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Entries about temple

Cambodia

sunny
View Honeymoon Tour on Daft Slags Do..'s travel map.

The next couple of days were spent travelling with three flights in three days. We had a four hour delay at Kalibo airport to fly back to Manila, arrived at The Melting Pot hostel in the early hours had a kip and checked out the following morning to fly to Vietnam. Arrived again in the early hours and stayed at a nearby airport hotel in Ho Chi Minh for ease, then flew onto Siem Reap in the morning.

Once in Siem Reap we got a taxi to the Mad Monkey hostel and headed straight to the rooftop bar (that had real sand on the floor!) for some food. We went for a much needed sleep in the afternoon then joined the gaggle of Chang vest wearing twenteens in the bar on their 'gap yah' drinking their weight in alcohol. I say joined but in reality we sat at the back and ogled at the youngsters making utter fools of themselves and reminiscing what it was like to be that age again! Some poor sod did try and make conversation with us, which was going well until he was summoned to the bar for a free 'grenade' (a shot of vodka and a shot of Jager in a glass of red bull) How could you refuse?! We reflected on the fact that this hostel was maybe a little young for us, but what the heck, you have to try it! And off to bed we went. Although our room was directly underneath the bar we were luckily that it shut at 12am when the pub crawl continued down 'pub' street. A word to all hostel owners - stop putting your private rooms in the noisiest part of the hostel, they are more expensive and are most likely for people that would like some peace. Just saying.

After a leisurely morning we waded through the hungover masses down by the pool and approached the reception desk to book in a trip to Angkor Wat. We headed out into Siem Reap and had a look around the markets, had a drink at a bar and went back to catch our tuk tuk to Angkor Wat for the sunset. Our tuk tuk was driven by Lee and he drove us to the ticket office first to get our picture taken that was put on our temple entrance ticket, and then off to Angkor Wat we went. Unfortunately for us we couldn't find the 'big hill' that everyone goes to watch the sunset over the temple, although they only allow 300 people onto it. Instead we wandered through impressive structures and around the grounds and nevertheless got to see a rather impressive sunset from there. Lee drove us back to the hostel where we attempted to have a beer, however Kiwi had a very bad upset tummy that put a bit of a downer on the evening. It was pretty bad timing as we were setting our alarms for 4am to go and see the sunrise ovver Angkor Wat the following morning!

So up at 4am and down to greet Lee waiting by our chariot to take us back to Angkor Wat. Luckily Kiwi was feeling better and the drive was rather stunning, especially as the traffic was halved at that time in the morning. Again we found ourselves trudging the grounds of Angkor Wat looking for a good spot to sit and wait it out. We found a nice spot down by the lake in front of Angkor Wat and settled there. Looking back over our shoulders 15 minutes later and there were literally hoards and hoards of tourist that had gathered. The dark side of Angkor Wat. Much to the delight of the swarming mosquito's hovering on the lake however. We waited a while, got our snaps and decided to have a walk as it was beginning to feel a little claustrophobic. Also, a Chinese woman sat on Jack which was pretty much the last straw.
We waked around the main temple and down a back street where there were further temple ruins to peruse. On the walk back we saw a commotion up ahead and realised there were Monkey's rallying around a poor american girl trying to keep hold of her pack of biscuits. The Monkey's won. Back in the tuk tuk and off we went to look around a further two temples, one of which was used to film a scene in one of the Tomb Raider films - the one with the big tree. Feeling absolutely templed out and thankful that we only signed on for the 'short' trip we arrived back to the hostel for around 11am, booked in for the bus to Phnom Penh the next day and went for a nap. By eck was it a good nap! In the evening we walked out into Siem Reap for a lovely meal and a walk around the night market before a final beer at the bar and an early night.

We got picked up from the hostel at 8am in a mini bus that drove us to a parking lot and got on a different bus to Phnom Penh at 8:30am. We arrived into Phnom Penh at roughly 2:30pm and after walking for about 10 - 15 minutes, managed to locate the hostel ourselves. We were greeted by 'Rock' at the hostel and booked our bus back to Ho Chi Minh along with transport to and from the Killing Fields and Genocide museum the next day, Then we checked into our very basic room. Back down in the common area/restaurant we watched the nightly showing of the Killing Fields and had an early night.

The next morning we had a breakfast of undercooked eggs and awful coffee and set off in an extremely polluted 45 minute tuk tuk ride to the Killing Fields and afterwards the Genocide museum. I shall not write about our experiences here, other than it was a very harrowing but albeit interesting and knowledgeable experience. It is really something that has to be experienced individually rather than written about, well in our opinion. Although I will say that there were plenty of tourists distastefully taking photographs throughout, which was a little disappointing. To top off the day our tuk tuk driver tried to sell us a trip to the shooting range before heading back to the hostel. He didn't seem to understand how odd this was.
Back at the hostel we washed off the grime of Phnom Penh and went out to the Foreign Correspondent's Club for dinner and drinks overlooking the river.

Feeling a little 'touristed' out we spent our remaining day in the hostel common area to plan, sort itinerary and book flights etc. We did witness a disgruntled hostel goer accusing the hostel of giving them fake money, the police were called and when a policeman arrived stood and did absolutely nothing then had a good old laugh with the owner before getting his extremely corrupt behind out of there. It was entertaining, although did have us checking our money back in the room! Our money was real, phew!
In the evening we went back over to the Foreign Correspondent's Club for happy hour and then back to the hostel. Slightly peckish we asked Rock where we could get a pizza from and he offered to get us a 'happy' pizza, to which we politely declined and got a drug free pizza from across the road. Off to bed for an early night again, which was intermittently interrupted by a drunken, drugged traveller throwing up on the balcony outside our room. Lovely.

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Posted by Daft Slags Do.. 21:36 Archived in Cambodia Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises sky temples sunset temple cambodia sunrise palm_trees travelling travelling_honeymoon Comments (0)

Thailand - Bangkok pt. 1

sunny
View Honeymoon Tour on Daft Slags Do..'s travel map.

On the Monday morning we ate a final breakfast on the beach at Koh Tao before boarding a Tuk Tuk from Palm Leaf resort back to the pier in time to catch the morning ferry to Chumpon. As an observatory note, we passed a quiet roadside stall which held had an entire pig's carcass divided into it's various bits. Fortunately and in spite of the 32'C heat the vendor was swatting away flys with a brush, enuring it stayed as fresh as a vest wearing, post A level, travelling lad's armpit :-)

The ferry was an all in ticket job so when we landed at Chumphon we were ushered onto a coach for the return leg of the trip to Bangkok. The coach ride was 8 hours but comfortable and definately better than the Thailand trains, dropping us in the Khao San area of Bangkok in the evening.

After a few hand directions from the thai locals and an Irish OAP (standard) we arrived at our hostel, Baan Nespatch, in a quiet cul-de-sac north of Khao San. We gladly dropped the bags and headed into the bat shit crazy night environment of Khao San to see what was on offer. We found all manner of fried insects (scorpions, grasshoppers, tarrantulas and other delicasies), women selling wrist bands with obscene phrases and other goodies, photo opportunities with snakes and lizards, offers of ping pong shows, along with the usual bar touts. We settled for a quieter restaurant just off Khao San and contrary to their bold claims (and to our disappointment) it was not the 'Best Pad Thai in Town'. It may have something to do with the waiters running across the road to collect the food...

After food we elected for a saunter down Khao San Road to take in the sights, sounds and smells. That road was mental - full of english 'lads' adorned in chang vests and red faces full off unsolicited drugs and carrying buckets of alcohol. We hung our heads in shame as we walked by, but an experience nevertheless.

Tuesday morning we had breakfast on the hostel terrace then made our way over to Wat Pho Temple, about a 30 minute walk away. Of course, we headed straight to see the reclining Buddah, a large and impressive golden statue spanning the length of the hall, with ornate drawings covering the walls and ceiling. Afterwards we wandered around the gardens of the temple and ended up in the ordination hall and sat and watched a Buddist ceremony, where monks were chanting and Thai people were taking selfies. Quite a contradiction.

Temple ticked off the list, we bartered a taxi to Siam Square where we booked tickets to see the film Spotlight at the Scala cinema -the tickets cost £2.70 each! With time to kill before the film started we walked further up to the shopping haven of 'Siam Paragon' to stock up on supplies from boots. Jack bought some drum sticks at a knock down rate to the UK then we were spent up on budget! Back across to the cinema, we walked up the wide inviting staircase and stood and stared at the beautiful ceiling for a good ten minutes. We were greeted at the entrance to screen by a smartly dressed Thai man in a yellow and white uniform, who then showed us to another smartly dressed Thai man (in a yellow and white uniform) and he showed us to our seats. The cinema was incredibly lavish and billed as a piece of 1960's thai culture, although we later sadly learned that it is proposed to be demolished to make way for another shopping mall! After the trailers were shown a message came on screen - "Let's pay homage to the King" and everybody stood up (including us) and sang the national anthem (not including us) whilst hundreds of pictures of the King filled the screen, which eventually made up a larger image of the King. Then the film started.

After a good afternoon in Siam we got a taxi back to Khao San road and went for beers and street food. We both had Pad Thai from a street vendor that cost £0.60 each and was frankly delicious! We sat and ate it on a roundabout bollard whilst watching Thai youths skateboard.

Wednesday was a day for laundry and research for the coming weeks on the hostel terrace. In the evening we had another Pad Thai and stopped at a bar called 'Bangkok Live' to watch a band who were pretty damn good, playing a meddly of western classics with the inclusion of a trombone.

On our final morning in Bangkok we headed over to Boonsiri ticket office to purchase tickets for onward travel the following morning. We stopped off at a cute coffee shop and finally had a decent cup of coffee! Then had a lovely walk along the river front and back down towards Khao San road. This being our second time in Bangkok we actually had the chance to just wander around the streets and unlike Kuala Lumpur for example, it felt spacious, safe and enjoyable.

Back at the hostel we packed up our belongings once again and went to bedfordshire ready for an early start to Kho Mak on the Friday, we say early but was only the crack of 07:00am.

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Posted by Daft Slags Do.. 21:00 Archived in Thailand Tagged temple thailand bangkok drums travelling_honeymoon Comments (1)

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