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Angkor Wat, Kampong Cham, Ban Lung and memorable Bangkok

Exploring temples, log cabin retreats and a proposal :-)

overcast 30 °C

Angkor Wat. For those of you who dont know Angkor Wat (Or the city of Angkor) it is a world heritage site built in the early 12th century and had a population of around a million (this is about the same time as when London had a population of about 200,000) It really is incredible to see such huge yet intricately calved structures. The city was overgrown like a jungle and was rediscovered by the french. It has been used for filming the first Lara Croft Tombraider film and is about 25k wide. It is one of those places you arrive at and think WOW.... worth the price of a tuktuk driver (Mr Fee!) for a day to take us round and the 20 dollar!!!!! entrance fee. Kit and I set off at 5am to catch the main temple Angkor Wat at sunrise. We thought it was quite an intimate experience until the sun rose and we were greeted by around a thousand other people stood around the site. We spent the whole day exploring, climbing in and around the structures. By our 15th temple and around 4pm our legs gave up and the temples started blurring into one so we called it a day... but a trully memorable experience.

After seeing the famous Angkor Wat we really fancied something different from Cambodia, so we read the guide books and found that the North East is the 'wild west' of Cambodia. It took quite a bit of time to get there so we stopped over at a place called Kampong Cham on route. A place of non descript, along the Mekong river with a few sites to see. We hired push bikes and travelled to a nearby lighthouse which we climbed (take a look at the pictures it was quite a climb and really scary, well for Kit anyway) Other than that the only other interesting thing in this town was a bridge made totally of bamboo. As the river rises and falls with the seasons and rainfall a 1km bamboo bridge is constructed and taken down every year across the river. A pretty impressive site.

One night in Kampong Cham and an early moring rise to start the 7 hour bus journey to Ban Lung 'the wild west'. They call it the wild west because a lot of the land as barron. The roads really are not suitable for anything but an offroad vehicle but our bus seem to hobble and plough through the red dust roads (EVERYTHING is covered in red dust here, people cars, homes etc) and after a rather hairy ride (as always in Cambodia) we arrived late evening. We were greeted by a barrage of about 10 Cambodians shouting and touting for hotels. We spoke to one who took us to a hotel which looked like something out of the rocky horror show. For 5 dollars a night we stayed in a HUGE room with a massive dark oak bed, decor which swallowed you up and made you feel quite small in comparison. The room was awesome but it was a hotel with probably 40 rooms or so and there was no one.. absolutely no one else there. Very wierd! We woke quite early and did a morning run around the dusty roads and ventured to a new place for the next few nights called Tree top eco lodge. Everything was made of wood (hence the name treetop) the long wooden walkway to the resturant, the bar, the tables, the huts everything. It was set in the hillsides of Ban Lung which gave it a sense of serenity and calm in comparison to the town. The first morning we set off on a 10 km round trip walk to the volcanic lake. The lake is said to be sacred (Some believe it to be a meteor hole) as the lake is perfectly round (about 800m diameter) surrounded by thick trees and forest with jettys poking into the water. Kit and I spent a few hours jumping/diving of the jettys and swimming in the lake. The water was a greeny blue colour and was great for swimming. We spent some time chatting to other travellers there before we set off back in search of some well needed food!

The second day (and after all our exertion on the first day) we hired a moped to see the 2 waterfalls in the area. The first was a long thin waterfall with a drop of about 40ft. We climbed down and stood under the waterfall and watched some crazy young Cambodian use the vines hanging down the drop to swing tarzan style through the waterfall dangling 10ft off the rocksides. The second waterfall in the area was definately a highlight for us. It was set in a small green lagoon, surrounded by trees and rocks. The water was a deep green colour, butterflys floated around and we could hear nothing but the birds and the sound of the waterfall crashing into the lagoon. We swam and splashed until we got too cold and wet then headed back to the volcanic lake (this time with some local Cambodian Palm wine) to watch the sunset (and take a few shots of us on the jetty!)

Leaving the lodge was not easy. Especially because our next plans were to travel to Ko Tao to do a paddy diving certificate. On route we planned to stay on Bangkok for a few nights and visit a super huge market with wicked clothes (to take to aus with us) So we booked the horrible bus journey back through the border of cambodia and into Bangkok. The first leg 13 hours with a stop over in Siem Reap then 12 hours the second day (two buses) We can safely say that we were quite happy to reach the city by the end of day two!

Bangkok is pretty cool... (if you stay away from Ko San Road) We ventured out and found a villa and made our way to the Chatuchak weekend market. It has more than 15,000 booths selling goods from every part of Thailand. For us it has thousands of cool stalls with clothes that wouldnt be out of place in Portabello market. Happly shopping away all day until i (Anne Marie) started to feel a little twinge in my ankle. The little twing was followed by a massive pain which made me feel instantly sick and then i fainted. Not my shining hour I have to say. Off we popped to the nearest hostpital where they told me I had tendinitis. My fault for running on beaches with no shoes and on roads with converse and not running trainers. The next few days here in bangkok have consisted of me hobbling about with a strap round my ankle (but it seems to be getting better!)

And the finale to this weeks installment. Kit and I went out for a few valentines drinks and he proposed to me. Not in a way that he got down on one knee (really not my style too embarrasing!) we talked about it and then well he asked me! :-) I can happly say it was a very special night and we then proceeded to basically tell everyone. A very happy ending to a fustrating couple of days in the capital!

Tonight we take a night train to Chumpton and then a ferry over to Ko Tao to stayat what is to be believed a beautiful island and a hot spot for divers around the world (also the cheapest place in the world for us to do our diving certificate!)

And thats all folks... Hope this little installment made you smile as it did us.

Until next time miss you all muchos

Peace and Love xxxxx

Posted by Kitanddup 01:39 Archived in Thailand

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Have just come across this on a link from facebook!! Congratulations!!! Awwww im so hapy for you both. This has made me smile :) so glad your having an amazing time. Take care both of you x x x

by annette b

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