Temples and rain.. lots of rain

Trip Start Aug 27, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Golden Temple Villa Siem Reap
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Cambodia  ,
Friday, September 23, 2011

We got picked up from our hotel in Koh Chang at 7 in the morning. At about 2 we arrived at the border which is nothing like I'd experienced before. Very busy and quite unofficial but we got our stamps and arrived in Siem Reap at 6pm. We were suppose to be dropped off by the bus station but because they had received so much rain over the last few days the town was flooded! We got driven by a free tuktuk to the Golden Temple Villa where we had booked for 2 nights. After a very wet and bumpy tuktuk ride we got dropped off, got our room key and had a shower. Decided to go for some dinner and to book the 20 min complimentary traditional Khmer massage. It's quite similar to a Thai massage but a little more gentle.

Saturday morning we got up and saw it was raining so booked a cooking class for the afternoon. Got picked up by tuktuk again as the water was about 30cm high. There was another guy that had booked the class from our hotel and it turned out to be just the 3 off us for the class which was great. On the menu was fresh springrolls, Khmer Amok and banana dessert for me and green bean dessert for Stu. Had loads of fun and took lots of photo's. Spring rolls and the Amok were nice but the dessert won't be something we'll order again soon! In the evening Stu taught Calvin, who we did the cooking class with, to play shithead (card game) and had some food and had an early night.

Sunday had an early start as we had booked a van together with Calvin and his friend Sandra to visit Bang Malea and the Roulos Group temples. When we arrived at Bang Melea the weather was good, almost sunny! It had said somewhere that it would have an Indiana Jones feel to it and it really did. A guide took us around the ruins and it was a proper climb from rock to rock a little scary (or at least to me, didn't seem to bother Stu) but it was beautiful and really good fun. Next the driver took us to 3 other temples, much smaller but a lot more intact. The Rolous Group which includes Preah Ko, Bakong and Lolei, and is the oldest site open to visitors. After Lolei we went back to the hotel and booked a massage for in the evening. Great way to finish the day!

Monday we lazied around which proved to be a stupid thing to have done as the weather was dry but Tuesday when we had booked a tuktuk for the day to take us to all the temples (inc Angkor Wat) it rained.. a lot.. Still went and made the most of it but the rain was a little bit of a downer. Angkor Wat was beautiful and I can imagine it has more of an impact at sunset or with blue skies. The next temple we went to was Angkor Thom which was pretty amazing, this is also where they filmed bits of Tomb Raider. The next few were lovely but smaller and when we arrived at the last one, the battery of the camera was almost dead and we were tired and a little wet but decided to do the last one and head back. So glad we did see the last one as this had some amazing overgrown trees. For me the trees were more of a sight than the temple it self and it finally stopped raining!! All in all a good day after all.

Wednesday morning we went to the reception to add 1 more night but got told all was booked so we had to leave. Because of that we decided to leave Siem Reap one day earlier and booked a bus for Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, at 1.30 for us to arrive at 7. We had a few hours time so had a look for places to stay and booked at the fancy guesthouse.

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