All in all its just another tree in the wall...

Trip Start Feb 28, 2012
Trip End Nov 22, 2012

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What I did
The Temples of Angkor

Flag of Cambodia  , Khétt Siĕm Réab,
Friday, April 6, 2012

OK, so we get to the temples of Angkor…. Some of you will have seen some, and if your brave, all of the photos I uploaded – I mean – I like to take photos, not usually scenery/scenic type shots but this place was so amazing, and added to that, we went for sunset and sunrise on all 3 days, well, you can see some of the imagery we saw which is the best natural and historically manmade structures and scenery I have ever seen…. I am reading a book now called Brother Number 1: The Pol Pot story (the one off the kid at the market in Siem reap for $3 – oh and I didn't tell you, that was on the last night of the temples tour and at the end of the night I wanted a foot massage at this huge outdoor place with a big football screen so I could watch arsenal v man city at the same time: utter bliss, a one hour foot massage, football and all for $3!! But Steve went back as he doesn’t like massages or anyone touching him he doesn’t know but after on my way home I went in the internet café as my guesthouses didn't work at all and guess who was in there….? The two kids who needed that money for clothes and school and to live! One saw me and looked really guilty and put his head down but I really didn’t mind) anyway, back to the story, yes in the book it says that Angkor temples were built around 1200 (not midday) and apparently they housed more people than the rest of Cambodia put together!! I think the whole site itself is approx 100km2.

Anyway, the plan was set and really all that there is to tell is shown in the pictures. The only things I can really think of off the top of my head was on day 3 we were again due to be up and away at 5am for the sunrise but me and steve went out the night before and stayed out, probably in celebration that dorothy decided not to join us, and we got in at 4am and I had told Steve that night I wasn’t going next day and would tell when I got back which I did but in the morning when Dorothy went to see the tuk tuk driver booked and explained she couldn’t afford on her own he asked her to try again which she did and when she woke me I woke up still worst for wear, not even remembering I had said I wasn’t going and just woke and said "yes, I am coming, give me 2 minutes" and it wasn’t until about 30 mins in to the tuk tuk drive I started to come round and realize the trick she had cleverly played on me! So me and Steve are like zombies pretty much all morning, well all day for steve! And the 2nd temple is up a 1500m mountain in intense heat which me and steve try but after 1 step we both simultaneously just stop and say “no way!” and tell her we will get a coffee and wait for her… so we go to a food stand… ok, I have to explain these ,they are just like outdoor café’s but all look exactly the same and are joined on to each other and in a row you might get 10-12 stands all with red plastic chairs and tables outside, but they all, or nearly all have women or children with menu’s just waiting in prey for any customer because they charge about 3 or 4 times normal prices here so customers are big business, and they see you probably using some extra Cambodian sense they have or otherwise have google maps loaded and see you coming before you even get there but before you have even decided to go there, they are running over to you, waving menu’s asking if you want breakfast, coffee, coke… all sorts and sometimes there are arguments between them but one thing I have noticed is that age preceeds any other factor and the more senior you are, the more battles you will win! Joking aside though, I do like the respect for elders here but sometimes a younger person will comment at an older person about maybe their driving of a motorbike, their getting in the way or in this case them stealing business but the minute they do,the elder person merely says one slightly snappy line back and the youngster backs straight down – it happens like that every time and in every instance…. Anyway, we just walk straight to the first one that appeals and have a coffee but while we have them we are slumped in the chairs, yawning and obviously looking a little tired so the café woman points behind us to two hammocks at the back but still in the café that the staff and children use and she simulates with hand gestures that we are tired and we can rest on the hammocks…. So  and steve both take one and then Dororthy is waking us up… its been 2 hours apparently and we have both been sparko’d the whole time! The poor café woman… she just offered us a little rest and we both flake out for 2 hours in her café, and steve snores too! So she must have been seething! But in true khmer style she left us to it and was jovial about the whole thing and happy we were just both OK – all that for 2 $1coffee’s so in my guilt I bought a can of fanta as we left!!

Not long after we stopped for something to eat, and I spot a little tucked away small stand where some tuk tuks are who are waiting for their rides to finish viewing temples… and as we walk up the woman makes a big fuss with big smiles so I know straight away its not a tourist stop for definite which I like instantly… now for those of you who have seen the photo’s you might know whats coming but got those who haven’t, here’s what I had… all she had were these sort of spring rolls I have had before but they are made of wrapped lettuce leafs tightly wrapped in the shape of a spring roll and with chopped cucumber and pork in usually and they come with like a peanut/satay oil based sauce and they are very refreshing and the only other thing I see is eggs boiling, and if I haven’t mentioned it, the egss here are amazing, the yolk is more like a creamy cheese so I order 2 eggs and she is laughing as she is serving me and I just think its because she is excited we are there… but she serves them with a small bowl of pepper and some salad leaves; not unusual but usually you just get the eggs…. Now there is a tuk tuk driver there too and he tells us by showing us with his hands, to tap the top of the egg with a spoon to break it and take it off which I do only to find some liquidy juice coming out and when I open her up I just see this dark, almost black stuff… so I look up and then just from the womans face and the tuk tuk drivers too know I am eating something weird here and at that moment it dawns on me what they are because all the while we are sat there I have had my dinners brothers and sisters running round my feet..! And then  I remember seeing a food sign somewhere I thought was a joke which said 'Boiled duck feotus”..!! And yes, you guessed, I am eating, well it’s a chicken, not a duck, but one that’s part formed, I mean its developed from the yolk and white into a chicken and the dark stuff is feathers!! As I am eating it I can make out the head, I think a small beak and thin bones but its so newly formed they are all just soft but I gotta tell you it was gorgeous, seriously tasty and I have had several since too…. OK, so some of you are repulsed and probably hate me right now but you know, when in Rome…

Other than that the third day improved as the hangover disappeared and at the last temple, a small one on top of another steep mountain, I did this one but Steve sat it out and I’m glad I did as at the top were 2 wartime anti-aircraft artillery guns which you could sit in, rotate the rotating arm and maneouvre the gun and turret round with a great view of pretty much all of Cambodia! (slight exaggeration) plus in one of the temples ceilings there were bats, only about 15ft away but when the temple is only about 10x10 foot inside and your looking up and they fly about and land again it is pretty scary, they were pretty big too, about the size of…. a mid sized bat..?!

So the next step was to go to Battambang and initially me and steve were going to do this 8 hour or so boat journey up which was meant to have great scenery, and Dorothy had said she would save money and get the bus but at the last minute decided on the boat…. Just another straw to the very imminent dumping of Dorothy. So next morning, up early again, we got the boat to Battambong.

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Carrie on

WOW and DOUBLE WOW - what amazing photos, not sure which are the most awesome, the temples or the trees. Some great sunset shots - must do a painting of one of them.

Love n hugs, miss you lots xxxxxxxxxxxx

Delly on

Loadsa great pics bro - tree-tastic!!! I know what you mean, there's something about big old trees that have been there through the test of time that lure me in too! Some great one's in that deck, and love that you even found a gal with an arsenal wrist band haha!

Keep em' coming and look forward to hearing the stories behind the pics xxx

kerry on

WOW LEE! amazing so jealous wish I was there to experience that! Paul and I are adding that to our list of places to see! Loving your blogs still feel like I am there with you as you describe everything so well and in detail, not so keen on the Foetus eating though I would have to pass on that!
Missing you lots now can;t believe its been 8 weeks so far, so pleaseed you are having an amazing time. love you lots Kerry & paul xxxxxx

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