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New Year's in Siem Reap

CAMBODIA | Friday, 5 January 2007 | Views [2384]

Hi All!

Last I wrote we were heading up to Siem Reap!  I've taken so many photos there that I haven't had time to write!  Our trip was less eventful than our crossing of the Cambodian border but to our great adventure pleasure we were able to get out of our 55 passenger bus hourly and get a good stretch in by giving it a good push to get the clutch popped back in.  Six hours later we arrived in swanky (this is my word for the week) Siem Reap.

Since it was the holidays we decided to splurge a bit and both bought tickets to go and see the ruins of the temples of Angkor.  Angkor Wat and the other temples such as Angkor Thom were a sight to behold, slight, tiny stairs leading up to the sky, most so steep it was close to rock climbing.  All built of sandstone and intricately carved.  Most holding statues of the Buddha or what was left of the statues after the Khmere Rouge or theives passed through.  Stone walkways upturned due to decay, bullet holes still can be seen as reminders of how many times these temples changed hands.  Children now hide among these temples, begging for money with a chant like "needmoney needmoney" with eyes as big as saucers.

I would give you a short history lesson on Angkor but for times sake I will refer you to http://www.travel-cambodia.com/cam-travel-info/history_angkor.htm .  Please take the time to read this as is is very informative about the true history of Angkor.

After three days of tuk-tuking to temples, David and I were a bit worn out, so we decided to take it easy and ring in the New Year's on Pub Street in Siem Reap.  It was an amazing night, dancing in the street, music everywhere, fireworks going off in the air (and in my hair!)  Yes, fire did really become my name for a moment as a firework spark came down and started my hair smoking.  One moment I felt something hit my head and the next a wide eyed David was putting out the smoldering.  Thank God I wasn't wearing hairspray or else I'd be sporting a new "do" for the new year! 

David gained noteriary when challenged by a Scottish fellow to do some 80's dancing in the streets.  The man could not compete and soon David had a crowd surrounding him as he did some amazing breakdancing moves.  The rest of our stay that evening included tuk-tuk drivers (fans) coming up to David wanting to shake his hand to say they knew him! I'm still waiting on the video that one girl took that evening of that event.  If and when I get it I'll post for you!   As an end to a spectacular evening, David and I ended up doing some 80's dancing of our own at The Red Piano and a snack at a local eatery.

We took the next day as a rest day and then the following day we tuk-tuked to Banteay Srei and Kbal Spean, two of the furthermost temples from Angkor, about 55 kilometers away.  Kbal Spean is an amazingly carved riverbed that has Hindu "lingas" carved into it.  Its actual name is River of a Thosand Lingas.  Lingas are Hindu dieties that signify male fertility and it was said that women who bathed in this river would become fertile.  It was a particulary nice uphill walk through the woods to get to this river and a welcomed respite from the somewhat touristy temples that we previously visited. 

We went to Pre Rup for sunset, one of the most popular spots as the view over the surrounding rice-fields of Eastern Baray is spectacular.

Hope you all had a very Happy New Year!  Next we're sailing (ok boating) to Battembang! 


Tags: Adventures

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