Cambodia & Angkor Wat

Adrian @ Angkor Wat

Originally uploaded by Adrian F1

Ha, I just realized that I am wearing the exact same outfit as I am in the Singapore shot! I assure you my hygiene hasn’t taken a dive since I have been in Asia, I still change clothes, and occasionally underwear as well. 🙂

I was hoping to have better access to internet while in Bangkok , so I could upload my shots from there (my hotel was supposed to have it in my room), but that will have to wait.

Cambodia’s internet, while available, is really slow. As a result I only risked uploading this one picture. Far from my best shot, particularly because I am in it, does show that I am actually in Siem Reap, Cambodia, home of the Angkor complex of temples.

The temples are spectacular, and I recommend you see them as soon as possible! Tourism is increasing at 30% a year, and there is lots of evidence of this in town, with many many new western-style hotels popping up. There are already too many tourists, so get here before the number of tourists doubles or triples!

There is lots of evidence of the various wars that have set the region back considerably. There are many people with missing limbs as a result of land mines that are still dotting the country side. You can also see many bullet holes and vandalism on the temples that occurred during the civil war.

The best temple, while not the biggest, is the ‘jungle temple’ where the French, who instigated much of the renovation work now overtaken by the Germans and the Japanese, decided not to get rid of all of the huge trees that overgrew the temples. You can really see how powerful nature is when a 200-300 year old tree totally splits and crushes a sandstone temple.

Some suggestions on travel here: I highly recommend the Borann hotel that I am staying at ($40 a night for A/C room), which offers very good English speaking tour guides ($25 a day) and drivers ($25 a day). You can go much cheaper as well, but I decided on this approach to see as much as possible in a short time. The guide named “raum” (phonetically) really helped explain many details of the temple that would easily be missed by a tourist. He also helped explain much of the mythology that is etched on the walls of the various temples.

Another note: Don’t bother with the local currency, the “Riel”, nobody wants it, and will penalize you with a bad ‘exchange’ rate with respect to the USD. Get lots of $1 bills and even some quarters to help you buy bottled water when you visit the temples.

Next stop is Phuket, Thailand via Kuala Lampur, Malaysia.

One Response

  1. It’s great to read your posts and see your pictures! And I’m glad you’re having fun despite feeling sick.

    I can’t think about Thailand without thinking about all of William T. Vollmann’s near-death adventures there, his meetings with opium lords, and his attempts to rescue a child prostitute.

    For that reason alone it’s good to read something with a different tone, and from somebody whose judgement I trust!

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