We took the boat to Siam Reap, yes I know we're supposed to be cycling but it would have been about 200km of horrible, noisy, busy highway riding along the hard shoulder and we just didn't fancy that. Chatting to a fellow Aussie cyclist ( who lives in the little street we first lived in in Sydney- what are the chances of that?) the hills in Laos will more than make up for our current lame record of actually doing any pedalling at all.
The boat ride was an experience in itself mind you. A pleasure cruise it was not!
The boat broke down at one point but old capitano got a new, much better bit of string out of his 'special cupboard' and we were soon on our way again. We ran aground about 7 times and I lost count of the number of crashes into the bank, each one thrusting half a jungly mangrove bush into the paying punters. I was genuinely scared quite a few times as the boat tipped sideways and I thought we were going over. We all certainly got our $20 worth! Mind you, there was an Italian family who once they'd taken a few photos, sat there jabbering away, totally un aware of anything happening around them. They may just as well have been in a pizzeria in Milano. Bizarre.
After half an hour off for good behaviour (lunch stop) the river thankfully opened out and we could motor along without clutching on to the seats. Speaking of seats, the flat wooden plank benches made our bike saddles feel like luxury. Overall it was a bit of a day so far...
Once off the bloody boat (it was 10 hours all up), all we had to do was ride the 12km into Siam Reap, find a guest house and go out to explore what was hopefully to be a very interesting town. Well that's what we thought.... The map or road or something was wrong and we ended up doing a massive loop to get round into the city. All up we did about 30km with over half of that on sand tracks or red dusty road.
Finally we got into town and checked into the first reasonable guest house we found. All up we'd been on the go for 13 hours. I know, no sympathy but I thought I'd try it anyway.... Cheers x