Angkor Wat

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hotel 89

Flag of Cambodia  ,
Saturday, July 3, 2010

We woke at about 7:45 to the alarm and for the first night in maybe 6 or 7 we had slept straight through and not woken up once. It may be expensive here 10 per night (for a single room) but Rorie and Emer are right this is Value. We went down for our free breako which was lovely. You struggle to get down to reception without wanting to hug all the people in reception they are the most friendly people you could meet, they have customer service down to a fine art.

After a breako of coffee, fresh fruit juice, bacon, eggs, toast, bananas, pinapple, lychees etc. We went to meet our driver. We had the same driver from yesterday who did the airport pick up. I think it works that the drivers pick you up from the airport for free on the basis they might get a good stable income from the tourists for a few days. It will suit the hotel fine as the drivers want to make sure you like them so they are lovely at the airport and all the rest of the time.

Well we started at Angkor Wat which was covered in scaffold (we already knew it was as R&E were here only two weeks ago and we considered a quick lie on the blog to wind them up, then thought better of it). Well it was nice in the end, I liked it Erica wasn't to keen. We both much preferred Angkor Thom which was the next stop, lots of Buddha’s carved into the spires, it was really effective and you kind of get lost inside. I’ll keep the next bit short. We then saw lots more temples and we are going looking at lots more tomorrow we have already almost forgotten how many we have been to and which one was which. End of temple discussion, Move on.

After a quick shower and discussion about Buddhism, I was ready to get back to what we do best. So I wrote Fergal is a tosser on my forehead and we wen’t out and got binned on cheap swig and had a fight with some Dutch people.... mmmm. Sorry we went out for a few beers and civilised bite to eat that was it. Old Age is boring isn’t it?

Back to reality and seriousness I have never seen as many amputees as in Siem Reap. When I visited Split (Croatia maybe 10 years ago) I always remembered the number of amputees there were presumably from land mines during the war. I would say Vietnam and Laos were probably worse from the Vietnam War. Siem Reap is a place the war mongers of the world should be forced to come and spend a bit of time. There are bands playing music everywhere consisting entirely of amputees and people trying to sell DVD’s and books etc as well as begging. We saw a guy yesterday with no arms or legs and you wonder how you can survive like that in one of the poorest 20 countries in the world. It’s horrible just to keep saying "NO", we will give a bit before we leave as we did in Laos and Sapa, but if you gave / bought off everyone not even Stevie X would have enough money. Again being an odd ball I always look at incentivisation and long term effects so if you give money to kids for example they will pester people more and more as only $1 is a huge amount of money for a rural family here (The Cambodian average annual wage is less than $300 according to wikipedia). If it becomes so common place that persistence is rewarded then people may stop coming and then the country is even more screwed (extreme I know but we have to justify being 'assertive’ to people who have nothing). ‘Andrew ponders, stares at the white wall questioning the morality of shouting “No thank you” in a stern and angry manner that makes people think he means “NO” 200 - 300 times a day’. Think India Andrew, think India get your mind back into hardcore mode. Someone will think you have a conscience soon.

Sorry I’m rambling again. Well I’m going to carry on because it means I’m drinking less. Cambodia is wierd, we have now been here for 36 hours and haven’t yet found anywhere that we can spend Cambodian currency. We went to the cash machine, that only gives US$, shops, bars, street food stalls, restaurants, bakeries, off licences etc all only price using US$, you then get a mixture of US$ and Cambodian Riel in change. Its something to do with the currency being very unstable.
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farknash on

fergal is a tosser

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