Dream Come True

Trip Start Jan 19, 2013
Trip End Feb 02, 2013

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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It is hard for me to actually put into words what it was like to go to Angkor Wat. I heard about it for the first time in an Archaeology class that I took years ago and became more familiar with it through things like the Tomb Raider movies.  It is a site that most people would recognize, even if they didn't know the name of it and it could easily be classified as one of the man-made wonders of the world.  When I heard that a number of people would be going to both Thailand and Cambodia for their winter break it was an easy choice to follow in their footsteps.

            Carlo and I booked a tour through our guest house that would bring us to all of the Angkor sites in the span of three days.  We got up and moving rather early to make sure that we were ready for our first big day out.  We saw Ben at breakfast and said our good-byes as he headed back to South Korea.  After we had eaten we were picked up by our rickshaw driver and our official tour guide named Nani.

            We climbed into the rickshaw and Nani gave us some history and statistics about Siem Reap and the Angkor temple complex.  We went to our first stop which would take us through the south gate of Angkor Thom and to the Bayon temple.  I was instantly struck as all of the images that I had known of Angkor became a reality to me.  Carlo and I swapped the camera back and forth between us, snapping an incredible number of pictures of the ruins.  Nani led us around, chattering about the history and the imagery of what we were seeing. 

            We went back to the rickshaw and were then taking to Bapuon temple, Phimeanakas temple, and the Leper king terrace.  After a certain point the sites sort of start to blend together as you walk through the various courtyards beneath the blazing sun.  It is difficult to keep track of the details of everything that we did as the colors bleed into one another until they are one big, beautiful day of adventure.  We walked up and down steps at a number of places and each one was unique but similar.

            After the Leper king terrace (which was one of my favorites) we took a break for lunch.  Nani took us to a nice little restaurant and we all ordered fried yellow noodles with chicken.  We enjoyed our food together as we took advantage of the fan that was positioned conveniently above our table.  It was a nice rest, but we weren’t down for long.  We had more to do today before we would really be able to rest.

            Nani led us to Bakheng mountain temple for a tour there, and then it was to the famous Angkor Wat.  The Angkor Wat temple is much bigger than you might expect and we wandered through its halls as Nani explained the stories depicted in the bas relief images.  We took a break for a while, sitting in ancient window sills as she told us the history that was held in Angkor Wat.  We circled around some more and then decided to climb to the top.  It was magnificent.  We climbed up flights of wooden stairs until we were perched up in the towers that over looked the rest of Angkor.  We snapped our fill of pictures, looking out the windows at the lands far below.  Finally we were finished but we walked out of Angkor Wat, exhausted but satisfied.
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Mom on

I understand why you've always dreamed of visiting this fantastic place. It's a memory you'll have for a lifetime, in your mind and through the amazing photos you and Carlo took. You know, you really should consider photography and/or writing as a career.

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