Angkor What?!

Trip Start Feb 08, 2011
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Trip End Mar 23, 2011


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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Driving into Siem Reap is a bit like driving into Disneyland - luxury faux temple hotels and even a museum that doesn't quite look like the walls are solid all the way through. Naturally tourism has well and truly hit the town that's home to Angkor's many visitors. 

We stayed for 5 nights at the lovely Prohm Roth guesthouse, a family run business with very friendly and helpful staff, which we would highly recommend to anyone. We bought a 3 day Angkor pass for $40 and spent these days being driven between temples in a tuk tuk fit for two princesses, (complete with plush purple interior) by our driver Sinat. He was a really sweet boy with a cheeky streak, so we forgave him for nearly making us miss sunrise over Angkor Wat on the second day because he overslept, (typical teenager....actually we can't really judge!). 
We won't bore you with our detailed itinerary, but basically we visited over 30 amazing temple sites across a large area, (the scale of the original cities would have been quite something) with our highlights being:

- the many faces of the Bayon
- Ta Prohm - Tomb Raider eat your heart out, a temple gradually being reclaimed by enormous jungle trees and roots, and of course...
- Angkor Wat itself, apparently the largest religious structure on the planet

Day 3 was probably the most eventful; Beth's pineapple was craftily swiped from out of her hand by a very brave and opportunistic monkey who then smugly tucked into it right in front of us in the middle of the path. We also inadvertently climbed two mountains in one afternoon at 32C; the first to see some rather underwhelming riverbed carvings, the second (650 very steep steps in the mountain-side) to see a sunset that we didn't end up hanging around for because we wouldn't bribe the Cambodian policeman to stay with us at the summit (it really was high!).
We did also pay a visit to the Cambodian Landmine Museum, run by an ex-Khmer Rouge child soldier, who now spends his time clearing mines across the country. 
On our final day in Siem Reap, we crammed in some market shopping, a rather brutal foot and leg massage, designed to sooth our tired feet, and a traditional Khmer dance show with dinner.

All in all, a very memorable week in Angkor and its surrounds.
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