We spent the New Year’s weekend in the beautiful Siem Reap in central Cambodia.
The bus journey from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap was something different.
If the bus is full you get a special plastic stool
The journey took six hours, but thankfully the driver knew just how to entertain us. For the entire journey he played a Cambodian karaoke DVD, which played just Khmer love songs. If anybody had a keyboard in the 80ies you may remember the background rhythms-the songs all sounded like that. It was a very long journey!
New Year’s eve
Siem Reap is home to the magical Angkor Wat temple complex, one of the new seven wonders of the world. The temples of Angkor were build around 1200 and Angkor was once Cambodia’s capital city.
Watching the sun rising over Angkor Wat is something we will not forget it for a while, even if we had to get up at 4.30am.
We weren’t the only ones watching the sun rise over Angkor Wat! We were also joined by a lady trying to sell us breakfast. She told Chris her name was Angelina Jolie – though she looked a little shorter (and a lot more Asian) than she did as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider.
The temple of Ta Phrom is overgrown with tree roots. This is where Tomb Raider was filmed by the way. Angelina wasn’t there anymore, but I guess she is a busy lady after all.
The Bayon temple inside Angkor Thom’s temple complex.
One of the ‘divine’ faces in the Bayon temple
A tribute to Chris, built some 800 years before he was even born but yet so life-like.
Sunset at Phnom Bakheng – the last and most beautiful one in 2011.
Watching people gathering for the New Year’s eve countdown from a rather cool rooftop bar in the centre of Siem Reap. And only a dollar for a tequila too, something which Chris came to regret the next morning.
New Year’s day
After managing to drag Chris out of bed we spent New Year’s day cruising the Tonle Sap, a huge lake in the middle of Cambodia.
We also visited the floating village of Kampong Phluk and paddled through a flooded forest in a canoe.
Little girl in flooded forest
During the dry season (now) the lake shrinks to 2,500 sq. km. During the wet season it swells to 12,000 sq. km. It makes sense, therefore, to build your house on pretty high stilts!
The same is true for the local police station.
A blind village boy, dealt a pretty rough hand, though mitigated somewhat by his little friend who guides him through life.
Two friends, notwithstanding the fact that after I took this photo the big boy shoved the little one in the lake and then nearly split his sides laughing about it. It was pretty funny to be fair.
Man versus alcohol. There’s only ever one winner (the result of Tequila for $1 – see above).
Tammy & Chris are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between them they are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. Find out why they stopped pushing pens around the British civil service to travel the world on their blog.
We are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between us we are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. In 2011 we left the rat-race in London behind to work in international development and see the world.