All images and associated pages copyrighted © by Don Chesnut, 2006
My travel agent, Frances Woollam, booked my stay in Viet Nam, Cambodia and Thailand through Brendan Vacations (www.brendanvacations.com). They, in turn, booked certain segments with other regional travel services, including Indochina Services (www.indochina-services.com) and Pandaw Cruises (www.pandaw.com). I traveled alone (except for the river cruise) and in the hot and humid season when few other tourists were there; perfect for me.
I got up about 5:30, showered and had breakfast. We disembarked the boat at Udong with many goodbyes and boarded our bus. They said the bus trip was about 4.5 hours with one comfort stop. There was a bathroom on the bus, but it didn't flush. The bus driver apparently decided to drive all the way to Siem Reap without a comfort stop. Did I mention that the bathroom didn't work? When we got to Siem Reap, the driver didn't know where to take us. His helper jumped out of the bus at numerous places, asking for directions. We finally got to our drop off hotel where we met our guides for the day. My guide and driver took me to my hotel "Le Meridien Angkor," a very nice place (their webpage). I checked in and took my bags to the room.
Afterwards, I met my guide, Nay at 2 PM and we toured Angkor Wat. The Sleeper family also had the Brendan tour and I saw them and the Australian couple there as well. I took a lot of pictures at Angkor Wat.
After I came back, I showered and went down to the pool. I signed up for the cultural dance and dinner at the hotel. I joined the Sleepers and we watched the dances. The costumes, dances and music were interesting and I took lots of photos.
The Sleepers and I doubled up with the same guide and driver and we met in the lobby at 8:30. Nil Soknay was our guide (Indochina Services). We headed out in a Mercedes van to Ta Prohm, then to Angkor Thom and its Bayon temple (with all the big heads). I took lots of pictures of these ancient structures.
After lunch (at a park restaurant), we went to Preah Khan.
After that, we went to Siem Reap and a tour of a craft workshop where they made sandstone carvings, silk screen paintings, lacquer ware, etc. Here they train young people a craft that they can take back to their village and earn a living.
After the city tour, we went back to the hotel and met at the pool. Later, I went out for a walk, but found that it was not too easy, because of construction, lack of consistent sidewalks, etc. When I came back to the hotel, I packed because we leave for Bangkok tomorrow.
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