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Cambodia - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat High tuk-tuk driver, ancient temples and nature attacks

CAMBODIA | Tuesday, 19 July 2011 | Views [2613]

The Bayon

The Bayon

Destination – Cambodia – Siem Reap – Angkor Wat, high tuk tuk driver and nature attacks!

After a week, we leave Phnom Penh for Siem Reap.  It’s time to see Angkor Wat (wat means temple in Khmer and Thai), our sixth wonder of the world (still Machu Pichu to go after seeing the pyramids, the great wall, the Taj Mahal, Petra and of course, the Christ).

After a 6 hour not so great bus ride, we arrive in Siem Reap. The hotel, Vimean Angkor Pich Hotel, picks us up and the room is quite ok, the price US$11, with breakfast? Just fabulous.  The manager is lovely and can’t do enough for us.

We walk around and it seems to be a very nice but very touristy place, really well prepared to deal with the heavy traffic of people visiting Angkor.  We’ll let you in on a little secret, sometimes, when travelling for long periods, you really get to appreciate a well set up touristy place (hello Vietnam) even if there’s not a lot to see. There’s of course a great market, a night market, shops, temples and pagodas, and needless to say, tons of hotels, massage places, restaurants and bars. There’s even a street specializing in Khmer barbecue, lined with all sorts of hot pot and barbecue restaurants. What’s not to like?  So, let’s get out, see and shop and do and eat it all! And that we do.

After a few days, it’s time to see Angkor Wat the reason why we’re here.   We organize a tuk tuk driver through the hotel for a 3 day visit to the site.  As usual, Mr Hopkins does his thorough research and out we go with our hats, big bottles of water and an even bigger dose of enthusiasm.  Day 1: we get a massive monsoon shower but still manage to see some of the minor sites.  Day 2: The weather is fantastic and we decide to do the “Grand Tour”, which means pretty much seeing everything else, including Angkor Wat itself.   Day 3: if you know us by now, you would be familiar with our acute (our as I prefer it, a cute) ADD syndrome and yeah, we cancelled day 3 and go for an R & R day, planning a nice massage, great food and a nice bottle of Australian bubbly. What? We’ve seen every bloody thing on days 1 and 2, don’t make us feel guilty, get over it!   And yes, it’s amazing, imposing, big and everything you guessed it to be but teeming with bucket loads of tourists.  Just for the record, our tuk tuk driver was the coolest ever and always looked and acted like he just smoked a massive joint.  Just glad the traffic is quite light at the temple complex.  

Nature attack: The complex of Angkor Wat is surrounded by an amazing natural reserve with dangerous specimens  ready to attack the unsuspecting tourist.  On Day 1, during the monsoon storm, I received an “attack-hug” from a frog, who jumped on me from inside our tuk-tuk and wrapped itself around my ankle.   I jumped from the tuk tuk, screaming like a hysterical little girl, all for the sadistic enjoyment of both Mr Hopkins and our pot head tuk tuk driver.   On Day 2, we drive across a stretch of avenue packed with monkeys, we think they are so cute and stop to take photos.  Yeah, all good fun, till a huge old monkey comes to the side of the tuk tuk and starts hissing at me, meanwhile two other little monkeys jump on the other side of the tuk tuk and suddenly, I’m surrounded.  “Monkey attack”!   Yeah, here I go again, screaming like a crazy possessed little girl, HELP, HELP, HELP!!! Again for the enjoyment and roaring laughter of both Mr Hopkins and our high as a kite tuk-tuk driver.  It’s a dangerous world out there people, beware of all the cute little animals!   

We also meet a nice English couple at Angkor and socialize a bit over a nice BBQ and beer dinner double date.  It’s good to talk to another chick sometimes, we even talked manicure and nail polish… Yeah, we had fun.


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