The temples of Angkor

Trip Start Jun 30, 2009
Trip End Sep 30, 2009

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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Monday, July 6, 2009

Alice signing in. We woke up early as we arranged for a tuk tuk driver to pick us up at 0500 to watch the sunrise at Angkor Wat. Unfortunately HE didn't show up until 0700... So, having missed the sunrise we made our way to Angkor Wat for some daylight sightseeing. The temples were stunning. They felt very ancient and atmospheric. The place was overrun by children selling souvenirs. Having rewatched Slumdog Millionaire on the plane, I caved in and paid well over the odds for some bracelets and postcards from two very cute kids, much to Jon's dismay.

Close to Angkor Wat and the walled city Angkor Thom was another temple called Tha Prohm, where some of Tomb Raider was filmed. It was amazing to see how nature had reclaimed the site, with trees growing on the roofs of ruined buildings and crumbling rocks everywhere.

After Angkor Wat we went to a floating village on Tomle Sap Lake. It was fascinating to see how people lived in boat shacks which moved location due to the season. But it was also quite difficult as ontop of the $30 we paid for the boat trip, we were guilted into buying pens and paper for the floating village school for orphans. But there was a huge markup on the pens and paper in the shop they took us to, and we ended up wishing that we'd skipped the trip altogether and given $30 directly to the school. The boat driver, having regaled us with tales of his tough upbringing, took us to a fish farm where we saw crocodiles, turtles and catfish, and held a large python. We politely declined the offer of buying some snake to eat though, for ethical reasons and me being a scaredy-cat.

We returned to the guesthouse pretty exhausted. I promptly fell asleep whilst Jon went and made a new friend in the bar downstairs, an English guy called Ben. Having lived in Bangkok and the Philippines and traveled a lot in the area, he was a good source of info, and Jon may have scored us some free accommodation in Bangkok or the Philippines should we choose to go.
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