Intrepid Cambodia: It’s going great!!

I’ve have just eaten a huge khmer veg and tofu curry, and am fit to burst, or maybe that is due to the big bottle of Angkor beer I had with it…. I passed on the deep fried spiders thankyouverymuch! i’m not kidding!!!!

Each day is packed with new things, and having 10 new people to get to know and to get along with, not to mention the challenge of trying to communicate with the Cambodians we meet on the way, means that the days feel fuller than the itinerary suggests.

Blue blue skies here, temperatures in the high 20s and low 30s, and I got sun burned the day before yesterday to prove it (doh!), on top of a morning express boating along the Mighty Mekong from Phnom Penh to Kampong Cham (map) which left me with a rosy red face đŸ™‚ not quite so red now, thank heavens. En route from from Phnom Penh we visited some off the beaten track towns and temples, and as a consequence have done lots of smiling and waving and “helloing”, and riding pillion on motorbikes.

It’s a good trip – bit of an odd mix of people (10+leader), but not bad, and probably less oddball than any trip which takes people away for the Christmas holiday has any right to be. We’ll be spending Christmas Day in Sihanoukville, down by the coast and on the Gulf of Thailand.

We’re now in Siem Reap which is the town 6 km from Angkor Wat, where all the tourists base themselves for their X days in the temple sites. It’s a bit like going into Alton Towers, with tourist buses pulling up at the toll booth, disgorging passengers who get their photopass tickets and then climb on board again to be ferried to their site-du-choix.

We spent the morning on a bumpy bus ride from our overnight stop at Kampong Thom, and the afternoon at one of the Angkor Wat sites – lovely detailed carvings of everyday Khmer life in the 12 century… and great big faces carved onto the temple towers – in honour of the king who commissioned the temple. Next door is a vast frieze of elephants doing what elephants did in the 11 century – hunting, carrying, warring….

We’re here until Saturday morning, with tomorrow a full day’s Angkor Watting, Friday a half day, with the afternoon free to do what we want, which for H and I will involve a Seeing Hands massage (blind masseurs, Japanese massage) from 4-5pm.

And back in PP before the trip got underway, we bumped into Miss Universe at the Russian Market, as you do….

And I’ve taken lots of photos!!

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