Wednesday, 7 July 2010
Siem Reap, Cambodia
We crossed the Thai/Cambodia border overland at Poipet. It took over an hour to cross, first of all for immigration to check our passports, then through quarantine, and then finally to arrivals for our arrival cards into Cambodia. Phew! What a lot of queueing! Actually worse than the airport. It was a 6 hour drive altogether from Bangkok to Siem Reap. Our tour leader, Chenda is Cambodian, so was able to tell us alot of intersting stuff about Cambodia. The rich are very rich and the poor very poor, similar to other developiing countries. 80% of the population are farmers and one third of them live on less than one U.S dollar a day. The government is corrupt and if you have money than you can buy your way out of anything, so only the poor get punished for wrongdoing.
In the evening we took tuk tuks to have dinner at a local farm, in a village cooked by a local family. We sat on the floor on cushions in a decked area and tried some local dishes, noodles, curry, mixed vegetables and steamed rice. It was delicious, afterwards we played games with some of the children from the village, and then took a tuk tuk to the night market in town. We had a fish massage, sounds strange so I had to try it! There's a small pool with lots of fish in and you sit on the edge and dunk your feet in. The fish come and eat all the dead skin off your feet. It really tickled to start with but after I got used to the sensation it was quite pleasant. My feet are much smoother now! A great first day in Cambodia.