Visiting Angkor Wat/Angkor Thom etc

Trip Start Aug 14, 2006
Trip End Sep 04, 2006

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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Monday, August 28, 2006

Yesterday for dinner I met up with my driver, Peter, to go to dinner. We went to a typical Cambodian place a bit out of the city with no tourists. I wanted to have a proper Cambodian meal in a Cambodian setting. As a starter we had fried frog with ginger, and for the main course some beef brain soup! Yummy! Haha. I went to bed quite early yesterday after dinner.

This morning I got up at 4:30...showered, got dressed, then met Peter (cost: $15 for the day) who drove me to Angkor Wat. I bought a one-day pass and went in in the dark. Quite a few tourists were coming in...all waiting for the beautiful sunset above the temple with it's 5 towers. I stood, took pictures, walked around, took more pictures for quite a while. Once the sun was in the sky (making the temple glow almost) I went inside to have a look around. Magnificent. Afterwards I had breakfast nearby (mango pancake and a banana shake).

The rest of the morning and noon was spent looking at all kinds of temples in the huge complex. Peter would always drive me to the next location and then literally wait for me until I wanted to leave whenever I wanted. There were 10 stops or more. Next location was Angkor Thom, which is a complex of a few temples and ruins together. All of these are nearly 1000 years old and truely astounding. I spent hours walking, climbing up very steep stairs to the temples, taking tons of pictures and exploring. Bayon was one of my favorite, with hundreds of smiling faces carved into hard stone looking down at you. It was also great exploring all the walls and ruins around all of Angkor Thom. There were quite a few good stops outside of Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat too though, we did the grand circle and part of the small circle and saw nearly everything. There were quite a few tourists around, but they spread out after sunrise so it wasn't too bad. There seemed to be loads of Japanese tourists, and only a fraction Western tourists. Met nice people here and there that I talked to for a bit to get tips what to do next or what they had seen so far or just have a chat. Ta Prohm was another one of my favorite temples. Hardly restored and full of vines and huge trees that grow on the walls and have their roots going all the way to the ground were just amazing. This is also the temple that part of Tomb Raider was filmed in a few years ago. Highly recommended. During the day I kept eating fresh fruit (dragon fruit, pineapple, bananas etc) and drinking coconut juice or water. Very refreshing.

The weather has been great all day...ridiculously hot...sunny...only a few clouds here and there. I have been sweating like crazy, so I'm about to go back home and take a cold shower and then probably relax for a bit. If the weather is still nice in a little while I will go back with my driver for sunset at the temple ruins. Only one week left of travelling now! I'm having a great time. See you later!
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