Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Cambodia, day two highlights

Day two started with breakfast at the hotel, and then it was off to see more sights!

We spent most of the day on the outskirts of Siem Reap. This was a scene from the road out of the city after we got past Angkor Wat. Buses, donkeys, elephants, bicycles, etc... you see anything and everything on Cambodian roads.

We then climbed Pre Rup, a temple older than Angkor Wat. It was still early in the day and the climb up the temple felt great in the sun.

Next was a visit to Banteay Samre, a temple built almost like a smaller-scale Angkor Wat. This was a fun place to explore, but what I remember most is the little girl outside the gates trying to sell scarves. She couldn't have been more than seven, but her smile and her enthusiasm were signs of natural-born charm that set her apart from all the other kids we saw in Cambodia peddling stuff to tourists. I wound up buying a scarf from her for a dollar, though I later wondered if I should have just given her a dollar and told her to go to school. Dilemma.

Last on the itinerary for the morning was Banteay Srei. This was an amazing place because of the beautiful, intricate carvings that cover it. Hard to believe these carvings have been around more than one thousand years.

It was then back to the city (Siem Reap) for lunch. We had amok fish, a steamed fish dish that is at nearly every restaurant in Cambodia. We were lazy so we ate at the restaurant in the hotel, which was quite overpriced. But even at ridiculous hotel prices, we had fish, curry, rice, and drinks for $8 a person.

After lunch we spent some time at the pool, and then headed into the city for shopping and to search for a restaurant for dinner! We got there in a tuk-tuk, a motorcycle-powered rickshaw. This was the view from the back. Unfortunately this picture doesn't capture the crazy traffic that we were in the middle of...lane lines that are more suggestions that rules, horns blaring, dust, people crossing the street right in front of cars....I LOVED it!!

As we headed into town in our tuk-tuk and watched the sun go down over Siem Reap, I almost felt like bursting with joy. I had *finally* made it to Cambodia, a place I had been wanting to visit for so long. There I was with R on a warm night, enjoying ourselves immensely and amazed at the youthfulness and energy of this country that had undergone such a remarkable transformation. I felt extremely lucky to be there, and more than that, unbelievably happy.


Gina said...

OMG, yay you posted about your trip to Cambodia! First off, I love that you have travelled Asia so much!! That is something I would like to do more of too! So, I was looking forward to you posting this, but I also know how busy you've been. : )

I loved your pictures and your stories. I haven't gotten to the post about Cambodia underneath this post yet. But so far, I just wanted to say! : )......

The visual you gave unbelieavble! I was sitting here with my coffee just now.... trying to imagine a street filled with crazy buses, donkeys, bicycles and the elephants! Wow, to see all that hustle and bustle would be so cool! I think I'd totally dig something like that! And on the back of a rickshaw like that, with chaos and dust would be even better. Man the whole trip sounds so amazing!

The little girl selling the scarves, so young! : ( But she sounded like a charmer the way you described her! : ) And I think it's awesome you bought one from her, that was a nice thing to do!

I loved hearing about the food and that amok fish is available most places. It's cool to know that sorta stuff at least it gives people an idea in case if any of us ever travels there. I also liked hearing the price at the hotel for food was $8 bucks a person. That sorta gave me an excellent idea of the prices. Man this is a good post!

You and R must have had a wonderful time!!! : )

deenster said...

Thanks, Gina! :-) And thanks for always checking in to my blog...when I haven't posted for a while I always think, "What's the use?! No one is reading it anymore!" but then I get a comment from you and it makes me get back in the blogging groove. Thank you! :-)

I definitely recommend a trip to Cambodia if you have a chance. I only saw one tiny corner of the country, and it made me realize how much of Asia I haven't seen yet...if only I had all the money and time in the world! ha ha ha. :-)

Gina said...

Well, honestly I relate to you a lot because you are an American and you do live in Japan like me. Also, I find your personality really down to earth. You're a total riot. So funny! Your blog has got to be one of my top 3 favorite blogs that I really look forward to reading always. I really don't mind if you update a lot or not. I will always read it because it's funny and your take on things is so great! : )

Also, I learn all sorts of stuff from here! You see.....all the experience I have ever had in Japan has been of a "housewife" ha ha ha. So while I may know about momly things in Japan (or am learning, lol). You know all sorts of stuff, *I never even knew!* For example, I didn't know that women were supposed to buy chocolates for their male coworkers in Japan for V-day. I was like, "wow" when I read that! Or just the plain ol' working overtime. Knowing that a fellow American is working so much overtime in Japan! That sorta stuff I woulda NEVER known about if it wasn't for your blog! I get to see glimpses of a Japan life, that I never knew about!!! So thanks! : )

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