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Cross the Mekong River and travel up through Cambodia.

 

The train through Cambodia is no longer operational although there are plans to resume, the 256 km Southern Line between the capital city of Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville has re-opened, therefore the options from Ho Chi Minh are bus and boat

A fastboat connects Phnom Penh to Siem Reap via the Tonle Sap River and Lake.

It takes approximately 6 hours, but there is little chance for sightseeing as it travels fast and in the center of the lake for the most part.

Slowboat trips on the Tonle Sap can be rewarding as they offer a chance to visit the floating villages and fishing communities of the great lake.

Siem Reap - Battambang

Water levels vary depending upon the time of year so boats are not always available.

When operating, a fast boat connects Siem Reap to Battambang via the Tonle Sap Lake and the Sangker River which offers some chances for sightseeing along the way.

We chose to travel by bus from Ho Chi Minh city, crossing the Mekong river by ferry on route, I can recommend the Mekong express bus Company with reserved seats.

The 7hr total journey includes a stop for 30min lunch at a restaurant on route, the fried rice was cheap and good.

On boarding the bus you are given cold towels, bottled water & croissant, the bus is air conditioned with a movie running and free wifi which is good value as the ticket was only $13 each.

Riverfront Phnom Penh

Royal Palace Phnom Penh

Royal Palace Phnom Penh

       Royal Palace Phnom Penh

After a couple of hours into the journey you arrive at the Cambodia border, the hostess on the bus collected all our passports, money for visa and filled out an entry form.

This was very organised and they get preferential treatment so they escape queues of solo travellers.

You then get off bus and your name is called and you go through passport control, where you receive your passport back including the attached visa.

Meanwhile the driver takes the bus to the Cambodia side and waits for us all to board again. All aboard & we were on our way again.

After another couple of hours we drove onto a large old ferry and crossed the Mekong river all still on the bus. It is an old noisy ferry but we made it!

Then it's just a short drive into Phnom Penh, where tuk tuks wait at the bus station to take you to your hotel.

Royal Palace interior Phnom Penh

Crossing the Mekong on the Bus!

On the bus on the rickety old ferry

will we make it!!

       Blue Pumpkin Cafe time in Phnom Penh

Arrived in Phnom Penh early afternoon & tuk tuks were waiting at bus station to take us all to our hotels. We were staying round the corner from the Grand Palace so nice & central to walk there & riverfront only minutes away.

We were in Phnom Penh in early March so it is very hot and dry so it's a great excuse to stop and cool off in the many cafes around.

I highly recommend one called "Blue Pumpkin", they do assortment of meals, amazing cakes and ice cream, so it quickly turns into a daily stop.

Around the sides of the large cafe they have amazing, soft, comfy seating, where you can just kick off your shoes, climb up and just relax and recline! They put small tables across your outstretched legs and serve you goodies!

A visit to the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh is a must.

From Phnom Penh, take the bus north for the 5hr journey to Siem Reap.

Siem Reap has a really amazing town centre, we loved it, so many eating outlets, alleyways full of goodies to buy, so much to see.

Going in for the live fish foot massage and foot cleaning fish in Siem Reap.

Siem Reaps famous 'Pub Street'

Tuk Tuk in Siem Reap

      Approaching Angkor Wat in Siem Reap

We explored many sites of Siem Reap, all so wonderful, lots of walking & plenty of ancient steps to climb. We spent the day round Angkor Wat, so much to see.

Best to book a tuk tuk for the whole day for a few dollars and the driver will drop you off at each site and then drive round to other end of it to pick you up, you will find him relaxing in his hammock hanging from tuk tuk roof !

So the whole day is at your own our pace, our driver had cool box full of cold water for us and when we were ready for lunch he took us to really nice restaurant where we had a great meal.

Ruins near Angkor Wat

Stepping down the ruins near Angkor Wat

Ruins near Angkor Wat

Ruins near Angkor Wat

Tomb Raiders site Ta Prohm near Angkor Wat

Ta Prohm ruins, amazing

Is the tree holding up the ruin, or the ruin holding up the tree??

At the top of Anghor Wat

At the top of Anghor Wat

Dancers in the grounds if Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat Temple

Angkor Wat Temple nearly sundown

I loved Ta Prohm, it was like scenes from tomb raiders where the ruins look as if they are growing out of the tree roots.

Angkor Wat was stunning and you need a full day to really appreciate it, sunset shots are not practical as the sun sets on the opposite side, but you can get up at the crack of dawn and catch some great shots of the sun coming up over Angkor Wat temple.


 

 

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