On our final full day in Siem Reap we got back on our hotel provided bicycles and both bikes had working breaks this time! We rode to Angkor Wat and continued on to Angkor Thom and the Terrace of the Elephants, Phimeanakas and the Terrace of the leper king. They were very crowed.
We rode out through the victory gates and found the turn around for the Angkor Wat marathon! We continued past serval smaller sites which looked impressive by world standards but did not even get a mention.
From there we went to Preah Khan which has been left more to the jungle than some of the other sites. There are giant trees growing out of the buildings. Ta Prohm which is similar was our next stop. We ate our hotel supplied “temple lunch” while a lady tried to sell us a whole watermelon. It looked great and it was a good deal but I was not sure what we were going to do with it on a bicycle without a knife.
Parts of Riders of the Lost Arc were filmed at Ta Prohm so it is more popular and crowded than Preah Khan. There was a large very noisy group of Korean kids in matching t-shirts who got my rude tourist of the day award as you are supposed to be quiet and respectful in what is a religious site.
Most of the sites we had visited up to this point were on the “short circuit”. If you have time it is definitely worth going to some of the sites on the “long circuit” which is less visited.
We left Angkor Wat during “rush hour” and ended up negotiating our way back to the hotel through, trucks, cars, buses, scooters and tuk-tuks. It was generally doable but a bit alarming when the occasional vehicle came straight at you in the wrong direction.
On our final morning in Siem Rep we had our regular $1.50 breakfast on the street. In Siem Rep scooters are the main form of transportation and people ride by carrying the most remarkable things on their scooters. There was a medical clinic on the street and we regularly saw people go by on scooters with IVs in carrying IV poles!
We had decided to fly from Siem Rep to Krabi in southern Thailand primarily to save time. The tickets were cheap but it was a two leg flight and they charged us for our bags on each flight separately so the bags cost almost as much as the tickets! It was significantly cheaper to pay for the bags in advance online than it would have been to pay at the airport.
We booked a tuk-tuk from the hotel to take us to the airport and took a goodbye picture with the staff. A first for me but I have to say they really were great and we would definitely go back to the Golden Butterfly Villa.
It was pouring down when we left the hotel so the tuk-tuk driver put up plastic walls on the tuk-tuk and the hotel staff held umbrellas over our heads as we got in. The drive to the airport was longer than we expected and we were on roads with real traffic which is a bit odd in a tuk-tuk.
The airport was very western. They had Burger King, Dairy Queen and a coffee place. The prices were western too and after 2 weeks of Asian street food I could not imagine eating a burger (or paying that much for it)! But on the plus side getting out of Cambodia was much easier than going in. Bangkok Air (which we were not flying on) had free food in the terminal for their passengers. We flew on Thai Air. The seats were some of the smallest I have ever experienced and ALL food and beverage was pre-paid or buy on board. They put stickers on us saying we had international baggage. We were not sure why but by this point we were used to people putting stickers on us!
They had changed our flight time because it was International Children’s Day (I still can’t explain why the two were related) as a result we had a 90 minute connection which included going through Thai Customs but when we landed we were taken to a “Fly Thru” service which has separate customs so we had lots of time. We even bought a 15Bht sleeve of crackers for lunch. The other advantage of coming back by air was that we were issued 30 day visas. If you come into Thailand by land you only get a15 day visa.
When we landed in Krabi we were taken to the international bag section which had a customs agent. They X-rayed the bags of most of the kids on the flight but just waved us old folks through.
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You really are experienced travellers now aren’t you. More to come!
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