Saturday, 30 August 2014

Cambodia day 4 Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Cambodia day 4 Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Thursday, 03.07.2014

Check out and leave luggage at reception (arranged pick up for bus to Siem Reap for 8 USD the day before). Mocy (1 USD) to Royal Palace (open 7:30-11, 14-17), spend there 9:25-11:10. Entry 6.50 USD. Guides offer their service, and I take one (very good English and made a pleasant impression, but I think 10 USD for one hour is very expensive). 

To my great disappointment, Napoleon III Pavilion is closed and not even visible. My guide tells me renovation has been going on for one year and take two more years. However, a look behind the curtains reveals it’s rather a case of “Sleeping Beauty” than “work in progress”. What a disgrace, how they treat this gift!

That reminds me of Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, where I went to see the reading rooms (oval reading room and Labrouste reading room), but they were not open to public due to renovation. The renovation is scheduled to take 7 (!) years. Second world war lasted 6 years!

No photography in Silver Pagoda (floor tiled with silver tiles), only outside:

Angkor Wat miniature:

Elephant stables:

Return to hotel, pick up 12:00, I am the first passenger in van, pick up further passenger, reach bus station (near Central Market) 12:30. The trip takes 12:42-12:24, with a stop for lunch 14:50-15:15 and for dinner 19:08-29. Some parts of the road still under construction. 

Fried tarantulas on one of the stops. I didn't dare trying at that time, and later when I had made up my mind, in Siem Reap, there were only overpriced for tourists. Next time!

Underwear advert and instructions how to use the toilet in the bathroom:

These plastic foils (about 1 m x 2 m, vertical, with trays on the ground) are for catching crickets at night (attracted by fluorescent light tubes):

A few km before Siem Reap, the bus leaves the main road and goes on side roads that are in horrible condition and stops at a bus station that is a few km out of town. Gates are closed once the bus is in, leaving a gap for people to pass through. Tuk-tuk drivers descend on passengers, I get one to take me to Garden Village for 2 USD. This is clearly a tourist trap, bus station just a few km outside, a bit too far to walk (estimated half an hour).

But at least I saw the brothels disguised as massage places (about 10 of them) few hundred meters east of the bus station. Picture from a return during daylight:

I had not booked a hotel, and only on the way from PP to SR did I read about Garden Village offering dorms for 1 USD (!) per night. I have to try this out. But when I arrive, these are not available any more, they have “Fan Dorm Bunk Bed” for 3 USD per night. You can bring your own lock, or buy one for 2 USD, or rent one for 1 USD (which I did). Dormitory 8 in a room, shared bathroom. A new experience for me. Other guests mainly white, half male half female, age 20-30, often walking around or lying in bed in underwear.

Explore Siem Reap by night. Check location of gay saunas, discos, and massage places. There are several night bazars. In Pub Street, you get offered weed in every corner. Some of the massage places have boys and girls that look 15, and the older ones try to get my business “have room upstairs”. I go to bed with the impression that Siem Reap is more about weed and massage with underage masseurs in private rooms than about ancient ruins. A promising start.

Copyright 2014 ChristianPFC


  1. Great conclusion!

  2. waiting for what you say after visiting ruins, hope you will be more impressed .
    What's so promising about weed and underages ?

  3. waiting impatiently for your impressions from Angkor


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