so, back to asia we go.
after our island time on phu quoc, we flew to siem reap, cambodia.
country #4 of our summer asian adventure.
away from the cooler breezes of the water, we found ourselves back in the summertime heat.
we had arranged airport pickup with our hotel and a tuktuk driver waited for us. a tuktuk with your luggage is an odd experience. we were thankful our luggage actually stayed in the tuktuk with us for the 30 minute ride back to the hotel.
we stayed just outside of the main part of town and it worked out pretty well. the staff was amazing and worked very hard to take care of us.
they arranged a tuktuk driver to take us around to the temples the following day. our leaving was delayed a bit by a flat tire and having to go and buy our tickets before going to the temple. we fretted about missing the sunrise. getting up at 4 am after a 1 am bedtime only to miss the sunrise would have sucked. majorly.
when we finally arrived at angkor wat we really had no idea where the best place to wait would be. we decided to remain outside the complex where plenty of others were waiting. this turned out to be okay and we were able to capture several images with the reflection of the towers in the water.
once the sun rose we wandered inside and looked around a bit. it's quite large and on our own everything felt a bit repetitive. so perhaps using a guide would have been a good idea, if only to point us to the most important historical pieces and to focus our attention.
we completed the 'big' tour that day, without returning to our hotel for breakfast. we spent a couple hours wandering around the various temples. i enjoyed them a lot, but it was so hot and the temples do start to look the same. given the heat, i wouldn't have wanted to be stuck with a guide who felt it necessary to show us many details. there is little shade and a lot of steps. for this reason, we didn't stay too long and attempted to move quickly around the temples.
this blog post does a much better job showing the individual temples and sharing info about them than i could. so click away if you are interested in specifics.
on our second full day we took a bike tour through the cambodian countryside. again it was hot. and the bikes were not comfortable. but we did see some cool stuff, our favorite being the basketweaver we met. we got to watch her work and do a little weaving on one of her projects.
|those bottles...hold gasoline.|
welcome to a gas station in siem reap.
there were still some temples to see, so on the following day we headed out on the 'little' tour of temples. we hadn't seen the tomb raider temple (a la angelina jolie/lara croft) and that was on the must see list. it was the same story as the first day. hot. so we quickly moved through the various temples. i even blew off our driver's attempt to give us a little information when we stopped at the first temple. we wanted to be fast and stay out of the heat.
despite the heat, cambodia was lovely.
it's a shame that many of the temples have fallen into disrepair. there is some evidence that maybe they're working on it a bit. however, with millions of tourists climbing about the temples every year one has to wonder how much longer the structures will survive.
we stayed here. i recommend it!
the front desk team was adorable and helped us make a plan to get our gel nails refilled. (despite the fact that around the world you can get gel nails done, usually by an asian woman, we found it quite difficult to find a place in asia to fill the gel nails.)
we ate here. and here. both were really great. two of our favorite meals in asia.
|i'm hungry just looking at this picture|
we also ate here. also solid. and a nice relief from asian cuisine.
we completed our cambodian visas online in advance of arriving. we printed them out and were able to skip the line at immigration and go straight to passport control. i would recommend this to other travelers as well.
if you intend to spend multiple days at the temples, go ahead and buy the three day pass in advance. the tickets are valid from 5 pm the day before.
it appears that prices are going up in february 2017.
this post is linked up with weekend travel inspiration.