Nick and Shauna- SE Asia 2006 travel blog

Tuk Tuk to Angkor



































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Shauna and Amelia pray to Buddha

Hello all this is Nick Typing this update.

Our journey to Angkor Wat was amazing . It was definatly way more than I could have ever imagined.

After about 7 hours on a bus that was half way on unsealed and very bumpy roads we arrived to Siem Reap. It is a small tourist hub that travelers stay at when visiting the Wat's from the Angkor period.

The town itself was pretty nice, loads of tourists and heaps of good western restaurants, just what we needed after being on a diet of rice and veggies for 2 months in Pursat.

The first day we arrived we found a nice hotel and decided to have some beer and pizza, to our surprise the cooks automatically put "happy" on the pie even though we where not expecting it. Amelia, our Kiwi friend we met volunteering in Pursat and Shauna started giggling a lot so then we were pretty sure that indeed we had been slipped the "happy" herbs. It was quite a laugh.

After a while I called a tuk tuk driver we had met that was in Pursat when we where there getting info on how SC was organized. He was great, he came and met us and then brought us out to Angkor Wat for the sunset. It was absolutly breath taking when we drove around the corner and we saw The 1000 year old huge temples standing there.

We only had about an hour to get inside the Temple before it closed for the night . The sky was rumbling with thunder and huge bolts of lightning where cascading over the horizon above the Wat.

While we where running into explore, the majority of the tourists where running out trying to beat the rain. By the time we made it into the temple the sky had opened up with near monsoon rains. This made the experience even more surreal, there was such an amazing energy all around us, almost like the electricity in the sky was affecting everyone who was gazing at the temples.

So we got stuck inside the temples trying to wait out the storm with the others. I had decided that there was no point in waiting it out because surely the rain would not let up for quite a while longer. Luckily I had some plastic bags in my backpack to protect our cameras etc. By the time we made the mad dash back out to the street with our tuk tuk driver we all looked like we had been run through a wash cycle. At least it is blazingly hot so the rain was actually quite a refreshing thing. It was an absolutely great start for our exploration of the huge monuments built so long ago.

Shauna and I had been using the camera my Grandpa handed down to us for the begining of the trip but it decided to crap out on us. I had "fixed," it for a while, when one of the buttons fell off, I used 2 pieces of a toothpick, half an earplug and a bandaid to keep it working. And the front of it was held together with a rubber band. We always got funny looks from people when we asked them to take our picture. It lasted since the second day of our trip in Singapore. So we had to go buy a new one--ahh shucks. We got a spiffy new Sony that Shauna could not stop playing with for three days. It was great.

The next day Shauna and I headed out on our own because Amelia was not feeling very well. We explored a few of the older temples built in the 10th century and tried our best to keep our patience with the hoards of vendors screaming "you want cold drink? You want fruit? Bracelets, etc..."

After a couple stops we came out to our tuk tuk and our driver had a family of 4 Cambodian's waiting with him, apparently their driver had abandoned them and they were wondering if they could ride with us. Of course we where happy to have them come along, so we all squeezed in to the small cab and rode of to the next temple. They were amazingly sweet and ended up exploring the temples with us for about 3 hours. It was so great to experience there culture's history with them. We are still looking for the picture CD with their pictures on it, we will post some of them when we find it.

We parted ways and Shauna and I decided to have some lunch and wait for Amelia to come meet up with us. She joined us for the rest of the afternoon and we hiked up a huge hill for the sunset view.

After we were finished with touring for the day Shauna and Amelia decide we should go for Mexican food. Four jugs of margaritas later and much talk from them about going dancing we ended up in the hotel room to change clothes, but actually ended up passing out.

So we ended up touring around the temples for a couple more days ,you could really spend a week there just admiring all the intriquite carvings in the stone. I could not believe these things had lasted for so long and still looked so amazing. Everywhere you looked there where amazing carvings. Word's can not describe it or even get close to doing it justice.

So overall I would have to say it was the most amazing thing I have seen in my life and would recommend to anyone that every had the chance to go there! Dont worry, for those of you who cant rough it like we can, there are 5 star hotels, that cost only about $50.

I will be posting the next update as well so stay tuned :)

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