This is going to be a quick re-cap from where we last left off in Phnom Penh. We found ourselves too busy, or sick, to find the time to post anything so we got behind.
Siem Reap is awesome. During our two full days there we had a private guide take us to see his favourite temples. Haan is his name, and he was great. He provided us with such a huge amount of information that we need more time to put it all into order in our brains. Each site we visited he gave us the political, architectural, and religious history in such fascinating detail that we were a bit overwhelmed after our time with him. Haan is a good man who loves his country and loves sharing it’s history with guests. He is also deeply saddened and worried by the ruling parties very recent victory in the high courts by dissolving the opposition party. Many news outlets are calling it the death of democracy.
On the second day Haan also took us to a floating village on the Tonle Sap river. The only river in the world that reverses its direction of flow! When the water is low enough, only for a month maybe two, you can walk from the berm to the start of the village but for the rest of the year you have to get to it and in and around it by boat. It was one of the most unique places I’ve ever been.
It took some work to get here but the payoff is well worth the hot cramped longtail boat ride to the small town. Railay is surrounded by tall dramatic cliffs that pierce through the jungle below. Here we enjoyed some much needed beach time, snorkeling, and ocean breezes. We also got to check out some caves that go into the cliffs for a couple hundred metres or so. This place is lined with cool bars and restaurants and we were lucky enough to be staying at a hotel that also had a bar that hosts Muay Thai fights. We got to check one out and the fight here was much better than the one in Chiang Mai. I think the pot was bigger for the fighters so there was more incentive to give it their all. After an amazing day on the beach Tessa and I both got pretty sick and that kept us indoors for our final night in Railay.
Next day, still feeling shitty (literally), we got on to a very cramped ferry to Ko Phi Phi and once we got here we went to our room to rest up. The only “adventuring” we did was find the dive shop that is taking us out to confirm our booking. We took it very easy for the rest of the night. Today, Sunday, however we are feeling much better and are very much looking forward to this afternoon. We are booked to go snorkeling in some bays nearby, then visit the beach from “The Beach”, and then swim with bioluminescent plankton as the sun goes down. We might also book a couple dives for tomorrow, we’ll see how we feel.
This place isn’t exactly what we expected. It’s super beautiful, don't get me wrong, but I pictured it being very open and like party central. It’s quite the opposite as it is very developed and the beaches aren’t big enough for the huge parties I had envisioned. Perhaps though tonight will surprise us.