In the backstreets of Khao San road, Bangkok once again and after Cambodia everything just seems so sedate and un-unnerving that I can’t believe I felt a bit edgy when I first arrived in Bangkok! Funny how things change isn’t it?

The last few days in Siem Reap were pretty chilled out. By chilled out I mean we didn’t spend the whole day running around temples like Indiana Jones (or Lara Croft in Dom’s case {;) – instead hanging out in town and getting drunk on the local cocktails. Khmer spirit is not to be recommended unfortunately tasting something like lighter fluid, or at least what I imagine lighter fluid tastes like, but with no kick at all. Yashka’s 26th birthday was much reason for merriment and all had a splendid night eating at Dead Fish again and feeding the crocodiles. Then onto Angkor What? where stayed up late chatting with Kate about everything and anything and finding out that Angelina Jolie’s Cambodian pad is only a mere 4 hours by road, but 20 minutes by helicopter, from Siem Raep (thanks to Max for that).

One thing I found out as a side effect of that late night was that Siem Reap is busiest with locals at dawn. Everyone seems to be up and about, with the light lovely for photos and everyone bustling around happily. The boats on the river in the morning mist were stunning.

Next day had to get up early for the bump-tastic ride back to Poi Pet in a van that was nowhere near as plush (or empty – especially with the rugsacs wedged all around me) as the one we arrived in, but made up for that with a manic speed that got us to the border in half the time of the journey down. I suspect the driver’s horn was wired directly to his accelerator, indicator and possibly side mirror adjustment lever though – as it was keeping us accompaniment the whole way back. Cambodian national anthem maybe?

So now back in Bangkok – and it feels very tame compared to Cambodia. Can’t say I’m missing the acrid sting and small of the nightly burn of all rubbish though, but apart from that I am missing everything else – the smiling people, saying ‘Oour kuhm chiran’, the manic street ‘rules’ for cars and just the sheer visceral impact of it all. Oh, except that drinks are now B10 instead of 50 centsplus and the rooms here are dirt cheap – so my budget has suddenly extended out for months more. Huzah! Getting some films developed now for about 50p each.. sweet.

Off to breakfast now… then finalising plans for next stage of trip. Ko Tao is looking to be the next port of call then onto the other islands on that side of Thailand for more diving, sun and chilled times. Looking forward to lying on a beach immensely – but a hammock will do me as the sun sets over the sea. Bliss.

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