Day whatever April 12 2010 – Siem Reap and Angkor Wat

Wow. That’s all I can say. First, the trip out here was insane due to all of the Phnom Penh folks wanting to get out of the city to visit their families. A 4 hour trip turned into an 8 hour marathon.

And talk about a depressing trip. Not the seeing families thing, but the state of life I saw during the bus trip. There are a lot of “holy shit” and “holy fuck” moments overall in Cambodia, and seeing the dingy homes was one of each.

But Angkor Wat was fucking cool.

The place is huge. We bought our tickets after 5 so our passes don’t technically start until tomorrow. 3 day passes should be sufficient to see quite a few of the temples. There is a week pass available, but I don’t have that kinda time. They are neat buidlings. I’m even thinking of buying the DVD documentary about the place. I’ve already helped one young lady go to school by buying the book she was selling. She originally wanted $15 for it before we negotiated. After I told her water-bottle-selling friend to fuck off, I convinced the book-seller that school was overrated Western trend and that she should just keep selling stolen books or begging since you earn more money AND learn more about business that way than in school. Ok, I didn’t actually say that to her or her friend (and I did regret not getting the water) but I did try to give the book back several times politely. I finally offered her $5 before she said $7. She finally settled for $7 plus a dollar tip for the Khmer new year. Her business savvy and saleswomanship is something to be admired. In the end, the book has prove to be very informative.

One of the guards there let us go to the top of the central lotus flower dome to see the sunset. We ended up paying him $5 to see the sun disappear behind the clouds. Nonetheless, the view of the central dome unobstructed is fucking phenomenal.

It’s places like Angkor Wat that I always leave feeling as if I should see more. The guide books and history books all make these places seem so big and insurmountable to me, a lowly backpacker. Not only that, I’m afraid my camera just isn’t as big as some others out there, which means my photos may not be seen by as many people. Poop. Anyway, places like Angkor Wat also tend to make me want to wander the area and think about what it was like during the heyday of these temples. I wish I knew more of the temple’s history. Good thing I bought the book.

I have some photos. They will have to wait until I get back to Phnom Penh because I don’t have the camera cable with me… And I don’t know how to upload them to wordpress.


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