Thursday, 20 February 2014

We had 3 weeks of this and then it was off to Cambodia for a quick blast from North to South as Phill was keen to visit and I still hadn’t seen Angkor Wat yet.  We flew into Siem Reap and stayed at the same place I did last time, the Sun Sengky.  A few drinks around town and we had an early night after playing up a bit too much on our last night in Thailand!  Plus we had an early start the next day to go see the temples by tuk-tuk.
Our guy could speak good English and I think we paid $12 between us, a quick stop on the way for some drinks and snacks and we were off.  The first temples Angkor Thom, Bayon etc, were pretty cool though very crowded, I had a mate go there over 10 years ago and had the place virtually to himself.  There is so much info about these temples out there that I won’t give you the tourist information booklet here, but they are well worth a visit.
Then it was time to see the jewel of Cambodia, the mighty Angkor Wat.  I have mixed feelings I guess, about our visit, I mean yes it was awesome with the history, architecture, the age and size, but I didn’t walk away thinking ‘oh wow’. 

Have I seen too many temples?  I don’t think so, it was impressive and some of the carvings in the wall are extraordinary, but structurally, I think Borobudur in Java (near Yogyakarta) is more impressive, and Koh Ker did more for me than any temple. 
Yes I did Koh Ker as part of an amazing journey, but it really gave you a feel for what it might have been like 1000 years ago, it was a haunting presence standing strong and silent in the jungle, a structure that had witnessed so much history yet now remained alone with only Slim and I to behold it that day.  I hope it remains unburdened and unstained by mass tourism. 
Phill was good at ‘templing’ (my new word) he does them at about the same pace as I do, so just before lunch we were done, enjoying a cold beer and ice cream on the way back to town and figured there was no point in hanging around Siem Reap.  South to Phnom Penh by bus was the call and an hour or so later we were having that privileged experience known as the SE Asia mini van ride! 
Wasn’t too bad though, we watched a couple of movies on the Ipad and the ride didn’t seem so long.  It was still rough as hell and cramped up but we watched one of the funniest movies I had seen in ages, ‘We're The Millers’. 

Phill and I were sharing 1 headphone each but we were both laughing our asses off out loud and the whole bus kept wondering what those crazy white boys were doing up the back. (they always put us tourists on the back seat because that is the worst one, takes all the bumps.  I call it the bonecrusher seat and avoid if possible).

'Templing' pictures...