Thursday, November 4, 2004

Siem Reap

As bad as Poipet is, the rest of Cambodia has been great. Very friendly locals - especially the children - and, lots of English spoken.

The road from Poipet to about 20 km outside Siem Reap is as bad or worse then advertised. Bad asphalt the first day, dirt / rock the next day and a half. I managed to get a flat tire, but luckily just outside a town I was stopping at anyways. Been doing just 50-60 km a day to avoid too much jarring to my body. Which is a nice pace, as I get into my stops around 1 or 2 pm and am able to check the town out a bit. Not too much to these places, but they have an interesting wild west quality - dusty roads, cows roaming the streets, chickens abounding, and a very half hazard, lawless feel. I'll probably be getting up to around 100 km / day after I get out of here, as the road to Phnom Phen is supposed to be a lot better.

All along the "highway" the children wave and call out "hello" "goodbye". Almost had several wrecks waving back at them. At most of my drink / food stops there's someone who speaks English, and I usual end up spending 10-15 minutes talking with them. They are all so very nice. And food is cheap - usually around 75 cents a meal. At least until I got here... Siem Reap - the gateway to Angkor Wat.

Siem Reap is definitely on the touristy side. Can't get a decent meal here for much less than $5. At least they have western food. Khmer food is okay, but it gets a little tiring after breakfast, lunch, and dinner of rice or noodles, veggies, and some mystery meat. Lots of tourists - which means lots of moto drivers and kids begging for money. At least the streets are paved though.

Went to Angkor Wat this afternoon. Very cool. I got the week pass, but will probably try to get out of here in 3 or 4 days. Too many tourists. Biking is definitely the way to go - my least favorite places thus far have been all the tourist stopping points.

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