We couldn’t really say when the city ended and we got onto the highway, as we continue to pass small houses built on the two sides of the road. The condition of the highway was really bad, considering that it was one of the few main roads in Cambodia. At some places the asphalt was missing and huge dust clouds formed in the air. We could feel them even inside the bus, which had all windows closed. When the driver wanted to pass the other cars, he simply hit the horn without caring much about the incoming traffic. At some point the houses began to dilute and to make way to endless swamps and rice fields.
We stopped to rest at a place that looked like a marked bus stop, with many wooden stalls and sellers that offered pineapples, bananas, nuts and fresh meat and eggs. I really had to go and use the toilet, while Dilyan was exploring the market. The small building looked more like the ruins of the real rest room, that was most probably hit by a meteor and set on fire. Some of the doors inside were missing and there was a not-so fancy smell in the air.
The small corridor was leading to a big rock that was overlooking a river. The men were pissing from the edge of it directly in its waters. On my way out of the restroom I saw a mother that was bathing her child in the small, dirty sing in front of the toilet. On a side, huge baskets filled with dirty dishes, covered with insects and water from the near by building, were waiting for someone to wash them.
Meanwhile Dilyan was exploring the market and was offered fried spiders and grasshoppers. As he don’t fancy this kind of food he simply purchased a bag of chips and together we boarded the bus.
Eight hours later we arrived in Siem Reap. The bust dropped us at a small station and immediately we were surrounded by the local men, offering us all kinds of things – from accommodation to transportation. We hired one of them, a tuk-tuk driver and he drove us to a local guest house, which he was working with, earning a percentage for each person he brings. For the modest sum of $10 we booked a room for one night and for $30 more, the driver became our guide for the next two days.
Our visit to the ancient complex of Angkor Wat began quite early. The driver picked us up at five in the morning with the promise of an unforgettable sunrise at the temple site. After twenty minutes we reached the main gates of the complex. We had marked down only the bigger temples we wanted to visit, since we didn’t had much time. A complete tour of the area will require two to four days and we had only one.