Category: Siem Reap


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Woke at 4:30 to be ready at 4:40 for sunrise where only 3 others came with me. Words cannot describe how pretty it was or how annoying the Chinese man next to us was. Too many pictures. Random white horse, which almost looked like I was hallucinating because of how random it was. Saw it again later all dressed up for rides so it made sense. We were worried there wouldn’t be a sunrise due to the rain the night before but we were in luck.

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Breakfast had amazing eggs. Left for the temples at 9am. 20USD entry, 15USD for bus and guide which was totally worth it.

The moat around Angkor Wat is 5 meters deep and protects 5 acres inside.

The first temple was Ta Prohm aka the tomb raider temple. It has many types of trees including mahogany, rubber, fig (?) and strangler. Some of the rocks there are lava. Here we noticed the rocks have holes which is how they carried them. They are still doing reconstruction. We went into one room where people beat evil out by beating their chest with their fists. You can hear your beating louder in there.

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Next was Angkor Wat. This was where the king hid Buddha statues during wars, put people still came in and stole heads and hands to sell for really good money. The steps are little because it’s easier to carry that way. We learned that head monks wear gold and they probably put it on the Buddha. There are carving of dancers with 40+ different hairstyles and 4000+ different hand and feet positions. We’ll see the dance later but a thumb down means ‘plant’, one finger up means ‘grow’, 3 fingers up means grow ‘more’, touching those fingers mean ‘fruity blossom’, and finally opening the hand means ‘drop’. A man started filming us here. There was a lot of rat droppings as well. There are 4 pools to represent the 4 rivers of India. Found the same spot as the morning to take a photo with reflection.

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Lunch nearby. Pretty expensive. Lime juice for 1.5 and a curry-not-curry in a coconut with rice was 5.5. Delicious though. Best meal I’ve had here so far. The coconut was cut into a heart shape. We then got rained in for about an hour and chatted with kids and were shown magic by sit and Visal.

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Next was the gate to Bayon which is quite far from the temple itself, then the ruins of Bayon.

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It had a lot of faces and reminded me of Promethesus. Here we saw the pulley system they made for the rocks. Because of carvings here we think the people were not slaves. They are happy in the carving and drinking and there is no master other than the king who was not finished.

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Next was the elephant wall which had beautiful carvings of elephants (duh) and people. Across were 12 lookout points and between was the elephant training fields. The wall is 5 meter tall and probably 2 meters underground so it doesn’t fall.

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Left at 5:00 to go to New Hope which is where we (the tour company, G Adventures) donated. The old building is a halfway house and many kids thought we were jungle gyms.

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The new building is beautiful and we sat in on classes and I taught some words. Very colorful classrooms, better than Korea because the kids want to be there and work at group tables. Maybe when my loans are done I’ll come to volunteer here.  Next we saw their bike repair shop to help kids get to school and learn a trade and jungle gym and clinic as well as outreach center. I guess a pedophiles in the area, after he ran from Europe. Next was dinner with sad videos playing. Appetizer of cricket, sugar, peanuts, potato chips. Then sweet curry and rice, papaya and fish salad, spring rolls, morning glory stir fried and rice cake. I can’t say that I liked much more than the spring rolls. Lime shake was good too and beer was shit. All drinks were 2USD.

Next we went to the bar area where beer was also a dollar. Upon leaving one guy grabbed me for ‘walking into him’ when I was standing and another guy said he was my tour guide. The night market was closed after which made us quite sad.

The next day, we went to the Wats.

On the way back we heard a story of Cambodian politics. Their PM has been has in power for 25+ years and opposition parties can’t get anything done in the parliament so they’re refusing to sit and want the UN to help. He also told us of his life where he started as a farmers boy, had the opportunity to go to language school, university, didn’t bribe people at university so he didn’t do well, wanted to quit, his parents told him to just switch to school in Siem Reap (was in Pheon Phem) and he did well and studied to be a tour guide and now wants to be a CEO (head of G Adventures tours).

We also learned that the term ‘Siamese’ came from the area of Siem Reap, so I started thinking of the song from Lady and The Tramp.

Dancers at Club Temple were interesting. Hands bend really far which I thought would be cool but was more disturbing and gross. Dinner of cashew and shrimp curry and 2 beers for 5.50USD then another beer for .50 later.

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Went to Angkor What Club and got buckets of booze for 7 or 8 each sharing. It was so much fun I didn’t want to leave though.

Left the next day around noon.