Thursday, 29 September 2011

Best day EVER - Part 1

Day #40 - Beng Mealea and Prasat Preah Vihear

Part 1 - Beng Mealea

This day was definitely the best day of my whole trip thus far. The sites were an adventure, the transportation was an adventure, everything was nuts....

We got up bright and early and started our day at six in the morning. We called around to several places to find the cheapest taxi available. We were quoted ninety dollars to one sixty. Even though the ninety dollar one sounded a bit sketch, thats the one we booked.

When the car arrived at our hostel and we were putting our bags in the trunk, i saw an army of ants crawling EVERYWHEREEEEEEEEEEEE IN THE TRUNK. it was disgusting, but there wasnt enough room in the back seat for our bags so i had no choice. Guess thats what we got the discount for....for bugs to infest our bags. Disgusting.

The drive to our first stop Beng Mealea was relativkey short, just an hour drives away. When we go there, we were the only ones there. We were
Greated by this adorable happy little cambodian girl.

Since this was less of tourist spot (bc it takes effort to get to), we pretty much owned this place.

One of the park operators came along with us to show us the way through the ruins.

I thought Angkor was cool, but this place was waaaaAyyyy more amazing. We had our own little adventure going through the temple.

Coleman definitely had more of an adventure than me though, he climbed anything and everything he could. I credit this to all the rock climbing hes been doing.

Im pretty sure if the park guy wasnt there, he would have done even crazier stuff.

The trees growing out of the building were insane. The trees took down many of the roofs...(rooves? I hve no idea what the plural is) and took down several walls.

LOOK WHAT I DISCOVERED! Veritical panoramic! Coleman asked me last week whether i could do vertical ones...i said no. I was wrong. Haha. The pic above...i am standing on a wall, with a tree growing out of it. Nuts eh?

Felt like we were on the set of tomb raider. Im pretty much dying to see the two movies again now. Lol.

We were lucky we went when we went because as soon as we got back to near the main entrance, there were five tour buses worth asian tourists. Cantonese to be exact. Man they were loud...soooo glad we were leaving.

Beng Mealea was by far the best part of our Cambodia trip. Its unfortunate that most people who visit Cambodia only do a quick visit to siem reap (Angkor wat area) and leave. Only a short ride away is this beautiful wonder. I LOVED IT! Good job coleman on finding it :)

The best day of my trip isnt over, next up, we travel four hours to get to Prasat Preah Vihear!

Location:Country roads, Cambodia

Rain and Scammers SUCK

Day #40 - Rain sucks: Kompong Phluck

So this was an interesting day to say the least. The night before, we had reserved a tuk tuk to take us to kampong cleck. It took almost two hours in the rain on a tuk tuk to get there. That place is famous for the local floating village, aparently a very nice place to go.

The problem is that since its a floating village, it is only reachable via boat. When we got to the "harbour" of boats, we asked for the price and they said it costs $30, which in Cambodian standards is just ridiculous. According to the internet, at most it should cost $20. While we were discussing this, they saw that we were hesitant, so offered a $5 discount each, at which i was thinking, oh good, its the right price. But it turns out they wanted $30 EACH ...with a five dollar discount. $50 for a boat ride? Insane. I think thats the one thing i absolutely hated about cambodia. Everyone tries to scam tourists. Just leaves a bad taste in your mouth and makes you just not trust anyone there. ULTIMATE SCAMMERS. Even though we spent two hours getting there, we decided to leave beause it was just not worth it.

We headed to the closer kampong phluck, which is not quite a floating vilalge, but a village on stilts. Also only reachable by boat. Once again, when we got there, they asked for $20 a person. We managed to find two oer tourists and bargained to $40 for the boat but we still felt super scammed. When we got our "tickets" for the boat ride, the ticket said $1usd. SCAMMED.

After forty minutes on a wooden boat with a car engine attached, we reached the village.

The living conditions were quite shocking. It was raining a bit, but i cant imagine how their homes survive ithe heavy rain.

All the kids we passes by would wave and say "bye bye!!" ..quite cute

School started for a lot of kids already...sad that all these kids werent in school learning, but instead, working to help earn money.

Another famous item for this area is the "flooded forest". Since its the rainy season, the water levels are very high, making trees and forests look like they've been flooded.

On one side, there was a buddhist temple that was built on a sturdier foundation than the housing we saw prerviously.

Sadly, like everywhere else in siem reap, kids were asking for money

People ask tourists to purchase pens and books for the kids to go to school, but what the tourists usually dont know is that they take the pens and books "purcahsed" for the kids and just resell them again.

There was baby coming around harassing this man with a camera making angry faces and pulling on the mans pants. Lol this kid made me laugh.

Overall, this might have beened the worst day of my trip thus far. Not because it was raining, not because there was not much to see in the village, but because we got so tired of people trying to scam us in this country. Everyone just seemed like money-grubbing-horrible people giving us a horrible impression of some of the people here.

After a crappy day at the river, we headed back into town, took a tuk tuk and had some good ol italian food.

The pizza was massive, but delicious.

Afterwards, we headed for the night market that sold things from t shirts to massages to snakes in a bottle.

All in all? I rate this day the worst of my trip. Crappy weather, crappy people, crappy sight seeing. Its ok tho, because its still not as crappy as work :) annnnd day 41 will be better.

Up next? Exploring, tomb raider style!