Majestic Angkor Wat

Trip Start Oct 23, 2006
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32
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Trip End ??? ??, 2007


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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Siem Reap is the major town close to Angkor Wat. It is an expensive place to be, is chalk full of tourist, and like Phnom Phen, runs entirely in US dollar. When you go to make a withdrawal, the machine doesn't give you Cambodian Riel, but instead spits out US 20s. This makes the whole place more expensive since menu items and guest house prices are differentiated by dollars which amount to huge amounts of Riel. The whole town had a chill vibe to it, however it was VERY touristy and overall the only reason people visit it is to go to Angkor Wat. Now I don't really know the whole history of the kings and dynasties who built the temples, but I can tell you that Angkor Wat is a feat of human ingenuity, a marvel of architecture, and it's also like thousands of years old (it was actually built between the 9th and 13th century, but hey who's counting right?). The whole temple complex spans many many square miles, with Angkor Wat as the crown jewel among the other hundreds of temples surrounding it. Angkor Wat is the largest religious building that has ever been built to this day, nothing can touch it, and when it was built it had a population of at least a million, London was still a mucky little backwater town with a population of 50,000. Anyways, we spent three nights here in Siem Reap mainly at the temples taking hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pictures. There really isn't much more to say about it since only the pictures can do that. So I'll just cut to the part where we left Siem Reap by Cambodian bus for the Thai border. I called it Cambodian bus because this is no normal bus, no it's pretty basic, dusty, and constantly playing Cambodian karaoke, or some kind of Cambodian comedy show, or a Chinese film dubbed in Cambodian. The seats are far from spacious and the 'ac' is really faint, in fact I'll just say that didn't really work. All of this simply describes the bus, but what really took the spotlight was the road. My god was the road rough! For starters, it wasn't paved. So the road from Siem Reap to Poipet, the Cambodian town at the border was completely unpaved and made of dirt. It amounted to us being jostled vigorously for about three hours in the intense sun and dust. I freakin loved it! It was sooo much fun! It was hot, dusty, bumpy, at times a bit dangerous, and totally thrilling. Every hour and a half or so we would pull over and get a chance to use the restroom while the bus engine was watered down to help cool it. We ended up making to the border about two hours past the quoted time, which meant that it was just in time in our minds since now we always add at least two hours to any scheduled time of arrival. We arrived at customs, got through just fine, and then we were in Thailand. More on that in the next entry, sorry for the picture barrage but this site was the most picturesque so far.
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Comments

hbomb1
hbomb1 on

Hey Jon
Good to see your catching up. I actually know where you guys are. No Laos? I here there is this place in Laos where you hop in an intertube and float down a river. Here's the good part: there are people on the side of the river and you signal them and they pull you over with a huge wooden hook, give you a beer, and then shove you off again. You can do that all the way down the river. I hope you guys get there.

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