Wednesday, 26 March 2014

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh and Battambang : Right. Time to get in control of our blog

15th March 2014 ...enough's enough time to get in control of our blog...

Welcome to CAMBODIA,   Phnom Penh and Battambang  

                                Thankfully not our ride 
Right, we have decided to get up to date with our blog as its taking too long trying to catch up with past travels:  what with the Chinese month long block and dodgy wifi in some of the hostels,  trying to up load photos has taken forever.   
We will try to catch up WITH THE PAST MISSED BLOG ON VIETNAM as we go along ..keep posted .......cheers 

March 15th From Chau Doc, Vietnam  to Phnom Penh Cambodia. 
Weather 36 deg C, slightly overcast with bright sunshine.
Budget £50 or $75 or 300,000 Cambodian riels or 1,500,000 Vietnam dong
Just to let you have an idea of cost our Egg sandwiches for breakfast cost 120,000 dong at on a street stall come English bookshop next door to our hotel 

So on our last day in Vietnam we at last took a  tuk-tuk to the boat for 
2,200,000 dong. this was going to take us one hour up river where we would get our Cambodian visas.
So we are now in Cambodia, Phnom Penh  yippee wow !! an amazing feeling. It only took 7 hours to get here from Chou Doc, in Vietnam,  in the Mekong Delta. This  Included a 1 hour fast boat ride, 2 plus  hours mini bus  (no one worries about how long bus the is, we get there when we are there)  and border control regs... :-) hours ....
I (tracey) in the process have twisted my ankle crossing on the border bridge  and thankful didn't lose my glasses in the Mekong river... It was a close thing though....Phew.
So exciting I was beginning to feel,  after 3 and half months a little East Asia jaded out.. You know what I mean ! its a bit  like being all pagoda out after seeing so many!  But we have landed on our feet with a very western hostel  aaarhh.. with pool and western music played over the speakers.
The swimming pool  is great and much needed the kids love it. Its really hot here now ! 35 plus and very humid. 

The kids were both in the pool ASAP and had 6 young women cooing over them. Lucky things. 

We are now relaxing in our very cool with pool 'hostel called eighty8 :-) not a bad place to heal ankles in ..we even have happy  hour by the pool  :-) and ..more  happy hour   :-) 
Alisha and seb already have their own fan club as you can see Seb already  knows how to attract the girls :-) 

A meal at our hostel came to $31, fish and chips twice with a Khmer fish curry. a long island iced tea, two pitchers of Cambodian beer and two orange juices and puddings to celebrate our arrival. . Slightly over our budget for food but then we enjoyed every minute of it :-)

The next day we decided to do some site seeing and hired a tuktuk for the day costing 25 USA dollar. ( Tuktuk; a motor bike which pulls a special built trailer for four people, ) we visited some of the official Khmer  rouge places of atrocity like the once high school turned prison ( s17 ) and after some deciding, the killing fields of phnom penh where we all listened to an audio tape about the 3 plus years Cambodia was controlled and terrorised by the party.

 S17, the Khmer Rouge prison in Phnom Penh where many atrocities happened and few people walked free off.

It really was informative, we limited the kids in what they listened to as some of the stories were harrowing. 

      These are the killing fields and graves where many Cambodians met their death under the Khmer Rouge government

we also got to see the royal palace, the silver pagoda, two other pagodas and central market which is really just a very large local market selling all sorts of house stuff and clothes. 

I love wandering around markets you can meet the locals in a more relaxed environment. We havn't wondered out much other than by tuktuk because of my ankle and it taken a couple of day to heal. tomorrow we are off to Battambang then Siam rep and Angkor wat  ..

                                                                     market people

Cambodia has noticeably more cattle than Vietnam and as you travel you can see crops drying in large areas outside the houses. Its a much poor country and has not that long ago  seen some pretty atrocious things done to its people. but it is rich in its arts and wood work  tradition and skills 

In all  the shops there are little shrines in respect of their dead family  it is a way of  remember them in their faith

                                                     A song of the Cambodians 
But the friendliness and calmness of the people and  there willingness to help and welcome tourists is going to bring the country quickly up to Vietnamese standards at least.  Interestingly the ATM here only give american dollars which was a surprise.

 The royal Palace where the Cambodian king lives now, with its beautiful painted wall that go's all the way around the 

                            Model of Angkor Wat Temple

After 4 days in Phnom Penh we travelled by bus to Battambang  where we then took an other tuk tuk tour of the area, though its the second biggest city it feels very quiet. you can quickly get out into the countryside. 
                         Battambang moments 

                                              The symbol of Battambang 

 The bamboo train which you can go on for an hours ride great fun 

it only has one track so you have to get of if you have lesser people on your section and let the others past 

                                             A wedding in progress                                                       
local kids making stuff with banana leaves for a dollar 

we visited a crocodile farm as well....hold on or their eat you

                                 Another wedding
                       theres plenty of wonderful temples to see

                                a temple worthy of the 360 steps 

The ride home 

Love from Cambodia see you next time in Siam Reap and the wonderful Angkor Wat temples