Monday, November 19, 2007

Numb Bum

From Ko Chang I headed into Cambodia, to a place called Siem Reap. Not as easy as it sounds mind you. From Siem Reap you can do days trips to Angkor Wat, an enormous collection of huge and incredibly ornate temples that is a must see, but more on that later. The journey began with a 5 hour boat and bus ride from Ko Chang with a nice and early start, next a 4 hour delay at the border sorting out visa's and what not and then another 5 hour bus ride at the other side. In this last 5 hours you travel only 156km, but because the road is such poor quality it takes an age. I don't think I've ever been on such an uncomfortable journey. Dust, mosquitoes and vibration; not the greatest combination of things when traveling for almost 14 hours straight.

Welcome to Cambodia.

The quality of all the other roads in Cambodia is pretty darn good. So why such a poor road connecting Bangkok, the international hub of these parts, through to Angkor Wat, one of Asia's most renowned tourist attractions, I hear you ask? It appears to be common knowledge that the one and only airways that does that connection via air, pays the Cambodian government a significant amount of money to delay the construction of a new road outright. Madness.

Although the trip made all the passengers grumble, especially when they try and scam you by dropping you off at only one accommodation outside of the town centre, it did create an excellent sense of camaraderie between my fellow travelers.

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