Angkor Wat is truly awesome...

Trip Start Jun 13, 2008
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Trip End Aug 20, 2008


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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Thursday, August 7, 2008

String of early morning wake-up calls continues and arrives earlier...4:30am.  We decided to try to get to the famous Angkor Wat temples for sunrise and then tour them in the early morning, hoping to beat the daytime heat and crowds.  Although the sunrise didn't work out great because of some clouds, the rest of the plan did.  Not too hot and barely any tourists at all. 
 
The temples themselves are truly awe-inspiring and definitely a highlight of the trip.  They were built in the 1100s, and are still in great condition (without relying too much on renovation or reconstruction).  The entire complex is huge and the details on the stone carvings around the walls of the entire temples are overwhelming.  We spent about 3 hours there, mostly by ourselves, our guide and a group of about 20 monkeys that roamed the temples.
 
Back to the B&B for made-to-order breakfast, swim in the pool, and a nap, then back out to see Angkor Thom.  Angkor Thom was built slightly after Angkor Wat and is almost as impressive.  This temple has the most amazing carvings of Buddha's face.  The stones were stacked on top of each other and then all the faces were carved (remember, this is 900 years ago and was all done by hand.  After the temples, we stopped to feed some of the monkeys, which seems to always provide some unintentional humor. 
 
For dinner, we took a 10 minute tuk-tuk ride into the heart of Siem Reap.  There is one main area that has most of the restaurants and bars clustered around it, so we just picked a place that looked pretty decent.  We had a good table outside, so stayed there to people watch, as well as spent the better part of 4 hours trying to upload a video for my Mom's birthday.  We ran into a couple from Ireland that had been traveling the world for 7 months together... and we thought we had a long trip!  After a fierce bidding war to reduce our tuk-tuk ride home from $2.50 to $2.00 we called it a night.
 
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