Temples, Fried Spiders and Kids with Snakes
Trip Start Dec 12, 2009
15Trip End Jan 08, 2010
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Where I stayed
We arrived in Cambodia- great flight. Gary left wallet on plane for fun...scary but in the end, non eventful. The Victoria hotel was amazing- obvious colonial influence and the staff can't do enough for you. They smile constantly...must get sick of pleasing us foreigners!!
Started the day with a swim and Helen got an hour foot massage by the pool as she sipped a coconut milkshake. (From a coconut, of course)
Went to Ta Prohm Temple (tomb raider was filmed here) and it is breathtaking. Tree roots grow from walls and we ended up being personally guided around by a Cambodian policeman. I wonder if that was because Dad and Gary climbed up on a fragile piece of wall for that 'great shot'!!! Dad scraped his leg and bled everywhere and we ended up with a lovely guide!! (We bribed him with a koala keyring and made his day!)
Unfortunately, Hel and Hilt's camera dropped to the ground and broke...very sad
Then we went to the Old Markets and saw unbelievable sights- deep fried tarantulas, grasshoppers and cockroaches, meat rotting in hot temperatures with maggots and cockroaches crawling over it and stinky animal intestines!
Later, we went to a cultural show and buffet dinner- an OK experience...tunes seem to be all the same.
Next day we started with a fabulous breakfast and then went to Angkor Thom (another temple). On the way, we stopped and fed monkeys bananas and Lotus fruit on the side of the road- very cute. We rode elephants all around the border of the temple- a perfect setting! We hired a guide for the day and he explained the story behind the temple. It had huge heads and statues of Gods and Demons. Then we went to another market (much cleaner) and spent the afternoon by the pool at the hotel. Later we went on a boatride and watched the sun set on a big Tonle Sap lake. This was amazing and we had children (6 or 7yrs old) zooming up in speedboats, leaping on our boat to sell us cold drinks. If that didn't work, they whipped out a snake and placed it round their neck, asking for $1 for a photo...out of this world!
We had a traditional dinner (Khmer) which was delicious and we topped off our day in the best way possible- we found out that Scott and Carrie are having a baby boy- Cooper John Townsend!!
Arrived at Hotel and met by staff with cold towel and iced drinks. Sat around pool & had bacardi gold and coke with black peppered fried banana chips (complimentary) as nibbles. Helen has been 1 hr getting a foot massage. Went to Old Markets, where locals shop. Well you should have seen the meat, the blood, the stink, the fish. Not to mention the fried cockroaches, spiders, grasshoppers...Got a couple of t-shirts at markets and we headed home by motorised rickshaw. Then off to the 'Tomb Raider' temple, Ta Prohm. Fantastic place. We were befriended by a policeman who acted as our tour guide. He has worked there for 10 years. Massive figs growing out of the walls- most of the trees over 400 yrs old. Angelina Jolie has really put them on the world map.
Next day went to Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple, with our guide Sokha (a real nice, friendly chap) and driver (a stern, unfriendly fellow is he). Lovely place. It has 47 towers with the 4 faces on each side- one for every province of old Cambodia. Only about 23 provinces left now- the rest has been taken by neighbouring countries. Rode elephants and walked around temple. It got very hot at some point and we had a bit of a rest in the shade while our guide doubled back to the car to get the water we forgot. When he got back, Helen said, "Well we have all had a nice rest, too bad you haven't. Oh well, let's go." It came out so bad. We all commented and said "Good one Bett!" She was horrified as she didn't mean it to come out that way. We bought fruit from the local kids ($1) to feed monkeys. It consisted of small lady finger bananas and lotus fruit. Later, bought a pair on Raybans at market for $3.