Siem Reap

Angkor what

We had heard that the journey from Thailand into Cambodia can be pretty rough by bus. But we found the best option to be a relatively new bus that has a partnership with the Thai government transport company, which is the only bus that can go directly across the border all the way to Siem Reap. Otherwise, you’d have to find a Cambodian bus once you cross the border, which can often be a crowded, overpriced, unsafe bet. Other buses also try to scam passengers by demanding extra money for a Cambodian visa before you reach the border, amongst other things. Our bus did stop and offer an overpriced visa before the border, but luckily we had gotten an e-visa after we caught word of this. In any case, it was pretty trouble-free, except when our bus ran into some engine problems at the border…

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But luckily after about an hour of watching them climb in and out of the engine, taking bricks and logs out, we were back on our way.

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Cambodia is totally different from Thailand. It’s at least 10-15 years behind Thailand in development, but the culture is totally different. The people are SO incredibly nice. The country itself is really beautiful as well. We stayed at a wonderful guest house in Siem Reap that was the nicest place we’ve stayed so far, but also is one of the cheapest. The people who run it are a British-Cambodian couple who were happy to set us up with a tuk-tuk driver for the temples and to point us to cool things in town.

Our first two days in Siem Reap were spent temple-marathoning in the intense heat, so we spent our third day chilling out. The temples were amazing, though.

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“This is my ‘it’s too hot’ face.”

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We also ran into a google street view camera guy at one of the temples, so we’ll look for ourselves later.

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On our third night we also went to an awesome Cambodian circus which is part of a charity that gives free art schooling to underprivileged kids.

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After that, we hopped on a rather bumpy bus to Phnom Penh.

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I like to think that Old Faithful (our old Camry identical to this) is living a happy second life as a Cambodian shared taxi, which are all over the place.

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