We said goodbye to Laos, by getting back on a boa to the mainland then taking a relatively short bus run to the border post to leave Laos, we all then trudged across no-mans-land to the Cambodian version to pass through immigration. A new bus then took us to a border town where we had a brunch before the long bus run to Siem Reap.
On arrival, we checked into our hotel, the Lub.d, which is by far the best hotel on our trip, the rooms are very modern and well fitted, a great shower all with a swimming pool and bar facilities. That night La took us to Pub Street, a sort of mini Kaosan Road, where we had dinner in a nice restaurant with live music played by local musicians, we managed to convince Adam, one of our group, to join them in a rendition of Oasis’s Wonderwall, it was great fun. We then tried out a few other bars but they were too noisy for many of us so we retuned to the hotel to finish off the night and to bid farewell to Oggy who was returning home the next day.
The following morning, we went to Angkor Wat, it really is a special place, we toured two of the temples, guided by Marri, a local guide who was very knowledgable about the temples and their surroundings. We had lunch before being taken to Angkor Wat itself, again it was a place that gave you good vibes, we went for a Buddhist Blessing, which really enlightened us.
We finished off the day by visiting a Cambodian community circus, it was really more of an acrobatic performance but it was very good and entertaining
The next morning we met Tra Tra, our new Cambodian Guide, and we boarded to bus to take us to Battenberg for our Homestay. We travelled to the city, and had lunch before visiting the local fish market and whiskey distillers and, possibly the strangest visit of all, was to a stall selling barbequed rat, snake and stingray amongst the delicacies on offer.
We then went to the village where we were to spend the night, after meeting our hosts, we took a stroll around the village, again the locals were very friendly and welcoming, especially the children. As it was nearly night time, we ventured out to one of the paddy fields to see the sunset before returning to the house for a lesson on how to make spring rolls and our evening meal. Our bed for the night was in the long house upstairs, and it was a little strange at first until everyone settled down. The cockerels of the village made sure we didn’t stay in bed too long, so we had a reasonably early start back to Siem Reap, stopping again in Battenberg to visit the market, I even managed to take a photograph of a nice Chinese mural. We then had a great time on the bamboo railway, this was great fun, the trucks were essentially little bamboo pallets on wheels with a little petrol engine driving the wheels by a vee belt and a stick. We then returned to Siem Reap, where we had a free day ahead and time to recharge my batteries.