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Round the World Journey

Taiwan towards home

TAIWAN | Monday, 19 March 2018 | Views [164]

I arrived at bit worse for wear at 1 30am so took a pricey £25 taxi to the centralish hotel. At leather Reception was open.

I awoke to noise outside around 8pm and staggered down for breakfast. I packed in a full day's sightseeing and enjoyed seeing the impressive National Museum which showcases a fraction of some amazing Chinese treasures. I took in a couple of temples that looked rebuilt and the monumental memorial to its founder. The scale of the national theatres gives a feel almost of Tinanemen Square. I also enjoyed wandering down Diluah Market that had the airport and look of a Japanese street.

The midnight flight was a bit of a pain but feeling under the weather already I had forked out £30 for an early evening nap in a hotel. Glad I did. Our flight was delayed by 30 mins so the 5 am transfer at massive Kuala Lumpur was a bit fraught and chaptic with slow moving queues and general confusion. But I made it on the planew ok for the 1.5hr hope to Phnom Pehn. The city is sprawling and chaotic, hot, and tiring with umpteen tuk tuk offers. I saw the Royal Palace which reminded me of the Thai palace and which is exquisite. The National Museum was a bit chaotic but interesting in parts. I also saw the largest of the wats which had some heritage.

Day 2 took me to one of the 300 plus killing field sites, just outside the capital, and now a celebrated memorial. A haunting place with fragments of those murdered still coming to the surface after rain. The market didn't hold much interest for me after that.

Going to Battambang seemed like a good idea but was a mistake. It was a 6 hr journey by bus in the heat. I was a bit under the weather so having wandered along the river really didn't feel like any more excursions.

Another day and another 4 hr bus trip to Siem Reap. This place really is the real McCoy. I dived straight in to the outer temples, and enjoyed the differences, including the water and jungle settings, and varying architectural styles. The size of the complex is incredible. I was glad in 35 degree heat that I took a tuk tuk.

Siem Reap day 2 saw the same tuk tuk driver, similar heat even at 7 am and a trip to see the main event, Angkor Watt, which started out Hindu but was buddified in the 16th century. It remains an impressive sight even if I found the spirituality rather dark. My $10 investment in a guide was certainly worth it. From there a couple more temPleshey including the impressive Bayon within the huge moated Angkor Thom. Seeing the tomb raiders temple partly enveloped by jungle was a bonus. Shame the bus journey home was so protracted and a somewhat painful ride. I was pleased to find my hotel and prep for another 5 am alarm call.

 

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