In Phnom Penh we had to change buses to a sleeper bus, our bus arrived late though so we missed the connection. Due to it being the company fault we were driven around the town in a tuk-tuk trying to find a bus that had a free space. We finally found one and two hours after we were meant to depart we started the second part of the journey towards Siem Riep. We arrived in Siem Reap at around 7am so we were quite happy we left two hours late from Phnom Penh because otherwise we would have arrived at 5am! We jumped into a tuk-tuk to ‘Mad Monkey Hostel’. Leila’s friends were flying in the next morning and had booked to stay here so we checked in a day early.
When we arrived due to it being so early our room wasn’t ready yet so we went out to get some breakfast. Here we bumped into someone from Kent who had lived in Cambodia for a few years and gave us some tips on the area! It was NYE and he recommended us to go to ‘pub street’ and also told us where to get a sim and how much we should pay for it. We left and headed for a phone shop to get a ‘Smart’ sim, we had to pay $2 for the sim and topped it up for $2 which gave us 5GB data. Afterwards we headed back to the hostel to check into our room and relax by the pool for the day.
That evening we had dinner upstairs and then joined in with the NYE party at the bar. They had a dj, beer pong and lots of drinks flowing! After many rounds of beer pong we walked to pub street to see the new year in. The street was packed but it was great fun, after it struck midnight we headed back to get some sleep as Leila’s friends were arriving early the next morning.
We woke up at 8 and organised to greet Leila’s friends at the airport. Quickly made a sign and waited for them to arrive. We had left a little late and had panicked they had already arrived but luckily we still got to surprise them by waiting patiently at arrivals! We jumped into two tuk-tuk’s and headed to the hostel. Here we grabbed some food, checked into our dorm and relaxed by the pool for the day as we were all nursing our hangovers from NYE! Later that evening we all went into town and had a walk around the market but headed back as we were all really tired!
The next day we had to be up at 4.45am as we were going on a hot air balloon for sunrise. We got picked up from our hostel and got transported to a field where they were about four hot air balloons. We didn’t know what to expect as Harry hates flying and Leila has a massive fear of heights! It was our turn and we all piled into the basket welcomed by our pilot Kerry. The heat from the fire was very hot but our minds focussed on the views. Half way along the trip Kerry told us he had some sweets to throw out to the children as we fly over and before we knew it there was loads of children running towards the balloon waving at as! We flew for about 45 minutes and although you don’t go over Angkor Wat itself it was one of the best things we have done so far and only $100 which is a bargain compared to other places! (Especially the UK)
We jumped back into the mini van to take us back to the hostel but asked them if they would take us to Angkor Wat instead. They agreed for $6 and also took us to the ticket office. Here we were shocked at the price of $37 per person for one day entry! We all paid though as you can’t go to Siem Reap without seeing Angkor Wat! We had a walk around and but didn’t venture too far as we were all getting tired and hungry from being up so early. We headed to the tuk-tuk’s and managed to get a ride home for $4 for 3 people. We got some food at the hostel and relaxed by the pool. Here Harry met a few people and headed out and Leila and her friends went into town, had their first amok curry which was delicious and treated themselves to a massage.
The next day we checked out and we spent the day around town, in the market and relaxing at the hostel as that evening we were getting a sleeper bus to Sihanoukville.
Tip: Make sure you do the hot airballon at sunrise or sunset it was amazing!
Tip: Make sure your not tired when going to Angkor Wat as we paid $37 for one temple when there are many in the park, its best to hire a tut tut for the day to take you around!