What a difference a day can make!

Trip Start Jan 09, 2006
Trip End Aug 15, 2006

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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Saturday, May 6, 2006

Holy crap! What a difference a day can make. Apparently you have to pay your dues to earn the right to enjoy all that Cambodia has to offer. Trust me when I say, "It's Worth It!" We're smitten...

OK, lets back up a bit. We slept late, enjoyed A/C and a hot shower and TV. We woke new people and ready to kick Cambodia in the teeth if need be. It wasn't necessary. We hopped a moto/carrage do-hicky into town and made our way to The Shadow of Angkor Guesthouse. Guess what! They had A/C and cable as well! We're living large now! Downstairs in the bar, the beer was flowing and it was cheap cheap. The real cheap cheap kind, not the scam kind. The food was really good and it was time for me to hit the big 3-7...

The celebration was held at a bar called 'Angkor What?'. It started with happy hour drinks and shots till around 3 am. I'm told I had a great time and managed to blow a good $70. Seeing as $70 can feed a family of 5 over here for several weeks I better have had a good time....

Now, the people:

The Cambodian people are simply some of the nicest people we have met to date. They smile at the drop of a hat and are quick to laugh at bad joke we make, but more importantly, they laugh easily amoungst themselves. They are some of the happiest and most jovial people we have met to date and will go out of their way to asist in anywat possible. Their hagglers and touts smile when you say 'No thank you' and leave it at that. No one hounds you for blocks at a time, they simply smile and nod and just seem happy that you are there. And, despite our first impressions, we are and we find it harder to leave by the day. What a wonderful people....

The old town of Siem Riep is lovely. The streets are shit there but they are busting their collective asses to get the place fixed up. Cambodia was a French colony for many years so it has all of the charm of French architecture that we folks from New Orleans love without all the Spanish iron work. Siem Riep would be one more pot hole town on the road to Phom Phem if it were not for one little attraction. Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is actually a collection of ancient Wats (temples) that dates back to the 1100's and earlier. The complex covers huge areas of land and contains many temple complexes. One of the largest and most famous is Angkor Wat. This thing is amazing and huge. Not the oldest temple in the complex it is still an incredable site, especially at sunrise. Rach and I hopped a local moto taxi, basically a motorcycle with a little carriage attached to the seat of the bike, and headed out to explore. It took us a good two days to explore the Ankor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayan and many other temples and we still missed alot. Most of what we missed was either still under restoration or much further out so it wasn't that big of a loss.

After exploring Siem Riep and the old city we found we had covered most of the 'must see' sites and we decided we must move on. Mind you, we could have stayed for days and longer but time to explore this wonderful country was limited so off we went....

....hoping for better roads and better buses and less scams...

The Mooner Wats
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