|Now before we enter Cambodian territory the Upshall's world tour had been hijacked by the McQuilton possie from London. Rachel and Pablo arrived in Bangkok and we all traveled over to Cambodia by air, luxury travel at last.
We were especially pleased when Paul had planned all the various activities and knew where to go and what to see, it was a nice break from us having to plan ahead and have someone else there to tell us for a change.
Probably the highlight of our trip so far has been Angkor Wat and the surrounding temple areas. It is a truly spectacular experience to visit, from temples in the forest that are just being discovered to the main Angkor Wat.
We had never realised the extent of these and just how many there are and the enormity of them all.
We began our temple visits with a long drive out to Bantey Sreay which was the furthest temple from the main Angkor Wat sight, truly spectacular and the most intricately carved of all the temples(please note the high quality photos, they're not all the same).
We were also fortunate enough to visit the carved river beds of 1000 Linga's. These were beautifully carved stone on the bed of the river at the top of a hill which was about a 30 minute trek through the jungle, but well worth the sweat.!
It was decided that to do the main Angkor Wat site, that we would need to get there for Sunrise, yes and this was at 0530, so a long day ahead, but well worth the early start, before the bus loads of tourists arrived.
It was quite amazing to see the sunrise over the temples and the peacefullness that followed, then the floodgates opened for tourists, who are obviously too lazy to get up that early on their aircon buses. Which was a good thing.
We also managed to squeeze in a few more luxuries in Siem Reap and why not, where there's a Raffles Hotel there are cocktails and when they have a Happy Hour of Buy One Get one Free, what to do! So off we trotted in our best shorts and t-shirts and lorded it up with the gentry in this wonderful hotel. They even had free popcorn and pool table, needless to say Pablo got a whipping(sorry Paul).
The last piece I need to tell you about is the wonderfully inspiring Landmine Museum, which currently looks after children who have been affected by Landmines. This place is supported purely by donations and is a heart tugging place to visit. Originally set up by one of the Khmer Rouge who placed the landmines as ordered to by the army he has now made it his lifes work to ensure that Cambodia becomes a mine free country. If anyone ever goes to Siem Reap this is THE most worthwhile cause that we have come across and you can see the difference it makes to these children who are very happy even though they have lost limbs, families and opportunities. It certainly humbles you and makes you realise how easy our lives are in the Western world.
There is just so much to say about these places, that I will let the pictures describe, as I know that by now most of you will be skimming the text anyway.