Uluru bei Sonnenaufgang

page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

From Lao Liang we take the boat/bus back to Krabi and fly to Bangkok on the following day. We spend two days sightseeing and shopping in the city. The city is just a paradise for shoppers.

King's Palace in Bangkok

The Reclining Buddha

Worms, grasshoppers and chockroaches. Tasty...

The air is sticky and humid, and in the evening our lungs are burning from dust and smog. Touristy and busy Kao San Road is a little too much for us after the peaceful retreat in Lao Liang. So we take the train to Cambodia. The journey over 270 km to the border town of Aranya Pratet costs 1,- € and takes 6.5 hours.  From the station we take a Tuk-Tuk (three wheeled motorbike) to the border. Leaving Thailand is efficient and easy.

Local train in Thailand

A visa is needed for tourists entering Cambodia. It costs 20,- US $. Without an extra payment none of the border officers is doing anything. After two hours, serious negotiations and money offerings we are granted a visa. Poipet is a miserable dusty town with unpaved roads and endless rows of garbage collectors from 6 to 50 years old. From here we want to go to Siem Reap (Khmer for Thailand defeated). For tourism the road from Bangkok to Siem Reap is the most important in Cambodia. But the road is not paved because an airline boss is paying some money to the local politicians. Most tourists rather fly in.

The main road to Siem Reap

We find a taxi that takes us to Siem Reap within three hours. Which is only 140 km away. The cars of choice are old Japanese Toyota Camrys with raised and beefed up suspension running on compressed natural gas.

The road surface

Along the way 30 years of civil unrest left their toll. During the Khmer Rouge years from 1975 to 79 2,000,000 Cambodians were killed or starved.
In 1975 the capital Pnom Penh had a population of 2,000,000, 1976 only 50.000 were left. There are still many uncleared mine fields in the country and casualties or wounded are reported daily. Many fields can't be used because even 10 years after the retreat of the Vietnamese army many mines are still around.

With German aid this mine field in Angkor Wat was cleared in 2003

People carrier in Cambodia

In town we find a nice hotel built by the French during the colonial days. In the morning we rent two bicycles and pedal 10 km to the amazing ruins of Angkor Wat. To avoid the heat we are on the road early and have the temples almost to ourselves. The temples are spread over a big area and are the largest in the world. And the detailed stonework is some of the best you'll ever see.

We take our time and pedal casually along when the next bus load of tourists arrive. At most temples are food and souvenir stands. But at 36C we are more interested in cool drinks. We spend the evening on the balcony of a plush Khmer restaurant, that is run by orphans. On the street a band of mine maimed musicians is playing till late at night. Cambodia remains a fascinating country for us.

The temples of Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat


The brigde guards of Bayon


Tomb Raider Temple

Rhesus monkey having lunch

Family transport

From Siem Reap we go back to Bangkok and fly to Melbourne. Because our Thai Airways flight is one hour late we have a rather hectic time catching the next plane to Hobart in Tasmania.

page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7