Cambodia

tammy_ftpoint@yahoo.com


 
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We spent at least an hour inside showering and relaxing.  When we came out, the same man was at the gate.  He wanted to be our motorbike driver.  We said we didn't have a plan yet and tried to convince him to find another customer.  Then he said we owed him money for the van.

I didn't give him any money, which seemed harsh, but free is free.  Plus I'm not going to support the mob scene at the port. 

 
Luckily, there were great restaurants on our street which helped us relax after a hectic arrival.

The main attraction was Angkor, one of the man-made wonders of the world.  There are over 100 temples spread across 40 kilometers.  Angkor was built between the 9th and 14th century.

We packed in three days from sunrise to sunset, with a two hour siesta each day.  We hired one motorbike driver for Nicole and I drove Soosan.  I told her about my motorbike driving record and had her sign a waiver :~)

The motorbike and motorbike with driver were each $6, which didn't make sense.  The motorbike by itself should have been less.  They are still trying to get a grip on tourism.

Almost everything is in US dollars, which is terrible and makes some items overpriced.  They don't talk in quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies.  It's much easier to negotiate prices in riel (4,000 = $1).

We started at Angkor Wat for the first sunrise.  Next we went to Angkor Thom.  We stopped at the south gate, which has giant statues of 54 gods on the left of the causeway and 54 demons on the right.  This combined with the gate itself is a grand entrance. 

Bayon, the temple, within Angkor Thom has 54 towers with 200 gargantuan Avalokiteshvara (the Buddha of Compassion) faces.  At sunrise you can watch the faces light up.

My favorite temple is Ta Prohm.  It is being strangled by the jungle.  There are huge tree roots wrapped around the structure and large tree trunks perched on walls.

 


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