It was 4.50 am we were woken by our trusty friend Sophoryl calling us to say the original pick up time of 5.30 am would be late to catch sunrise. So we jumped up quickly and threw on some clothes before jumping into his tuk tuk. This was going to be our final glimpse of the temples of Angkor. As we made our way in the cover of darkness it was obvious we were not the only ones hoping to catch sunrise.
Approaching Angkor the crowds of people, with their torches like some sort of Lourdes Procession, walked towards the lake to get their prime spot for ‘That’ photo.The lake provides a good reflection as the sun comes up. Unfortunately it looked like the early wake up call had been too late to beat the Japanese and Chinese tourist buses. It was going to require John on his tip toes above the crowds.
There were plenty of clouds and the sun was taking its time, this meant many of the organised tours gave up and headed back to their hotels for their big American breakfast. Not the dynamic duo, we were patient( well Karen almost) as the crowds cleared the sun rose. It was worth the wait.
After lots of snapping it was back to our guest house for breakfast and to catch the bus to Phnom Penh.
As usual we found ourselves to be the only Western people on the bus. This is by no means a problem for us. In fact we enjoy it as the locals forget about us after a while and just act normally. It also means we get to watch Asian movies on the bus. We started with some karaoke DVD in Khmer before moving into a Jackie Chan movie – “Mr. Nice Guy”.
This was followed by another movie we couldn’t name that was a bizarre off the wall comedy that featured a spoof of the Pulp Fiction Dance Scene. Maybe some of our Asian readers can explain it to us.
Our journey was punctuated by repeated breakdowns of the bus. This prompted the driver to beat various sections of the engine with a wrench to produce the required response to get us going again.
Eventually we managed to make it to Phnom Penh and we were soon in the lobby of our guesthouse.
But where was our booking. It appeared that they had not received our email from AsiaRooms. After showing the owner the email he then made a big show of ringing AsiaRooms to sort it out. He picked up the phone and without dialing he engaged in a pantomime of speaking to AsiaRooms. It was a bit like in the movies, where some General picks up the phone and says “Get me the President!”
At this point the battle lines were drawn. He wanted to turf us over to his backpacker dorm place across the street for the same money. But we wanted the room we booked.
It ultimately came down to Karen being Scottish and not giving him an inch and with the prospect of making $0.00 off of us he relented and gave us the Apartment room for no extra money… With the complimentary breakfast we were originally promised.