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Love, Trust, and a little bit of Wanderlust If we don't try we will never know, in the end we only regret the chances we didn't take.

Angkor Wat

CAMBODIA | Friday, 7 July 2017 | Views [213]

We boarded the night bus from Sihanoukville, we were the first people on from our pick up, and we spent a little time driving around to different hostels. At one pick up we heard the familiar voices of 2 friends we have been bumping into since Laos. Their seats were directly in front of us so we spent some time catching up with them.

This was another sleeper bus. But it wasn't like the others we had been on. It literally had bunk beds. Our 'bed' was a bottom deck one. It was basically a leather covered double bed. With blankets provided. It was comfy enough and we managed a couple of hours sleep. So did the cockroach we were sharing with.

When we boarded the bus we were told there would only be 1 service/toilet stop. It was about an hour into the journey when we stopped there. Strangely though, we stopped at least 4 more times through the night but most people where asleep. The driver would get off, close the doors and either go for food or smoke. Each stop was anything from 20minutes to an hour, so the journey could of been about 4 hours shorter!! 

 

When we arrived in Siem Reap it was about 7am. We got off and found a tuk tuk driver that wasn't trying to rip us off. We asked him if we could hire him for the day, take us to our hotel to drop our bags off, then take us to Angkor Wat. Again, the tuk tuk driver was great. He was really helpful and his prices were reasonable and he often stopped to give us little pieces of information on places. When he took us for our entrance tickets he even came in with us to help us with the queues and the chaos. 

 

We had heard of Angkor Wat, and it was one place that my dad often mentioned when I spoke to him about travelling and us visiting Cambodia. What we didn't realise was that the tour covers the Angkor Park or Complex. Tickets can be purchased for a 1 day, 3 day or 7 day pass. There a many, many temples to be visited on these passes. 

When we arrived at Angkor Wat the temperature was already soaring at 39 degrees. Because the temples are sacred you must dress appropriately so not to cause offence. A general rule is below the knee and over the shoulder. This made the heat a little more difficult. But, the views were incredible!

 

This place is up there with the most 'touristy' that we have visited. The vast size of it made it easier to wander around but it was FULL of people trying to take perfect selfies. Stopping dead centre of walkways to take 300 pictures, checking every single one of them before deciding it isn't good enough and taking another. Don't get me wrong I love taking photographs (not of me but of places we have been) and I obviously want memories of all the amazing things we are getting to experience, but for God sake just take a few consecutive shots and move the hell on!! 

The worst experience of the serial photographers was at the temple entrance in the centre of Angkor Wat. A group of Chinese tourists were in front of us in the queue, they had taken about 50 pictures of the 5 of them during the first few minutes, then I received an elbow to the back as one of their friends pushed passed me to join them. I made a comment about a queue but I was unsurprisingly ignored. Until another 2 attempted to pass us. At this point, without a word to each other, my hubby and I stood side by side, it a wide leg stance, like bouncers on a club door pretending to carry carpets... there was no way they were getting around us this time 😂 but, the worst was yet to come. 

For anyone who doesn't know (I think I've mentioned it in other posts) I'm a little bit terrified of heights. This temple is high up! When we finally got to the bottom of the rickety 'ladder' that was practically vertical I was very aware that it wobbled whenever someone on it moved. We started on our way up and I remained as focused as I could on the steps, counting them to distract myself ... just for each one of the group in front of us to stop half way up and turn around for their friends to take photographs. Not just a quick snap then carry on, this was becoming a full blown photo shoot. After the 3rd one of the group had finished the hubby lost his rag and told them bluntly to move, we became the bad tempered tourists who come across ignorant because we were fed up of people being ignorant... The irony! We pushed our way through them and by the time we got to the top I was trembling from being stood waiting on those ladders.

The views were worth the height and bit of stress. They were impressive and vast and we had a lovely time wandering around the ruins. 

 

Once we found our tuk tuk driver we headed to the next few places on the loop. Few of the temples are individual temples like we visited in other places, most of them are part of complexes. We spent the next 6 or so hours, in the baking heat, visiting these amazing structures. All of them in different states of ruin. 

It is definitely a sight to see on any trip to Cambodia, but as with many other places, if you wish to avoid 'tourist' crowds then this isn't the place for you. I do think the cost of the tickets is excessive, but with so many people willing to visit and with constant footfall, it's easy to see why it is being exploited.

Our journey home started the next morning so we arranged for the tuk tuk driver to come back for us and take us to the airport. A strange feeling to be heading home but we will be back soon. In Thailand again!

Tags: angkor wat, cambodia, night bus, selfies, sleeper bus, temples, tourists, wanderlust

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