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Cambodia

This particular trip was a short break from work to Cambodia and Vietnam in 2006.


We had only the briefest 3 weeks and were trying to accomplish a good taste of 2 of the most interesting countries in South-East Asia - Cambodia and Vietnam. I had not been through the two for over 6 years and I was really interested to see how much they had changed - and of course I am always keen to go travelling. This was Ange's first time to both and we were also met by Kara, an old friend and former Uni flat-mate of Ange's. In reality, it was their trip and I was really their to help out with some advice and to carry the shopping.

The flight out of Auckland was excellent. A friend of ours, Jodi, was working the check in and we got upgraded to business class. It was great to be able to stretch out and relax for the 12 hours to Bangkok. Luxury.

We met Kara in Bangkok before flying out to Siem Reap, Cambodia the following morning. Siem Reap is the town near the amazing temples at Angkor Wat. I remembered Siem Reap as a sleepy, dusty town with a few run-down buildings, 1 major hotel and not much else. How things have changed in 6 years. Now, the approach road from the airport has dozens of large, tourist-class hotels and the streets were mostly paved! On the last trip I had caught a pick-up truck from the Thai boarder and bounced along in the back for 2 dusty, hot days going over the worst roads I have still ever seen. In fact, in various places the potholes were so big people had pitched tarpaulins and were living in them and in other places they were fishing in them!

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Angkor Wat is in fact a huge area with dozens of Hindu and Buddhist temples in different styles and in various stages of struggling to keep the surrounding jungle out. We spent a wonderful 4 days exploring. If you haven't been, it is a must and is less than an hour from Bangkok.