Monday, 28 January 2013

Koh Phi Phi, Bangkok, Cambodia

It's 28th January 2012, almost exactly 2 months since I left home, and I am now in Cambodia!

From Krabi I went over to Koh Phi Phi for one night, leaving quite early in the morning to get the 8.30am boat. On the boat I bumped into Matt and Arno who I had met in Koh Tao, and together we went searching for a hostel, finding a basic one for 500 Baht, which was almost twice what I had been paying for Pak-Up in Krabi, but we had been warned that this island was expensive.
We decided to get a boat trip around some of the bays and beaches as Koh Phi Phi is stunning and I didn't have much time to see it! The boat stopped in a beautiful bay and we all jumped in the bright blue water for a swim. We then got taken to Maya Bay, which is where "The Beach" was filmed and spent an hour or so relaxing here and exploring. It was amazing and I'm so glad I got to see it!

Back on the main island we went for some dinner and then started drinking as it's a famous party island!
The next day I arranged my journey up to Bangkok by bus, Arno was making the same journey so I tried to go with him but his bus was full so I ended up going alone.
The bus journey was 12 hours long, leaving at 4.30pm and arriving in Bangkok at 4.30am! Once I was there I wandered around for quite a while trying to find a hostel but had a bit of difficulty as most places were full, but eventually found one for a reasonable price.
I stayed in Bangkok for two nights but didn't see very much as the place didn't really appeal to me after island life. It was too busy, too noisy, too seedy and I was just looking forward to moving on to Cambodia. I did meet up with a friend each night who I had met in Koh Tao - Jacob on the first night and Maddie on the second, and it was nice to see them again.
I got up at 4.30am on Friday 25th January to catch the 5.55am train from Bangkok to the Cambodian border.
I really enjoyed the train journey, it was much nicer than a bus and I got to see some of the Thai countryside and villages that I would have missed otherwise.

At the border I had to wait SO long to be able to get my visa and get through - all the queues moved very slowly and it was very hot. I eventually got through and arranged a bus to take me to Siem Reap.
I had a bit of trouble with hostels as the one I had booked for the first night turned out to be full so they transferred me to another one, where they put me in a bed on the roof on my own! I decided to pay a bit extra for a private room as everything is so cheap here and was transferred AGAIN to Smiley's guesthouse. I have stayed there for 3 nights now as it is very nice and I have been unable to move to a dorm room as everywhere is booked.
On my first night I went out to Pub Street to have some dinner and drinks and meet some people (the downside of not being able to stay in a dorm is that it's a lot harder to meet people), and I ended up having a great night in a bar called Angkor What?
The next day I met three Brazilian girls at the guesthouse - Laura, Ana and Clarisse - and we all got a tuk-tuk to go and see Tonle Sap, the biggest lake in SE Asia. However, when we got there they were trying to charge a ridiculous amount for a boat trip to see it and, after talking to some people who had done the trip and not enjoyed it much, decided it wasn't worth it and came back, stopping to look at some villages on the way. In the evening we went to rent some bikes and cycled to the main Angkor Wat temple to see the sunset. On the way back we stopped to look at some markets and get a fish massage!

The next day we took the bikes and went to see the temples properly. It was a very nice day, if not a little tiring, and the temples were amazing! In the evening we went out for dinner at the markets again and then went back to the same massage place for a proper body massage.      

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