Okay, I am really devastated now. Why?? When I was writing this entry and uploading photos, Mozilla Firefox crashed in all of a sudden, it happened not once but twice. Damn it.
Anyway, my deepest condolences to the King Of Pop, Michael Jackson. I am not a big fan of him, but you must admit he was one of the greats in music industry despite his terrible personal life. While I am writing this entry, I listen to MJ's songs.
Back to the main plot. I went to Cambodia with my secondary schoolmate, Jay on June 9th. It was an exciting and adventurous experience. Also, it was my first back-packing trip to foreign country. No tour guide, hot weather(around 40 degree Celcius), 8-10 bottled water(trust me, drink a LOT of water), a lot of up and down(climbing the temples), 5 hour of cycling under big sun, and so suffered extreme sunburn. Sweet memories though.
The day before departure, I stayed at my friend's house. The weather was so hot, I couldn't sleep. Or may be overdose of adrenaline inside my body due to excitement? The little dog in the cage barking non-stop whenever he sees me. My friend didn't sleep too, watching Hong Kong drama. Finally, around 5 in the morning, his sister drove us to LCCT. We had chocolate milks and some cookies as breakfast, then straight away we went to the departure hall waiting for the flight. I looked around the hall, it seemed like we two were the only person that wore mask. Kinda weird the feeling I had. A line of stewardess in red colored uniform carrying their luggages headed to the gate. Around 6.40 am, we entered the gate and rushed to the airplane! That's kinda stupid, the gate was far far away from the departure hall. It took us 5 minutes++ to reach the gate. Phew~~~
Due to swine flu, wearing a mask is a secure.
Arriving at Siem Reap International Airport.
This was the first time I took AirAsia. I thought I would be served with foods and drinks. Noob me. Besides, foods and drinks from outside are not allowed. What the heck!? However, I bought a snack from the airport and so I stealthy took it out from my bag and ate it. Haha...We reached Siem Reap International Airport at 8 am (9 am Malaysia time). The airport was decorated in Khmer-style, one of the most unique airports I have ever seen. But it was small compared to KLIA. The officers were friendly, but they talked to each other when they were working, and looked like they were not in working-mode. The guesthouse keeper had promised me that he would send a tuk-tuk driver to fetch us. Around 9.30 am, once we came out from the entrance, I tried to look for the sign of my name. "KOK LEONG LEE", yes, that's my name. A dark colored skin, around 40-year old man was holding a white board with my name on it. I pointed on my name and the man smiled and came to us. His name is Baron, he introduced himself to us. Quickly, we put our luggages on the tuk-tuk seat and we sat on the opposite side. I was kinda nervous after the boat started to move, because I couldn't sit steadily. I felt like I was going to fell. However, it was awesome since it was my first time to sit on a tuk-tuk. It took us around 20 minutes to the guesthouse.
Finally, we arrived at the guesthouse. I saw a American sitting at the counter, but he didn't greet us. I was sure that he is the guesthouse keeper, Mr. Goldon. A woman came to greet us and gave us forms to fill for registration. We were not told to pay for the room rate, it was certainly a surprise to me. How could they trust on two strangers? You see, we could run away on the night before check out date. Haha, but we won't do that, of course. After that, we were brought to our room. Room no. 4, not the favourite number. The room was comfortable and clean. We waste no time, immediately we made a list of attractions we gonna visit. Initially, we planned to buy the visitor pass the second day. But Mr. Marom told us that we had to purchase the visitor pass if we wanna visit temples. We had no choice but to purchase the US$40 pass. We paid US$40 at the counter and had a snapshot for the purpose of the pass. Damn it, I had paid RM10 to take 4 passport size photos while I was in Ipoh, thought I would need it for the pass. I should listen to the website.
The first temple we visit was Banteay Srei but it was a nightmare. The temple was very far away from the town, and took us nearly one hour to arrive. Once we reached there, a few locals surrounded us, trying to sell. I tried to ignore them, but my friend wanna buy a book for his sister. So, he bargained with the guys and bla bla bla.........A few women tried to sell T-shirts to me, initially I ignored them but they not gonna give up. Therefore I told one of the women that I would come back later. "Ok, ok, I will remember you", I told the woman and quickly escaped. Phew~~I understood that they were poor, but I am not a rich man neither. The temple was just average, but I believed we took most photos here since we were too excited. Hehe...A foreign visitor volunteer to take a snapshot for us, but the photo was just okay. Haha~~~When we walked out from the temple, two guys whom sell book had been waiting for us. My friend bargained with one of the guy for nearly half an hour. The price fell from US$18 to US$11. I must say he and his sister who was in Malaysia sms him to bargain are harsh bargainer. Argued for only US$ 1, he sms his sister, she replied him and the process kept cycling. Eventually, I was the one crashed down, offered my US$1 to him and that's it, the end of the story "Bargains for one dollar". Phew again~~~Began the another story of "Hoax". Just after my friend deal with his business, the woman appeared before me and dragged me to her stall. One T-shirt was US$5, I said no but kept choosing T-shirts. Then, she said 4 T-shirts for US$15. I think I was over excited and agreed to buy. My friend was influenzed by me and lost his mind. He paid US$10 for 3 T-shirts. The story is not over yet. After that, she claimed that she was selling the T-shirts for her friend and asked me to buy some silks from her. I didn't listen to her words and walked out from her stall quickly. She followed me and kept begging me to buy her silks. But I had my mind to not buy anything from her again, and kept walking to the tuk-tuk driver. I was mentally exhausted due to the annoying aunties. Later, we went to the next temple. And a woman carrying his children was selling T-shirts and other handcrafts. She sells 3 T-shirts for only US$5! I knew we were cheated. From that moment, we have made up our minds that we will never go to Banteay Srei ever. How ironic it was, we got cheated at the first visited temple.
On the way to Banteay Srei, you can see a lot of stalls selling traditional handcrafts along the road.
Banteay Srei. Visit the temple BUT escape from the local "salesmen" and "saleswomen"!
Land Mine Museum is the 2nd place we went to. You can see a lot of weapons and landmines here. The admission fee is US$2. Worth a visit.
Besides the traditional handcrafts stalls, you can always see stall selling bottled petrol and water like this one. But, easy, easy, man!
After that, we headed to Banteay Samre. This design of the temple is very different from anteay Srei. A Chinese couple was taking photograph there.
The 3rd temple is Pre Rup.
This temple was construted using red brickbats and huge stones. The lower part was made up of stones, and the upper parts was made up of red brickbats. It has stone lions at 4 corners. The stairs was very steep, but not the steepest. We were tired after visiting this temple and we went to the guesthouse. After taking some rest, we went out to look around the Siem Reap town. Siem Reap was a small town, from the outlook of the buildings, it is still in rapid development. Hotels were along the main roads and guesthouses were built everywhere. At night, we went to the well-known Bar Street. We chose Khmer Family Business Restaurant and went upstairs. We ordered two draft beers and a fish with pineapple.
We wandered around the town and saw these traffic lights. Did you ever see traffic light with a cross sign???
I seldom drink beer but since it was affordable, only 50 cents for one big cup. The fish was yummy, I like it very much. My head was a bit dizzy after I had the whole cup drank. We walked back and I yelled a bit. I insisted that I wasn't drunk. Yes, I wasn't drunk. Back to the room, switched on the TV and felt asleep till the next morning around 2.30 am.
Okay, that's it for day 1. Stay tuned for day 2.