CambodiaPosted by Jan Lamers 01 Jul, 2013 13:14:05
Battambang is my last stop in Cambodia before re-entering Thailand. It is a sleepy little town where not too much is going on. There is a temple to be seen, a couple of caves nearby and supposedly there is some nice French colonial architecture from the Indochina era by the riverside. It all wasn't too stunning but it is a nice place to hang around and I like it a lot more than the Siem Reap tourist trap.
CambodiaPosted by Jan Lamers 01 Jul, 2013 12:43:29
After a bumpy ride from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh I visited the Tuol Sleng prison there. Tuol Sleng was originally a school converted into a prison by the Khmer Rouge, where they interrogated and tortured their supposed enemies with a brutallity that is hardly imaginable. The next day I rode my bike to Choeung Ek, also known as the killing fields. Thousands of people have been executed there. Again in a very brutal way. People werent't shot but, in order to save bullits, kicked beaten and clubbed to death and then thrown into a ditch. Apart from these relics of Khmer Rouge atrocities Phnom Penh is a pleasant city to stay at. It is not a beautiful city but it is best described as a mess with atmosphere. After a couple of days I rode to Battambang slowly on my way back to Thailand.
CambodiaPosted by Jan Lamers 20 Jun, 2013 06:49:16
After crossing the border at Poipet it struck me how much poorer Cambodia is compared to Thailand. Here no big shiny SUV's but families on tractors, mopeds and in run down cars. Also road conditions are worse than in Thailand and although the road to Siem Reap is one of the country's best roads you still have to be vigilant for occasional pot holes with the size of a car. I was amazed by the Siem Reap tourist trap, an oasis of apparent wealth in a desert of poverty. Boutique hotels, restaurants of all sorts (one offering "finest Mexican and Khmer cuisine"), sports bars, espresso lounges, ATM 's on every street corner. You get offered tuk tuk rides and massages every 10 seconds. A place to get the hell out off. The next day I went to visit the close by Angkor Wat ruins. Truely one of the wonders of the world, I don't know if they are amongst the first seven though. I bought an entrance ticket and could ride my bike from one temple to the other. I wasn't able to get my bike close to the main temples but I could ride my bike around temples on the fringe of the complex.