Anthony and Erica on the road to Mandalay 2006 travel blog

Preah Palilay in Angkor Thom

Part of the Royal Palace, Pnomh Penh

The stuuning Throne Room, Royal Palace, Pnomh Penh

Watching the moon, Royal Palace

Colonial and indigenous architecture, Royal Palace

Monks in the courtyard of the National Museum, Pnomh Penh

Same same but different, what they say round here and Vietnam when they try and sell you something and you say you already have it. It is always said half-jokingly, as they are generally good-humoured in this part of the world. So today I revisited many of my favourite places, and probably took the same pictures. Luckily for you I checked when I got home, and all the good pics from repeat visits are posted in earlier pages. On this page is just one new pic, and some from Pnomh Penh, which is strictly speaking tomorrow, but I have other plans for that page!

Last night was my last night in Siam Reap, so I had a bit of a session in the Angkor What? Late Night bar, the place with the loudest music in town, and bar top dancing by the alcoholic bar staff. Definitely my sort of place. Last night was particularly fun as I was befriended by this Australian couple, Louise, and - I kid you not - 'Action', her man. Action (aka Greg) was probably the most extravert and hyper person I have ever met who wasn't completely coked up (though he was drunk). It was fun, though you probably had to be there. Its good to see the spirit of Steve Irwin still lives in Australia.

So today my hangover and I off on the back of a motorbike, first to Angkor Wat. Pretty crowded, but even there it is easy to get away from people. The stairs to the last level are not for the faint-hearted though, very long and steep. This is the third time I have been there this trip, and it was still awesome and beautiful, it is so massive, an effect probably enhanced by being made of solid stone. And then off to the Bayon in Angkor Thom, which was virtually empty! It pays to be on a different schedule to the established ones. The faces were even more atmospheric and not a little surreal and spooky. Then some egg and chips to settle my hungover stomach and exploring the bits of Angkor Thom I hadn't seen so far this trip.

Then off to Ta Phrom, another one of my favourites and the one that people rave about most. And again I was lucky, there was hardly anyone there, and no tour groups. Round here there were - and still are - an awful lot of land-mines, and therefore a lot of people injured by them, the place is full of people with legs missing, usually just up to the knee. At most of the bigger temples there is a little orchestra of land-mine victims, collecting money (no benefits system here). When I was at Ta Prohm a load of Koreans were getting pics taken with these legless landmine survivors, which I have to say I thought was a bit tasteless, though the guys themselves seemed quite happy with it, presumably as there was money involved. Also in my opinion a bit tasteless, you can buy T-shirts everywhere saying "Beware Minefield!"

Anyway, by the time I had spent several hours revisiting my three favourites, I had to abandon my plan of exploring the Rolous Group of temples east of Siam Reap, and so instead came back to town to do some shopping instead. And in a short while I fly to Pnomh Penh.

Pnomh Penh, later: Well, here I am. For once the taxi driver wasn't lying when he said my chosen hotel was shut. My second choice is a bit depressing, but it is too late at night to fanny about. It is different here from Siam Reap, families sleeping on the street and beggars everywhere Indian style. It has a generally rawer feeling about it, not sanitised for tourists like Siam Reap, though there are a suprising number of foreigners around, mostly traveller types. I should have more of a feel for the place after a bit of a pub crawl. See you later!

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