Tag Archives: Siem Reap

So this road trip… We could have been in a chartered big air conditioned tour bus for around $10 each. However, a relative recommended this driver and his van, although there is no AC, because he knows his way through Siem Reap and he will stay with us and drive us down to Penom Penh. That seemed like a good deal. There were 9 of us and they said his van will fit 13 people.

Little did we know, the driver was half deaf, the speedometer and headlights of the car was broken, and the car fit 8 people comfortably and two people had to squeeze up front with the driver. (there was a pull down bitch seat that Ben put his injured foot on in the back) Overall, it was an adventure.

Our windows were rolled down the whole time and we had to keep our face masks on, because the dirt roads were dusty. We had a 4-5 hour road trip to Siem Reap, except that it got dark and our headlights were broken. I think at one point we resorted to sticking flashlights out the window to light the path. We got in to a repair shop in a small village where we were stuck for 3 hours. 3 HOURS! They made a temporary fix to leave the headlights on for the duration of the travel and we headed on. There was also something wrong with the main circuit… which would power off the car every now and then.

Dogs are rampant in Cambodia and for a lot of people they are sort of like rats. They are abundant, mangy, and they have no remorse when you hit them with a car. Our other host, Sophea’s cousin hit two dogs, she was saying. “I’m glad it wasn’t a pig, since we wouldn’t be able to run over it.” Right. Our driver, of course, hit one that leaped out onto the street. We felt the bump in the back tire, and looked back, and the dog kept going. Poor thing.

And the corrupt cops… There were a group of police officers stopping cars on our way from Pursat to Siem Reap. They pulled us over, gave us some shit about looking behind us, and our driver paid them money. However, the f-ed up thing is, the next day in the paper, cops did this to a soldier AT THE SAME INTERSECTION. The soldier, who was a high ranking officer, didn’t stop. The cops started to shoot and the officer shot back. The officer ended up killing two cops. No joke.

Eventually around 11 that night (we were trying to get there around 7-8), we got to Siem Reap. We were relieved. We stayed there for 2 nights. Unfortunately the quick fix to the headlights wasn’t a permanant fix, so we stayed an extra night so we didn’t need to drive in the dark. (Although for some reason, on our trip to Penom Penh, we got there very late. We were on the roat for 7 hours, when the anticipated time was 5.) The kicker was that when Sophea’s cousin kept telling us we were lucky as the guys pushed the cars away from the driveway. I didn’t understand that it stopped starting. I thought there just wasn’t enough room to maneuver. Can you imagine? One more bathroom stop and we would have been stranded again?

Ankor was impressive and vast, though. I was surprised we were allowed in so many corridors. Sophea made a good point that Ankor Thom was peaceful, with less people, and beautiful. Ankor Wat was just vast.