Temple Town

Trip Start Jan 16, 2008
Trip End Nov 2008

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Flag of Cambodia  , Siem Reap,
Thursday, May 1, 2008

Took about 9 Hours to get to Siem Reap. We were treated to dinner and a traditional dance show on our first night. The dancers were excellent, their hand movements spectacular.
We enjoyed a tethered balloon ride which allowed us a great view of the city and Anchor Wat(8th wonder of the world), the most famous temple of the Khmer Empire. The temples of Angkor were the imperial city of Cambodia from the 9th to the 14th centuries before being eaten up by the Jungle. We enjoyed the day exploring the temples including Angkor Thom and Phnom Bakeng.
We rose at 5am to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat. So beautiful. Later we went to see picturesque Ta Prohm where tomb raider was filmed. Banyan trees growing everywhere, hugging the temple that has long been lost to the jungle.
The second highlight of our trip to Cambodia was a visit to the floating villages on the giant lake of Tonle Sap. The drive in our minivan was crazy as the driver tried to navigate the non existent mudslide that passed for a road.. Sliding everywhere we passed many poverty stricken villages where we were overrun by kids asking for 1 dollar before getting on a local boat bound for the floating villages.
On the way we saw children walking to school knee deep wading through the water.
The villagers are Vietnamese and Cambodian people who came to this giant lake to escape the war and have never left.
We saw pigs in cages, crocodiles and catfish. The people here drink, cook, bathe and work in this water. Yuck.
We spent our last day in Cambodia exploring the old town and partying with the group to celebrate the end of this amazing 33 day tour. Some highlights of the final night were the rooftop bar with tanks of beer, the multi level Dead Fish Tower where you could kill yourself if you missed one of the rickety wooden steps and our final stop, the temple club where buckets of Vodka and mixer were going for 5 dollars each.
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shazbot on

Yo Ruairi.
Just saw yor update.. give me a call if your still on.. You lucky Gits.. Enjoy..

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