Angkor Wat..

Trip Start Oct 01, 2007
Trip End May 07, 2008

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Another day another bus!  We just about made the bus as the hotel girl decided to tell us 5 mins before we were due to leave that we had to cut across town to go to bus station and they were'nt picking us up! Ah well got Siam Reap after 6 hours in a non air con bus!  The lunch stop town was unbelievable dirty, unbelievably hot and we didnt bother eating any of the food with free flies on it!  They drop you outside town which is stupid so you have to barge your way through the hundreds of tuk tuk drivers who say a $1 to any hotel then give you the sob story about gasoline expensive give me more money or else they dont drive. 

Accomodation was ok bit out of town, staff nice and we had an hour's shower n rest time before we were on our way to do sunset trip to a temple in Angkor Wat vicinity.  The ticket you buy lasts you 24 hours so we decided to do the sunset trip the day we arrived and we also booked a tuk-tuk driver for all of it as the heat is too much to walk or cycle.  A 25 min walk up-hill to the temple and a scramble for a prime position to view the sunset.  We were sweating buckets along with the hundreds of others there. Unfortunatley the sun went down but behind a cloud so you didnt get to see it glimmer over the moat, not that we could see it anyway, the whole area is covered in amongst trees.  I think we were expecting Macchu Picchu again where everything is open in front of you.  Anyways we got a good viewing spot and got a nice tan on our bums as the stone slabs the temples are made of were roasting hot! Shower, food and a wander round the night market and home to bed to iron my Lara Croft outfit for an early start to a day of temples....

The area is just huge with hundreds of temples to view.  As we were on a timescale we just took the small tour.  Met our tuk-tuk driver (Roan) again who was really nice and we started with Angkor Wat itself.  Its pretty impressive and except for the very top of it you can pretty much walk in and out of it and all around it as much as you like.  Give it ten years and it will be all roped off I reckon.  They have started to repair/replace/maintain parts of it and you could imagine how grand it would have looked in its hey day so hopefully they do preserve it to a high standard.  The second temple was a bit older and through the South Gate of faces.  This was very impressive.  To be honest I cant remember the names and significance of all the temples and I think the pictures pretty much speak for themselves!   The heat is just unnatural and you have to go around the temples at a slow pace.  Theres a fair bit of climbing and the steps are very steep and narrow but the cool stone inside in the shade is fab. 

Lunch and the comparasions of the prices of things at home and in Cambodia with Roan and we were back to a nice tuktuk breeze to the next temple.  There were a few in between this like the palace gardens, a former library etc but this last main one was the one that Angelina Jolie made part of Tomb Raider in.  Its the one in the photos of the tree roots growing in between the stones etc.  This was Conor's fave and it was pretty impressive and one of the more popular ones.  All in all we had a great day, its a very impressive place and well worth visiting.  Another great "wonder of the world" we've seen now.  Cambodia relies on money from countries like Japan to help with conservation of the temples.  Hopefully the Cambodian government will put money into conserving it themselves which will give the people jobs and help them live in better conditions and not pump all the money into giant fancy hotels. 

Met up with Phil n Emma again for drinks for the last time, a snoop round the markets and a thimble for Annie!  Up early for a flight to Malaysia....exciting stuff!
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