Mrs Woog visits Cambodia – Part One

Greetings from the Mekong River where I have joined up with roughly 20 retired couples from Denmark and Holland. Did you know that both these countries citizens are not so fond of the Swiss? Neither did I until last night.

But more about the cruise during the week. Today I would like to address what we did during our 48 hours in Siem Reap.

For those new to this blog (hello and good day to you) we left you in suspense when I sprung on you that my Mum had asked to come along on a River cruise through Cambodia, up into Vietnam. And because I am a specialist when it comes to free travel, I agreed.

Mr. Woog and the boys practically threw me in the cab on the way to the airport, and I swear as we drove down the road, I heard them all whoop with joy. Darling if you are reading this, go nuts but PLEASE make sure they have at least one shower, preferably on the day that I return.

But back to our trip. After travelling for an eternity, Mum and I disembarked at Siem Reap airport. And know I shall share with you a travel tip.

DO NOT FUCK WITH THE CUSTOMS PEOPLE IN CAMBODIA. DO NOT ATTEMPT HUMOUR OR CHARM. ACCEPT THE FACT THAT YOU WILL BE SNARLED AT AND YOUR PASSPORT WITH BE THROWN AT YOU. Behave in a robotic fashion and take comfort in the fact that every single person will be treated in the same way. Even Madonna.

We turned up late at night to the glorious Victoria Ankor Hotel, where I wearily greeted the reception folk, requested a LARGE gin and tonic, which washed down a sleeping tablet and was good night folks.

Waking in a new country is one of the greatest things, in my own humble opinion. You step out into a new world, where the sights and smells are all foreign. I walked around grinning like the sleep-deprived idiot I was, while we arranged a car and driver to take us to the famous temples of Siem Reap.

Sopporan turned up an hour later and as soon as we got in the van, Mum pulled out her pencil and notebook and started firing off questions. What was the population? What was the religious breakdown of said population? What was the unemployment rate? What were the main products grown for export markets and exactly who were their main trading partners?

Sopporan knew the answer to everything. I asked Mum is there was going to be a test at the end of the day. She said there would be. It was only when we approached the main Temple of Ankor Watt that Mum stopped talking. You see it in pictures and stuff, but nothing can compare you with its enormous impact when you are standing in front of it. Like a tiny little ant.

We set off to explore the temple and it must be said, the intricacy of the carving was spectacular. It has truly stood the test of time. It also was like a giant jungle gym, with quite the workout to be had. Sopporan explained that we were not longer able to climb the very steep stairs up to the top of the main temple due to the fact that a Korean gentleman met his death following an unplanned, quick descent a few years back.

Having spent the morning doing cardio, we stopped for a rest before we took Sopporan on an adventure that all men adore. We went shopping. Mum was concerned that she would not have time to find a lovely silk scarf as a momento, so we were directed to an open-air market where there were thousands and thousands on offer. I purchased a fierce pencil case with a tiger on it for Horatio, and a silver trinket box for Jack which were both made in Cambodia and I am pretty sure they will toss it aside and ask where the giant Toblerone is, when I return.

The next morning we checked out and presented ourselves to the tour gang organising the river cruise. As I walked into a room of bellowing elderly Europeans, I turned to Mum and asked, “What the fuck have you signed us up for?”

To be continued… CLICK HERE

PS am not ageist. Am factual