Siem Reap, Cambodia: Day 2

The alarm woke us up at 6AM but I managed a rather contented nights sleep despite the misadventures with the icky unwelcomed visitor when I was vulnerably naked in the shower last night. The ever perky BFF (read: Miss Sunshine) and I had a quick breakfast at FCC and this is her attempt as getting me to be less of a grouch in the early morning…

So. Not. Working.

Dara, our dashing tuktuk driver, brought the 2 of us to the splendid Angkor Wat after we purchased our temple passes for US$40. A funny thing that happened was that my cap actually flew off my head when we were on the roads (yes, it’s THAT breezy) so somewhere out there’s probably a kid using a brand new Mighty Magic Factory cap. Hurhurhur. Talk about international advertising! I could have stopped the tuktuk to pick it off the path but I reckoned someone out there probably needs it more than I do, and if I really needed a hat I could just buy one, so there.

My Lara Croft moment…everything a city girl needs for survival and more!

We reached the jewel of Siem Rep early but there was already quite a few tourist. I was told that this is a low peak season because most people dislike the sweltering heat, so I can only imagine that there’s swarms of travellers during the more cooling months. The pictures told the truth… the famous Hindu temple is simply magnificent and I felt so humbled by its grandeur. If you didn’t know, Angkor Wat appears on the national flag as well… and rightfully so. It’s nothing short of spectacular 🙂

My favorite picture of the whole series from today, which I took with my camera…

Pam in a moment of quiet solitude, soaking in the sights…

The beauty is intense and its an experience in itself, just walking through Angkor Wat’s massive halls and dark corridors…

Apsara dancers are the Khmer’s idea of heavenly sexy topless magic babes 😉

Light at the end of the tunnel…

Sit with me here on this rock sofa and watch life go by on the telly…

Cambodian monks in their saffron colored robes simply stand out…

I wonder how this majestic city temple must have been in its golden age

…It must have been a proud beauty, since the temple is a representation of Mount Meru, the home of the gods

Besides tourists, locals came too… many made prayers and gave offerings to some of the Buddhas in the temple. So one had to be respectful still, and no carelessly knock anything over or step on joss sticks. We spent several hours in there, and finished the water in our tumblers by tthe time we were out. The heat was blistering and a swarm of vendors descended upon us, hawking their hats and drinks and trinklets and posstcards and what-have-yous *wry grin*

A particular teenager had requested I patronised her drink stall the moment our tuktuk parked infront of the temple’s gates, and she hollered for my attention the moment we got out of the temple and unto the road. True to my word, I gave her business, though I did raise an eyebrow because they charged US$1 for a small bottle of water. But I figured, they need the money more than I do.

A big group of about 8 kids suddenly swarmed around, trying to get me to buy their things and they had terrific sales pitches perhaps taught to them by their uhm… tourism mentor… because these little tykes knew how to push and work on pulling your heart strings. It’s not just their mopey faces and insistant hawking, it’s also the things they say and how they say it.

Making my way back to Dara’s tuktuk, I was politely declining the offers of the group of kiddies who had followed me like some kind of entourage. Patiently, I rejected them by just saying no. Until I reached a point when I firmly stated "Really. No. Please. I’m okay, thanks."

And that was when the most incessent little boy whined, "You okay, how about me?"

Okay. The sucker that I was, I was starting to feel really bad and was seriously considering giving him money but not taking his postcards. I asked him about school, if he studied because his English was really good. He nodded his head in earnest and when I asked what time did school end today, he said 9am. He’d come to the stall after he was done with class.

Wait a minute.

9am?! What kind of school ended at 9 in the morning? And then it dawned upon me. It was SATURDAY. They didn’t have school on weekends! He was goooooooooood 😛 I nearly fell for it.

The BFF & I needed some air-conditioning so we checked out the mueseum which was rich in religious artifacts, and there was just so much to soak in that we adjorned for a lunch break before continuing on. We got the audio headsets and I’d recommend that too, for anyone who truly wishes to learn more about the various pieces of history so loveingly restored and on display.

It was a dip in the pool (which was disappointingly warm) when we reached our hotel and unexpectedly, there was a huge downpour so we ordered room service. I must say that dinner was scrumtious and very lovely presented *grin* Hopefully the rain brings the temperature down because right now, the heat and humidity is pretty hot and heavy… not exaaaaaactly the kind of action I need right now 😛

We have plans to check out the Bayon temple tomorrow morning and the Tonle Sap lake in the afternoon, as well as, relish some traditional Khmer food at a diner that also had Asphara dance… so I hope the weather’s kind to us. It’s still raining cats and dogs, so it’s all good.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Siem Reap, Cambodia: Day 2

  1. Aaron

    i always hate it when locals try to force you to buy their things when you are abroad. i understand that they are doing it for a living, but it’s really so irritating. can’t they just set up stalls to sell their things?

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