Friday, February 19, 2010

Siem Reap & The Angkor Temples

We didn't have the best intro to Siem Reap, home of the Angkor Temples. Andy, Rose, Lizzie and I were picked up from the bus station by a guesthouse arranged through the one in Phnom Penh. After checking in we were then harassed for tuktuks and guides for the temples - quite common for Siem Reap I've heard.

We knew something was up through the insistence that we make a decision TONIGHT about what we do tomorrow, the exorbitant price, and just the general lies that were being thrown around. We also discovered that we were quite far from the action in Siem Reap, and so made a decision to check out the next day and look for a better place. This wasn't taken too badly, although our "free" tuktuk to a new guesthouse turned out to be an even bigger rip off, and with a fight nearly breaking out down a small alley, we cut our loses and decided to walk. If you're ever in Siem Reap - do not stay at No. 10 Guesthouse! Lets just say we missed all our friends from Phnom Penh!

We found a great replacement in Mitri Guesthouse, who arranged a great driver for us (for about a third of the price), and we hit up the temples for sunset over Angkor Wat which was amazing. The next day we got up at 5 AM and this time saw sunrise over Ankgor Wat, moved on to Angkor Thom and the Bayon, and then to Tha Phrom, a temple left as it was discovered by Archaeologists - in dense jungle, crumbling, and covered by tree roots and vines. I couldn't pick a favourite - Angkor Wat was grand, Bayon exquisite, and Tha Phrom mysterious. One thing about Siem Reap and Cambodia this time of year is the heat - having seen all we'd wanted to see that day, we headed home to our plush little air con haven!

The next few days will just be spent chilling out around Siem Reap while we wait to get our bus back to Phnom Penh. It'll be great to get back to Phnom Penh and see our friends again, and from there we'll make our way to Ho Chi Minh City for the Vietnam leg of the trip. Can't wait!

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