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SIEM REAP AND WE DID NOT SEE EVEN ONE TEMPLE!

We must be the only tourists to visit Siem Reap and not visit Angkor Wat. Then rode the death boat to Battambang.

SUNDAY 2ND MARCH 2014 (DAY 183)

It's pretty hot here in Seim Reap and times like this I am grateful we are staying at a place with a pool.

Robyn and Dolly were up before light this morning to head out to Angkor Wat to watch the sunrise. Good on 'em I say. Lyn and I did the whole temple thing last visit, and although yes it is amazing and all that, we still didn't feel the need to do it all again.

Lyn & I had a much nicer time having an enjoyable breakfast at the hotel at a civilised hour and then spent the rest of the morning relaxing by the pool waiting for Robyn and Dolly to return so we could venture out for some lunch. Actually they returned a lot earlier than expected and met us at the hotel at 12.30, which is when we walked out to find somewhere to have lunch. They had seen all they had wanted to or had the energy to see and were exhausted by the heat and the very early start.

We found a place to have a simple lunch and poor Dolly fell asleep in her chair while waiting for the food to be delivered. Not the at service was that slow, just that she was knackered. After lunch we had a bit of a walk around then back to the hotel to relax the afternoon away.
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Darkish we came out again and had a foot massage before getting a tuk tuk the short distance to the Viva Hotel for happy hour beers. Dinner on the way back to the hotel.

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This is where I had major, major problems with the blog. I was not able to open or add or save or basically do anything. Have to say I had lots of support and suggestions from the help desk at Travellerspoint, but we think it was all due to server problems, because as soon as we moved to another town all was well again..

MONDAY 3RD MARCH 2014 (DAY 184)

Another slow day in Seim Reap. More advantage was taken poolside as it was another hot day. We had breakfast at the hotel and cooled off in the pool for the rest of the morning and early afternoon.

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Finally the call for food drove us out at 3pm and we went to a restaurant that sold frog. We had seen the menu yesterday and wanted to try it. Not much to write home about. We had eaten frogs legs before but this dish served the whole frog body and legs. Unfortunately it was deep fried and was pretty dried out.
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A bit of walking around and shopping and before we knew it we were stood in front of pub in Pub Street just on happy hour and 50c beers are good for you in this hot weather.

A bit more walking and shopping and we managed to find another happy hour with 50c beers before we had dinner.

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TUESDAY 4TH MARCH 2014 (DAY 157)

Time to depart Siem Reap, our hotel arranged our boat tickets to Battambang for US$23. Last time we were in Cambodia Lyn and I did this boat journey SR to B and I found an old blog in which I wrote: "Very tiring sitting in a boat all day praying we actually make it to our destination and at the same time praying for it to be over. Don’t get me wrong glad we did it, another tick off the list, but I never want to see that boat again!!"
Mmmmmm, never say never. How bad could it be? the journey is part of the experience, right? And I wanted to share this experience with my fellow travellers who had yet to experience this boat journey. So we went.
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The alarm woke us at 5.30am for our 6am breakfast so we'd be on time for our 6.30am pick up. Breakfast was served at 6.20am and our tuk tuk pick up did not arrive until 7.30am. These transfers are never on time. The tuk tuk drove us to a minivan which then drove us the 30 minute distance to the boat dock. Unbelievably the boat did actually depart at 8.30am, which I think was the correct scheduled time.

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So the boat, man things had changed. This boat was nothing like the death trap we travelled in last time. I guess the boat itself was the same but what they put in the boat was totally different. To start with the wooden bench seats were lined with thick vinyl covered cushioning. Wow - luxury. And where were all the locals and their overloaded bags of stuff and the live chickens and the overcrowding of tourist passengers?? All these things that made our last trip hell were not present so this was going to be a much more pleasant journey across Tonle Sap Lake and up the river to Battambang. It still took hours as we did not reach Battambang until just before 4.30pm but the comfort was much better and with the padded seats it was a much more enjoyable trip. And there was even room for us to have a stretch out and a nap during some stage in the day. Totally recommend this little boat trip to anyone now, although we were told it would take 5 hours and it took 8 hours, so pay no note to estimated travel time given.
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Crossing the lake we pass floating villages where the houses are on pontoons and are sitting in the middle for the water. Once in the river many villages line the river banks where kids still run out to wave and yell hello at passing white folk in boats. Here floating markets are real, as we see small boats filled with different wares move from house to house along the river and shore line. It was a good day, still a long day but a good one, and I withdraw my statement from my last experience.

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Only in the last half hour of the boat trip, as we neared Battambang, did I start to feel a little queazy in the stomach. I put in down to not having any lunch - not real appetising was our lunch stop.

The boat just pulled into the bank of the river, not really at any kind of wharf, just a spot where there were steps that led up the steep bank to the road side. Of course this spot was also heaving with tuk tuk drivers come hotel touts. Touts can be your friend when you need transport and a place to stay for the night, so why not take advantage of them. They all had pictures of the hotels they were happy to take us to and I just said we wanted a place with a pool and he smiled and nodded as he knew just the place. Good. Take us there.

Of course this hotel, the only one in the town limits with a pool, only had the most expensive rooms left unoccupied. The VIP room, which were $30 a double and which I talked down to $25 a night as we were taking 2 rooms. They said they might have cheaper rooms for us to move into tomorrow.

As soon as I walked into our room I ran to the bathroom and vomited. Now this had nothing to do with the room as it was lovely, but my stomach just had enough and wanted to evacuate everything in it. Which was actually nothing, considering I had not eaten all day. Anyway I felt much better after the purging and a little later we headed out for dinner.

We walked the short distance to the White Rose restaurant, a place we had remembered from our last visit. Food there was good back then, and still was now. The shakes were a particular favourite here and they did not disappoint again. I just had a pancake for dinner as I felt I needed something thick and stodgy to put a lining back on my stomach.

Slow walk back to our hotel after dinner, we were all weary after our long boat adventure today.

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Posted by Cindy Bruin 08:27 Archived in Cambodia

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so nice to follow you on your yourney

by janny

thanks Janny,

still more to come!! :-)

by Cindy Bruin

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