With Sydney 12 hours behind me and quarter of the way around the world, I arrived in the Kingdom of Cambodia. The first thing to hit you is the tropical heat and humidity. Visa collected, customs passed, I found my guide, driver and car awaiting me outside. I was whisked away to my hotel and to the welcome chance to catch up on some sleep. While preparing to retire I found I had been bitten by something on the calf muscle in Australia, mostly likely a spider by the look of it. Anyway, I decided to have a cold beer and a ciggy on the terrace of my room before retiring. Boy, was that a mistake!!!!! I woke in the morning with a swollen left leg (same one the spider bit) cover in 20-30 mosquito bites. Immediately, thoughts of malaria & dengue fever crossed ones mind. Should I visit a doctor or not? A raft of advice from friends in the health system saying I should, however, being a typical kiwi male with a “she’ll be right attitude,” it was off to do some sightseeing (albeit covered in insect repellant).
Day 1: I had the chance to explore the town of Siem Reap on my own and acclimatise to the motor-scooter & tuk-tuk traffic chaos of Cambodian streets, or more correctly, try to survive it in one piece while attempting to cross the road. I took the chance to wander around the Psar Chass (Old Market) and hunt for some presents for friends back home. End up finding some oil-paintings for myself. By late afternoon the leg was beginning to swell so armed with some local Cambodian beer I retired to the hotel to put the leg up, enjoy a dip in the pool, and a nice cold one! The evening was spent investigating the Cambodian night-life and sampling the local cuisine. A quiet day in all. Good preparation for the intensive days ahead exploring the Angkor area.