Siem Reap, Cambodia. 12th oct 2016

Travel day today so we started packing last night which meant we had a bit of spare time this morning.

We went for our last breakfast (like a condemned man) but sadly it was a bit of an anti climax. My new found conversion to vegetarianism was sorely tested as I passed the Canadian Bacon section, which was next to the sausage section.

But I stuck with it and walked away with Toast, Beans, Sauté Mushrooms (not the sort we have at home but a much more exotic type) and scrambled eggs which were sadly served up cold.

It doesn’t take long to get used to this 5 star life style and I’m already starting to find fault.

The Tea has been a disappointment, often served tepid so this morning I asked for Hot tea and It almost was.

Apart from that I cant really complain about anything. The room was fantastic, with an amazing view of the river. The bed was so comfortable I really didn’t want to get up in the mornings.

The TV worked, though it seemed to be dominated by tales of Donal J Trump, a sort of children’s Fairy Tale where Trump is the villain and Hillary the Princess.

The Wifi was fast and constant, the pool was bloody long and took some effort to do my ten lengths.

In fact, I wish we were staying longer though I don’t think the Bank Account could cope. The room (including Breakfast was 3000Baht plus taxes and additions it worked out at about 4000 Baht a night which we estimate is around £100.

For two people I don’t think thats too bad?

The place has changed a bit since our last stay in 2013.

There are far more Chinese Guests here now than there were which I guess demonstrates the rise of the Chinese economy.

Sitting by the pool allowed me plenty of time to observe how our new found friends (the special relationship) behave and it was quite amusing.

The youngsters seemed to have a certain style which is part European and part Avitar.

Hair styles are often flamboyant (with the guys leading the way) or plain with plenty of heavy straight cut fringes still in evidence.

‘Cutesy’ stuff seems to be a thing.

Lots of bows, fairy dresses, headbands with little ears and that dopey Frigging cat thing all over the place. Hello Kitty?

I watched two young girls taking pictures of each other in the pool.

Their posing was slightly over the top. Lots of pouting, head tilted to one side, fingers in a ‘V’ in front of one eye, all very trendy I suspect and highly amusing ,given they both wore float aids.

It would appear the Chinese aren’t big on swimming preferring to walk around in the pool clutching various items of a  floating nature (rubber rings and Beach balls seemed to be the favourite) whilst wearing full body cover and a large floppy hat.

Their favourite pass time seemed to be walking across the pool just when I was trying to swim a length. They got good at that.

They don’t seem to be big on ball skills either.

A young lad was playing catch with his dad and the ball hit him in the face more times than not.

I laughed out loud when he tried to throw the ball back to Dad and it flew out of his hand, over his shoulder and into the pool. He stared at his empty hand in utter amazement.

Like he did when he tried to kick the ball back and got a leg full of air

It seems if we want to beat the Chinese at anything we should choose water polo?

I even observed a very big guy put swimming goggles on when he went in the foot bath.

They also like to wear their dressing gowns and slippers down to the pool and these are often slightly small so they flap open exposing nice round beer bellies, just like an NHS operating gown.

So, I kept myself amused even during the thunder storm and heavy rain that hit yesterday. We scurried from the pool area back to our room which was lucky as our newly washed clothing that had been left out to dry, was disappearing over the balcony rail and into the trees 18 floors below.

The weather improved sufficiently for us to venture out that evening. We caught the water taxi up to Sathon Terminal and then the express boat up to pier 13 where we met up with Nahema one of our traveling chums form India.

She is staying in a Hostel in Bangkok waiting to join yet another G adventures tour through Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam so our paths may cross again in the future.

WE walked across to Rambuttri Alley and on route stopped for a drink. I ordered a small Sangsom (whiskey) and coke. Luckily I ordered a small as they brought me  a half bottle for (about 200 Baht) rather than a glass.

This area of Bangkok seems to have been given a make over and its much cleaner, neater and more organised than it was on our last trip. The street food stalls have been moved on to be replaced by more traditional restaurants that charge much more but don’t offer any better quality. I ordered Pad Thai in Magic Cafe which was underwhelming. It was slapped onto the table by a very bored young man in a Base ball cap who said he didn’t speak English, in perfect English.

Cleaner, smarter it might be but I preferred the old Rambuttri, the shambolic, chaotic one where everyone was laughing and up to mischief, rather than this sterile version.

Some thing has been lost I fear.

Unfortunately we missed the last water Taxi back to the Hotel so we agreed a price of 250 Baht with a Tuk-Tuk driver who proved to be on the run from a local hospital. He was completely insane, spoke Pigeon-English but made up for this by miming or making animated noises, all the while steering his Tuk-Tuk through the Bangkok traffic.

He took us through the Indian Quarter and through China Town both of which could be identified by their pungent smells, the spices of India and China were heavy in the evening air.

Past the royal palace and a dozen other temples before depositing us back at our Hotel, slightly wind blown and a bit the worse for the Diesel Fumes but otherwise, in great shape.

I shall miss Bangkok.

So now were sat in the airport waiting for our flight and the next bit of the adventure.

If its half as good as Bangkok, it will be brilliant.

Photos to follow.





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