1st January 2016
It feels weird writing 2016, but it’s here and I plan to embrace it!
Up at 5am after 4hrs sleep and still suffering from jet lag, I was like a walking zombie! But then everybody else was pretty much in the same boat! Most people headed for breakfast, but I just can’t eat that early so I just chilled out and waited to board the bus that would take us to the Cambodian border.
We’d been warned that it could take a while to get across the border but it wasn’t too bad, as we had a local guide who stopped at the embassy for us to get our visas before we got to border control. There wasn’t a lot of waiting just a bit of walking. What kinda freaked me out is that we left our luggage with a guy who has a cart at the Thailand side of the border and they then take it across to our waiting bus at the other side at the Cambodian end. I must admit I was panicking that it would get lost but it made it safely across.
It took us about 4hrs to get to the border and then we drove for another 2 hrs to our lunch destination, where our guide had arranged a range of local dishes for us to try out.
This included a curry called Fish Amok, a traditional chicken curry and a beef dish called Lok lak.
The Fish Amok was a coconut based curry, very fragrant and very delicious. The chicken curry was also tasty, and not too spicy as Cambodian food is very mild. The Lok Lak is sliced beef, stir fried with onions, tomatoes and tomatoes, another yummy dish.
After stuffing our faces, we got back on the bus for the remaining 1-2 hours of our journey. Arriving in Siem Reap, we were all pretty tired, but I did sleep for most of the journey which left me feeling rather groggy, so I decided to chill out in our room for a few hours before we set off for dinner, whilst a few of the group went off to check out the area.
Again the hotel was pretty basic but it was clean and that’s all I think we can hope for on the trip! It was in a really good location too, not far from the markets, restaurants and nightlife.
After chilling in the room for a bit we headed to the lobby to meet the rest of the group as we were off for a meal at the Gadventures foundation, New Hope. New Hope is a school, training school and clinic with an outreach programme which helps local kids and adults gain an education in order to improve their life and help them out of poverty.
We ate in their training restaurant, where they can learn practical skills in the kitchen and also front of house skills. The food was lovely and we tried a range of dishes including fish cakes, pork ribs, a chicken salad dish, crickets, and a fruity curry dish, all were very tasty and well presented.
Once we had finished we all headed back to the hotel for an early night, as we were still all very tired from getting up so early and we had an extra early start the next day to watch the sunrise at Ankor Wat Temple, needing to be up at 4am!!
Check out Day 3 to see if the early rise was worth it.