had sticky rice and mango.
- I will check
He came back a few minutes later.
- We only have black sticky rice.
Our temple guide and I ordered mango with sticky rice.
Well, it was OK, but the best sticky rice with mango is still at Klingklao on Soi 22 in Bangkok. Yes, now I get the Cambodian secret police chasing me again.
From: chanborn [mailto:chanborn]
Sent: 02 April 2011 21:49
Subject: Re: Cambodia
I AM SCANNING THROUGH GOOGLE SEARCH TO FIND WHAT THAIS AND SIAMESE TALKING ABOUT CAMBODIA WHILE THEY ARE IN WAR AT BANGKOK.
We remember the e-mails I received after my visit to Phnom Pen last Christmas. I'm for sure not a Siamese even though I move around like a Siamese kitten.
I bought a pack of fags at the hotel. Made in Cambodia. I bought a pack of tax free fags in Poipet and they have been almost impossible to smoke. But the coffin nails from Raffles were OK so I left my tax free pack in the ash tray.
Well, we left Raffles behind. Our last visit, Angkor Ton (Can as well have been Tom, but my bet is Ton) and we will soon know why Siem Reap is called Siem Reap.
We passed the ticket gate again and I tried to pull a joke. I was hiding on the floor when we passed the gate but this joke wasn't appreciated at all.
Our temple guide told us the story on the way to Angkor Ton (Can as well have been Tom, but my bet is Ton) We have learnt that Angkor means city and Ton (Can as well have been Tom, but my bet is Ton) means big or huge. So Angkor Ton means the big city. And it was big, a city with a population of 10000 thousand years ago was huge.
And it was only officials (Or noble people as our guide called them) living in the city so we can imagine how much workers and farmers there have been living around the city.
Well, anyway, the Thais or Siamese back then occupied the Angkor Ton. The kicked some Cambodian arse and the fled. But the Cambodians were back 3 years later and they were whopping arse. The Siamese army was on the run and they didn't stop until they were back in Siam again.
And Angkor Ton changed name to Siem Reap which means Siam got their arse kicked. So now I know what Siem Reap means. It was actually quite interesting to listen to our guide and the history.
Well, this is how I understand the story and I'm pretty sure that there are other interpretations of the history. And as you can see on the picture on the right hand side it is a huge area, and Angkor Thom, yes, back from Cambodia and I checked out the name on internet. And I can't muster the energy to go back and change the name. Well, from now on I will call it by the right name which is Angkor Thom and nothing else.
We can also see that Angkor Thom is surrounded by a man made moat. We entered the city gate and we arrived to the Bayon temple. The Bayon was the last state temple to be built at Angkor, and the only Angkorian state temple to be built primarily as a Mahayana Buddhist shrine dedicated to the Buddha. We stepped out from the car and we entered the temple.
What's so special with this temple? Well, according to our temple guide it was the 54 towers, one for each province and each tower had 4 smiling Buddha. It was built as a Buddhist temple but when the king died the new king removed most of the Buddha because he believed in Shiva.
The whole temple turned in to a Hindu temple.
So I asked the guide if Shiva was happy about them JUST removing the Buddha figures. Wasn't Shiva angry that they didn't build a new temple? Buddha got a new temple and Shiva had to do with an old temple.
There was an altar or something with a Buddha at the centre of the temple. There were some old ladies sitting there burning incense and candles. It was not a pleasant smell and I was in a hurry to get out of there.
And of course, there was a tray to put money. No surprise there.
By now I expected us to be ready with the temple and as this was our last temple I expected us to go back to Siam Reap. It was hot and I really wanted to have a milkshake. So let's get out of here leaving all the temples behind.
We left the Bayon temple behind and I was very happy. Finally, we're ready without temple tour and we can return back to Poipet with a stop in Siem Reap for some snacks first. I never thought that I would say it, but I want to get back to my hotel room in Poipet.
A full day and I'm getting tired. But I was worried when we left the Bayon temple, no sign off our car and our guide took off towards the woods.
We came to yet another temple, the Baphuon temple. I was disappointed, I wanted to leave.
- NO!! NOT ANOTHER TEMPLE!!!!
I could not believe my luck, the temple was closed for visitors. To my disappointment we were continuing through the forest and we came to a wall. We have arrived to the royal palace that was originally surrounded by 2 walls and a moat between the walls.
We entered the gate to the royal palace and we approached the Phimeanakas. Phimeanakas is a Hindu temple in the Khleang style, built at the end of the 10th century, during the reign of Rajendravarman (from 941-968), then rebuilt by Suryavarman II in the shape of a three tier pyramid as a Hindu temple.
Well, there was a beautiful girl from Korea sitting on a rock at the temple so I went down to check her out. Our guide was not far behind.
- Do you want to climb up to the top?
- Nah, I think I have the picture already
Our Japanese friend wanted to climb the temple so I was waiting behind with the guide while checking out the Korean girl. Well, after this there can't be much to see and I was looking forward to a cold mango shake in Siem Reap.
So I was glad when our Japanese friend started to descend from the temple.
Our guide told us that the royal palace and the whole city was built with wood and is long gone. The only remains are the temples that were built with stones from the mountains.
We came to the swimming pools and the guide told us that the small pool was for the men and the big pool was for the ladies, and the king. He went to meditate in the temple every morning before he went to the pool with the girls.
We left the pool area behind and we walked towards the Elephant terrace and I could see our car.
Our guide told us that the 12 towers in front of the Elephant terrace were used to put people in if the court had not been able to decide if they were guilty or not. One day and one night in each of the towers and if you were alive after 12 days you were innocent.
I was half running towards the car when our guide stopped us. We were not allowed to walk the closest way to the parking lot. We had to go via the back and as no surprise there were stalls selling souvenirs and it was the all too well known harping all over again.
- ONE DOLLAR!!
- GUIDE BOOK!! ONLY 5 DOLLAR!!
- COLD WATER!! ONLY 1 DOLLAR
- COKE! ONLY 1 DOLLAR!!
- COCO NUT!!
- ARE YOU HUNGRY?
Finally in the air conditioned car and we took off towards Siem Reap. We were going for a tour of the town with a stop for a few cold drinks before returning to Poipet.
Siem Reap seems to be a nice place, several blocks of bars and restaurants and I felt like staying the night. Our guide told me that there were party all night long and it was for sure looking more fun than Phnom Pen
We went to a restaurant and I ordered a mango shake. I told the Waitress that I didn't wanted any ice in my mango shake, I must have told her hundred times: “Only mango and ice cream” I got my mango shake.
- What the is this??!!
This was the best mango shake I had ever had. The mango shake had the consistency of whipped cream. WOW! I ordered another mango shake and I will try to do one of those when I'm back home. Of course, when I'm ready with my diet.
I finished my mango shakes and I had a walk around Siem Reap and for sure, it looked like a party place. Better than sitting with the sex tourists in Phnom Pen.
We left the restaurant and Siem Reap behind when I came back to the restaurant. Poipet next! And it will be nice to get back to the hotel.
It took us about 2 to 2 and a half hour to drive back to Poipet. Our Japanese friend was sleeping all the way back to Poipet and we arrived to the minimart in Poipet at 20:25. I bought 2 cans of Diet MAX before we returned to the hotel where we arrived at 20 thirty.
I had planned to buy a bottle of Black Label to my Thai boxing Teacher at the tax free shop at the hotel. Open every day between 08:00 to 21:00, at least according to the sign on the door.
I arrived at 20:30 and they were closed, I was furious. Is nothing working as it should at this hotel? I went to the reception and I had half the hotel staff in the reception.
- This is very very very NO GOOD!! I said.
- We're sorry!
- Dosen't help me when my Teacher is kicking my arse!
- Try Diamond Casino, their tax free is open.
I took the hotel van to Diamond Casino and I bought a bottle of Black Label. I was looking for some chocolate but I didn't buy any and I walked back to my hotel with my bottle of Black Label.
I drank my Diet MAX before going to bed. I flipped through the TV channels, there is three movie channels,. Rocky, ROBO COP and another stupid movie so I turned off the TV and I tried to fall asleep. I had my bottle for my Teacher. I remember when I was going to Laos. He asked if I could buy a bread for him.
- A bread!!??
- Yes, they have very good bread in Laos!
- Well, the bread will be old when I'm back at Bangkok Fight Club
- Never mind!
Friday 5th of August 2011 and lo and behold, they managed to give me my wakeup call at 8 o'clock. It was almost 5 o'clock before I felt asleep so I was dead tired.
A Diet MAX and a shower and I was ready to leave. I went down to get my breakfast in the restaurant. Always making sure that I'm staying well clear of the buffet restaurant.
I got my tea and half of my breakfast and I cancelled my 2nd omelette. The darn thing came when I left. 30 minutes to make an omelette is too much so I didn't feel guilty when I cancelled my food. But they got my tea right so there have been improvements.
I took a hotel car to the border and I left Cambodia behind. But I have to throw a bone or two to the guy at the Cambodian secret police to find when he is SCANNING the internet. Here we go, it was a really nice tour to the Angkor Wat. Well, except the calf incident. But the temples were really interesting and thanks to our temple guide we learnt what Angkor and Siem Reap means.
So I recommend a visit, but try to do it between December and February when the weather is cool, now it was darn hot. And Siem Reap was a very nice town. And the best, the MANGO SHAKE!!! I will come back, even if only to have another mango shake.
It took 30 minutes of waiting at the Immigration, a lot of people passing and when it was finally my turn I was about to climb the walls. The girl asked e what I was going to do in Thailand.
- I'm looking for a wife
- You are so handsome, no problem
- Yeah, you know, some guys just have it
- But you would be even more handsome with long hair
I took of my cap
- I'm going f@cking bald!
She was laughing so she almost wetted herself. She stamped my passport and off I was. I walked form the immigration to the 7 Eleven where were we're going to meet. I heard someone screaming at me and it was the Custom Officers on the other side of the road. Obviously had missed that arrivals had to go through he custom on the left side of the road. And there weren't any signs, and in my defence, the custom office looked like a meeting point where senior citizens were discussing the mystery of life.
They searched my bags, well, the opened the bag but they were having all their attention on my ear rings.
At 7 Eleven and no sign of Jack Golf's bus. I bought a Minute Maid at 7 Eleven and we were waiting outside for about 20 minutes when a girl came and showed us the way to the bus.
No air condition on the bus, what the . Obviously they don't care about the passengers driving around in a bus with a A/C on it knees. And the PA system, I could hear the tour leader all over the bus, but as soon as she started to talk in the PA system it was impossible to hear what she said.
Hell, I heard her crisp and clear even when she was on the bottom deck.
- Mr. New Zealand
- Miss Canada, follow me!
So the passengers would be better off if they sold the PA system and invested the money on the air condition. Well, the bus was almost full so I didn't get a seat where I could sleep.
It was a terrible trip back and I was so happy when I saw that we were approaching Bangkok. I had asked out tour leader if they stopped at SHINO THAI TOWER on Asoke.
- Yes, we can do
Jack Golf and they have an excellent service and friendly staff and it really works very smooth. OK, the A/C was a setback. But I can recommend Jack Golf's visa tours to Cambodia. And who knows, next time they might run with a new bus.
This bus was for sure looking like it was going to fall apart any minute and I was scared all the way back to Bangkok. But I made it back home to FUNKY TOWN. An omelette and tea and then I are off to Bangkok Fight Club.
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