After tackling the New Years crowds and the heat to see the ruins of Angkor Wat, we left Siem Reap behind and headed further west to our next destination in Cambodia, Battambang. The city of Battambang at first glance appears to be a scruffy city, dirty, crowded, and woefully uninteresting, but we soon discovered beneath the surface, many hidden jewels. We would get to experience more village life, take another great cooking class, see a million bats and ride some old train rails at breakneck speeds while sitting a piece of bamboo, and I got Krista and Bre to eat a rat!
After Phnom Penh we boarded a bus to Siem Reap, Cambodia, the home of Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is one the most recognizable archeological sites in the world, and we would be there for the Cambodian New Years Celebration. Cambodian New Year is a three day celebration, taking place mid April, and seems to be the biggest celebration of the year. Siem Reap, and Angkor Wat are a popular travel destination during the celebration, and we decided to fight the crowds in order to join in the party.
After Laos it was time to head into our last new country in Southeast Asia, Cambodia. We have friends from Cambodia and have heard a lot about the country and were quite looking forward to visiting and seeing all the sites we had heard so much about. Also for the first time on our trip around the world a friend from back home was flying out to meet us! So we jumped on a bus for what would turn out to be one of our craziest bus rides from southern Laos to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.