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Welcome to Cambodia

Siem Reap, Cambodia

We high tailed it out of Vietnam to Siem Reap, Cambodia where we planned to see Angkor Wat. Cambodia was breath of fresh air. The people where happy to see us and the dollar really had legs - 75 cent beer and 4 hand massages for $10. That's right, 4 hand massages. The only thing better than a thai massage is a thai massage from two masseuses at the same time, one for arms and one for the legs.

Our $15/night hotel included airport transport. There was a man at arrivals holding a sign with our name on it. We followed him to this contraption:

... the Cambodian version of the tuk tuk, where he produced two complimentary bottles of water for us as a welcome refreshment - serious class. The sun was setting as we bounced down the dusty road towards town and our driver pulled over to let us take a picture of the sunset. We were not in vietnam anymore :)

The hotel delivered as well. At $15/night the rooms where a we bit on the dumpy side, but the hotel grounds where great and the place had a good flashpacker vibe. After settling in we had what turned out to be a delicious dinner at the hotel restaurant for $3 a piece. Then we retired to the hammocks and enjoyed $0.75 beer from the hotel bar.

hammok area at the hotel:

6 arm budha in front on the hotel grounds:

The next day we booked the same driver/tuk tuk to run us around angkor watt for the day($10). Most guide books say you need 2 or 3 days to do Angkor Watt, but Michelle was done by mid day and by sunset I felt that we had seen it all. This worked out great because it meant we got to sleep in and spend the next day in Siem Reap, which was a pleasure. My only regret is that we didn't book more time in Cambodia, but at this point our flight out to Phuket was already booked.

Causeway to Angkor Wat:

Cheesy tourist photo:

Posing next to aspara:

This place is crawling with Buddhists who will try to put incense in your hand and direct you to place it at a shrine for "good luck", thus compelling you to leave a financial "donation". Here Michelle gets caught before she realizes what's happening:

Many of the structures are crumbling apart:

Various pics at and around Angkor watt:

Various pics around the town of Siem Reap:

At a bar/restaurant near pub street:

Most of the roads are unpaved:

permalink written by  soloshell3 on January 17, 2009 from Siem Reap, Cambodia
from the travel blog: Solomon and Michelle's Southeast Asian escape
tagged Cambodia, SiemReap and AngkorWat

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The Temples of Angkor

Siem Reap, Cambodia

This part of the trip was really indescribable for me. Rachel has been talking up Angkor Wat since we have been planning this trip and it did not disappoint.
Most of the temples were constructed at least 600 years ago by various Angkor Kings. Much like the Egyptian Pharoahs, the kings would try to best other past kings temples to prove that they were the most exemplary. Jayvarman VII is most respected in Khmer culture since he is responsible for some of the finest works including Bayon. Unfortunately, this expansion is thought to be the downfall of the civilization due to the manpower and resources that the building of the temples demanded.
The whole place had a majical feel to it. We were lucky to get a nice couple of days to see the temples. We hired a tuk-tuk driver at the bus station where we were dropped off. We ended up keeping him for the full 3 days. He kept trying to sell us stuff but he was cool, except that the tuk-tuk got 2 flat tires in 3 days while we were arriving first at Bayon and then at Angkor Wat.
This was one of the most mind-blowing structures that have to be seen to be believed. The hours and mastery of art was amazing. We'll try to post some pictures soon.


permalink written by  zachel on April 25, 2009 from Siem Reap, Cambodia
from the travel blog: Zack and Rachel's Asian Chronicles
tagged SiemReap and AngkorWat

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