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running away Traveling south east asia, china, australia, new zealand and america. wherever the mood takes me!

siem reap

CAMBODIA | Sunday, 9 November 2008 | Views [636]

I awoke late the next morning, so I decided I wouldn't go to angkor wat that day I would go tomorrow instead. But I would go and try to see the sunset as I heard that it was free to go see the sunset at night as you wouldn't be able to do much. I suppose to save money you could go to each temple individually at sunset. But it would take like a month. Ha ha

so I thought I would take it easy for the moment and have a look at siem reap. I walked towards the old part of town. To go and have some lunch, I took my malaria tablet before I left and it took me awhile to walk there so by the time I arrived I started to feel abit queasy. I noticed that lately that if I haven't got food in my stomach the malaria tablet can make me feel ill. I don't remember feeling like that at the beginning of thee trip so I wonder if I'm coning more sensitive to it so spent some time trying to eat but gave up after awhile. I went walking around the town to see what was there. I ended up by the river which was very nice.

I went to see a couple of temples that were in siem reap itself, and especially wat bo, which was the temple just down the road from manfreds place. I was reading in the book that wat bo was the oldest temple and was unique as it had paintings on the wall. I think of the word for them right now. I also read that they meditated on a Friday at half past 3 so I wanted to go there then to have a look.

Before I went to booked myself on a bus to pheomh phen and got myself a bike to use around siem reap. I had decided to cycle my way around the temples and see how I got on. So I cycled to wat bo and locked my bike to a stand that was outside it. A small group of three had just arrived before me on bikes also. So I followed them in.

I was taking pictures as I was walking around, the light is nice as the sun was quite low in the sky but as I made my way around the temple. It seemed to be closed. But the group that arrived ahead of me were talking to a monk there and he opened it up for them. So I followed them inside. It was nice in there and we all knelt in front of the Buddha image and the monk showed us how to bow. Which was while on our knees you bow down three times.

I then got to walk around inside the temple. And have a look at the many images there. It was really nice. As I was leaving the temple I then noticed I didn't have my keys with me. So I had to go back to the monk who had locked the door already if I could have a look inside to see if the keys were there. But it was taking me ages to take my shoes off again so he found them for me before I hadn't both shoes off. I guess I was so enthralled but bowing to Buddha I left them behind. Ha ha

of course when I went to unlock my bike it wouldn't unlock. I couldn't believe it. And there was a group of Khmer guys sitting on the stand I had locked it to and were looking at me. I didn't know what to do. So one guy decided to try and help and try turning the key to open it. Turning the key wasn't the problem. The key was turning but so was the whole mechanism. That guy didn't have any help so another guy tried. In the mean time them were looking at the stand having the same idea as I was which was to lift it over but the post was enclosed. So lifting wasn't going to help. At this stage I just had to laugh and it was also starting to rain. What luck I was having.

All of a sudden the lock opened, I was so happy and I started to thank the guy profusely. I'm wasn't sure how he did it but it was done. He then tried to get it closed again and couldn't I started to giggle again saying it was OK. He made the motion to throw it away, which I thought was very funny. If worse came to worst I would bring it back to the bike rental to get a new one. I made it back to manfreds place before I got to wet. I was going to try for the sunset but it didn't look like there was going to be one.

I had a shower and went online for awhile wondering if manfred was going to be back for dinner at some stage.

When he hadn't turned up by 8 O. clock I decided I would head to the old part of the town for dinner and then head to the night market to see what was around.

I had fun in the night market. I wanted to buy one of the checked scarfs from Cambodia which they called karmas. I was just expecting a couple of different colours but they had loads of all colours of the rainbow. And the silk scarfs were lovely too. And I'm not one for scarfs. I could have bought a lot there for not a lot of money. I was laughing though, cause a lot of the time I was just wondering what price they were mostly. I could have bought a mesh hammock for 9 dollars which went down to 2 dollars by the time I walked away. I saw some amber necklaces, whether it was real amber I couldn't say, but she said 25 dollars and was down to 6 dollars by the time I walked away. I couldn't believe it. It was funny though, I thought anyway. I arrived back to the apartment, and manfred was back. He said I had just missed his girlfriend, who works at the childrens hospital in the town. Which was fine with me I wasn't in the mood to make small talk.

The next morning, manfred was still there when I awoke and got ready to leave. I wanted to get going early as I was cycling down and around the wats today. I organised with manfred to meet later for dinner and set off. A couple of km outside of the town was a check point were everyone had to buy there ticket to see the temples. I didn't realise the price of them would be so expensive. 20 dollars for one day, 40 dollars for 3 days and 60 dollars for the week. If I was going to be there for the week I would have gone for the 60 dollars one but as it was I was heading off the next day at one O. clock.

So I decided to go for the one day pass, cause if I wanted to go again tomorrow to see the sunrise I would just pay for a new ticket but if not I wasn't out another 20 dollars.

So after receiving my ticket I went on my merry way. It was real nice cycling around. Though the more I saw people zoom by me on the motorbikes. The more I wanted to learn to ride. I arrived at the first temple it some really hot heat and of course I was perspiring like nothing before, I know it was from cycling but wow. When I arrived I was being proposed by a charming girl asking me if I wanted a guide book, very cheap. I was interested in seeing it, so I went with her. As it turned out it wasn't a guide book per say but a book on angkor wat itself. I was interested but I didn't want to be carrying around another book on my shoulder. So I declined which was very hard to do, so I told her I would like on it. As i left her other girls had come up asking me to buy their wears. One girl asked me to buy a postcard to send to my boyfriend, when I told her I had no boyfriend, hoping that would shut her up, she goes and says you don't have boyfriend cause you don't buy my postcards. Ha ha. Smart little one. So I told her if she could find me a boyfriend i would buy her postcards. She then asked me would I have a Khmer boyfriend. Ha ha. Another girl said did I want scarf to wipe off sweat? Ha ha. I guess I was sweating a lot and they were cheap only 1 dollar when I paid 3 for one the night before. So I bought one more and it worked great for wiping the sweat off me. Ha ha.

Angkor wat was quite impressive, and walking around it, there was so much to see. I could have had just spent the day at the one temple. The relief cravings were really nice and really well done.

Its hard to find the words to express it. As I was walking around there was quite a few wedding parties there getting there picture taken. The whole party wore the same colour outfits. It was really nice.

Leaving the temple I didn't get away from the girls that were trying to sell me the book or the postcards. I didn't buy the book but I did buy the postcards as the girl said I could have her brother as a boyfriend. Ha ha

I went off cycling towards the next temple which was bayon temple. I decided I would go for something to eat there. It was getting quite hot by the time I arrived there so I was happy stop for food and watch people as they went by. As I saw one guy go buy, the girls were trying to get him buy some postcards and other stuff and he says to them ,you want massage? It was really funny. They didn't know what to do. Someone was asking them did they want something. Well it worked so he was able to walk off with the girls looking after him all confused.

So I went in to see bayon temple, there seemed to be a lot of stones lying around so I don't know if they had fallen down or taken down, but there seemed to scaffolding on one side of the temple so it looked like they were conserving it. As I was walking in I met the guy that offered the girls massages on his way out and I had to say to him that I loved his response to their constant bartering. He was telling it really works. Which I believed as I saw him use it. I told him I might have to steal it off him. Ha ha

The temple was interesting also and looked older than angkor although they say it was built after. There was a good climb up to the top which I really liked. And there were pillars everywhere with four faces on them pointing in four directions. As I was wandering around, I came upon a monk who was sitting down in one of the windows. At this stage it was starting to rain again and as I walked by, we started to talk and he invited me to sit up beside him to get out of the rain. He told me that the four faces represented the four different faces of Buddha Also told me that the rock was transported down from the mountains in the north and that they had elephants to help build it.

I found out his name was sareth and he actually lived in a temple in phnom penh. So we swapped emails and he invited me to come see him when I go to phnom penh. The rain had stopped so I said good bye and left bayon wat and cycled onto the next one. After bayon I came across a few steps and an arch way. I wasn't sure if I would go in or not. On the map it said it was the elephant Terrance and I wanted to see that so I parked the bike. As I was going through I met the massage guy again. Ha ha he asked me if I was following him. Ha ha. I asked was it any good and he said it was nice enough, so I left him saying I'll probably see him somewhere else on the way.

As I walked in I was met by a guy who was showing me rubbings off the cravings from angkor wat. I was interested I went with him so his little stall, where he pulled out different ones. He had plain coloured ones and gold and silver ones. I liked the brown and black one. He said that Americans tend to go for the flashy one and Europeans go for the other ones. Ha ha.

I asked him where the elephant Terrance was and he said its as you come in. ha ha I had walked right by it. He told me then to go past the temple as I couldn't climb it and see the bathing holes further on. He said the there was two holes, the small one for the men and the larger one for the women. The temple itself he told me was called the palace of stars in English. And that there used to be a palace behind it when it was first built and that was were the king lived. Its not there any more as it was made of wood. I made sure to look more closely to the steps when I left and I did notice the elephants this time. Ha ha.

I left there and went towards ta phrom which was suppose to be great. On the way it started to rain really hard so I stopped and sheltered under a tree. I slowed down after abit so I left again but of course it started again. I took shelter again but it really poured this time and I got quite wet. When it eased up abit I decided to continue on. I couldn't get much wetter. As I was cycling I came upon another temple I wasn't expecting. On the map it was called ta keo.

It looked good so I stopped for awhile to have a look. It was really cool. I got to climb to the very top of it and have a look around. The climb was really steep. I kind I like. It was fun.

I left there and went to ta phrom. I heard from a guy that it was the temple that tomb raider was filmed at. Also angelina jolie got honorary citizenship from her time there.

The temple was really cool. There where trees growing all over it which made it real surreal. Of course it was damaging the temple but it wouldn't have looked so cool. Though now it would be hard to know what it would have looked like before all that. They had put scaffolding up holding the worst of the damage, which is a pity. It was fun exploring it though.

After that it was pretty late I was making my towards the turn off, I could either turn and head back towards siem reap or head towards the next temple pre rup and see the sunset. I wasn't to sure how far pre rup was, so I decided I would cycle alittle bit and if I didn't see it soon I would turn around.

As I was cycling I decided to head to it to see the sunset and I wouldn't go tomorrow instead.

I arrived to pre rup and climbed to the top. Only when I got to the top of course the clouds had to come and get all windy. Looked like there wasn't going to a sunset after all. Just my luck. While I was up there I ran into another girl she said it looked like it was going to rain heavy and it wasn't going to be fun in the tuk tuk. I told her well atleast you got a tuk tuk and started laughing. She asks why and I said I was cycling. She was so nice she then offered to give me a lift in her tuk tuk. I didn't think it was possible but she said we could give it a try. We left early as we knew there wasn't going to a sunset. On the way out I met my massage guy. Ha ha he asked us where we were going, this was the place to see the sunset no? We said that there wasn't going to be a sunset. And I said he was following me this time. As we walked out it started to pour rain. I was really grateful for the lift. It actually worked out in the end. We had to get into the tuk tuk first and then the driver put the bike through the tuk tuk in front of us and tied it there. It worked out quite well. I found out her name was tammy and she was from Sydney, Australia. We ended up swapping e-mails and she said to contact her when I got there, maybe a could stay with her. It was really nice. I guess I was lucky to met her.

That night I headed out for dinner with manfred, it was nice, it was my last night staying there with him. We went for a couple games of pool and hung out. We went to bed pretty early I was wreaked from my long day of cycling.

The next morning manfred invited me to the market with him and his girlfriend. It was nice to wander around and look at the different stalls and watch someone in action at the local market. I just bought my self some lycees I hadn't seen them since Vietnam and there one damn good fruit. I had to leave manfred at the market as I had to go to get my bus. He was going to leave and accompany me. But I told him I would be fine. I would just leave his key behind in his place.

So I was leaving siem reap and wondered what phnom penh had in store for me.

Tags: angkor wat, couchsurfing, siem reap, temples


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