From Thailand, we crossed the border into Cambodia by bus. We had read horror stories in our guidebooks and throughout Internet forums of scams that happen crossing the Thai-Cambodian border. Apparently there is a “bus mafia” that spots you before you go through the border, so we went into it prepared. We wrote down the prices of each taxi ride, bus ride, visa cost, etc. so that we’d never have our guidebooks out.
Though you are never really prepared, everything went smoothly. We beat the bus mafia and enjoyed a stunning taxi ride from the border to Siem Reap, Cambodia. The scenery was so gorgeous. It’s unbelievable and not what I expected.
One of my favorite places in Cambodia was Angkor Wat, which translates to mean “City of Temples.” And it is just that. Built in the early 12th century by King Suryavaman II, Angkor Wat is the largest Hindu temple in the world. We spent a whole day walking through only a tiny part of the grounds. Some people spend a week or more there. I loved it – it was so breathtaking and remarkable.
Our second favorite part about Cambodia was meeting our friend Sombum (pronounced Sombomb). He was kind enough to take us home to his village with him. We spent a day with his family and also part took in a high school graduation.
Cambodia really left a strong impression on me. The people of Cambodia have struggled and risen from a horrific genocide. Their country is still covered in millions of landmines. Yet, they are some on the most friendly, giggly and welcoming people I have met so far. I can’t wait to return.