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HAPPY HOUR IN CAMBODIA

Written on: Tuesday May 30th, 2006

A journal entry from: SOUTHEAST ASIA

Rambo 33 Internet Cafe
HOI AN, VIETNAM

Saigon City - Population: 8 Million!!! We crossed the border into Vietnam with much greater ease than our entry into Cambodia. We were welcomed with friendly smiles and serenaded by our bus operator. WTF!?

Our journey into Cambodia on the otherhand, was wrought with overwhelming heat and nauseating stenches - ah Poipet the cesspit of Cambodia and we couldn't get out of there fast enough. We took the cramped and hot local bus from Bangkok to the border crossing at Poipet and had a bit of a scare when the driver tried to roll away without Brea on the bus. Dianne had to hold down the fort, all for the sake of cinnamon buns... will we ever learn our lesson!? From Poipet we hired a local taxi to drive us the four hours to Siem Reap. This second leg of the journey was indescribable wretchedness. Apparently road infrastructure is nonexistent in this part of Cambodia. Nonetheless, we safely arrived at our destination and the horrendous travel was well worth it.

Our short time in Siem Reap was unbelievable. We hired motorbikes to cruise us around the ancient city of Angkor and spent two days exploring the majestic temples and ruins.... It was truly extraordinary! Our evenings were spent enjoying 'happy' hour in Cambodia. Happy prices for Ankor draft (dirt cheap and double fisting), hanging out with the happy locals, late night drunken eats and the oh so happy herb pizza... happy hour ended when we discovered that we were locked out of our guesthouse. The next morning, we decided to rent bicycles and ride into town for breakfast at the market. It was an adventure to say the least, as there was excessive amounts of traffic and one of our tires was near to being flat and the other bike didn't even have brakes.

Thankfully, the ride to Phnom Penh was smoother, and it also gave us a chance to see some of the farms and villages of rural Cambodia. In the capital city we visited the Cheoung Ek Killing Fields and the S-21 Prison aka the Genocidal Museum. Cambodia has such a tragic history and we cannot even begin to understand how much these beautiful people have suffered... our hearts hurt.

We had our own personal tuk-tuk chauffeur (Sytah), who drove us around the city for the entire day. We really could not have asked for a better driver. He took us to all the sights and also to some of the city's best kept secrets. We even experienced a Japanese Shiatsu massage, given by a blind masseuse. Impressed by their skill, it was the perfect way to relax after a busy day of sightseeing. To finish off we had a lovely dinner at a bamboo restaurant on the water. We literally got waited on hand and foot as our beverages were topped up cube by cube even before the ice could even melt. Our last night in Phnom Penh was spent without the comfort of our belongings, as Dianne magically made the key to our room vanish... oops! Thankfully we still made off to Saigon early the next morning as planned.

We are having an incredible time in Vietnam. Sit tight as we know you all are anxiously awaiting our next travel log...