inconsistent news from southeast asia

Travel time: September 2005 - March 2006  |  by Matthew Audley

Siem Reap

Well, the last entry was pretty lackluster, but this time we got plenty news. It's been a very long, tiring, photo intensive past two days, visiting the gargantuan complex of temples known as Angkor. This is the only reason there are any tourists in this town, but there sure are a lot of them.

After Sihanoukville, we were back in Phnom Penh for Christmas. It was certainly a unique christmas. Not ALL bad, but nothing to report. Shortly after the Christmas celebrations, such as they were, were completed, we were off to Siem Reap, via a boat down the Tonle Sap (or was it the Mekong? I believe they join in Phom Penh. I'm sure someone will correct me.

Boeung Kak Lake.  Christmas in Phnom Penh.

Boeung Kak Lake. Christmas in Phnom Penh.

Regardless, the boat was a very enoyable experience for me. I have to thank Catherine's parents for paying for that one as a christmas gift to as, as it cost way more than the bus and we never would have justified it otherwise. I certainly thought it was well worth doing, as the scenery and people living along the river were fairly spectacular. I even enjoyed the tuk-tuk ride in from a small city outside Phonm Penh. The boat runs all the way in the wet season, but now there's not enough river to sustain it. The Tonle Sap is a bizarre river - it actually ends up changing directions every year, backing up into the lake that all these people fish when they're not farming the rich soils that are just recently flood-free. And then they have to move around several times a year, following water levels and I don't know what else. Lots of houseboats, too.

Lots of small wooden houses crowd along the river for most of the trip.

Lots of small wooden houses crowd along the river for most of the trip.

Catherine's hair also enjoyed the boat ride.

Catherine's hair also enjoyed the boat ride.

So Siem Reap itself is not much of a town. It's an entirely bizarre and upsetting place. Lots of children addicted to glue and $500 a night hotels. Lots of tourists. But we're here for the temples, like everyone else. I'll try to tackle those in the next entry, though I've really no idea how to go about it. They'll be lots of pictures and.. umm..

© Matthew Audley, 2005
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The trip
Leaving for bangkok on Sept. 12. Where we go from there is anyone's guess. Hoping to see Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos. Be back in six months or so if everything goes well. There really isn't much of a route planned - we'll see what happens.
Start of journey: Sep 12, 2005
Duration: 6 months
End of journey: Mar 19, 2006
Travelled countries: Thailand
Southeastern Asia
The Author
Matthew Audley is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 19 years.
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