21.03.2011 40 °C
I must say, there is nothing better than getting off a long bus ride and seeing someone hold up your name on a card to drive you to your next hotel. Normally it's not that easy, but we're near the end of a very long journey and easy is how we roll now. The hotel we stayed at had some unexpected bonuses, being in Cambodia we weren't expecting the four seasons or anything, just clean place to lay our heads. But we got a POOL! a really nice one, hot water too, a washroom in the room and a TV. BONUS!!!! for the low price of $16 a night. Steal of a deal!
During our stay here, we had our very own tuk tuk driver named James. It was really great having him show us the sites, where to eat and shop as well. He'd arrive at 9am each morning and off we'd go to the temples. Ankor Wat was among the five temples we saw during our stay. The stone work on the temples is incredible and we're in awe of how these structures were created thousands of years ago, hulling huge pieces of stone over 30km to the sites. Trees and severe weather have erroded the temples to the point where roofs are caved in and entire structures are now rubble. For the most part all the temples remain in very good shape considering how long ago they were built.
Our tuk tuk driver would drop us off at each temple entrance, explain briefly the layout or the importance of this temple and then simply wait for our return. When we'd seen enough we'd eat and when we were tired he'd take us back to our hotel for a swim. So relaxing. Today we got a little lost in temple (I can't stress enough how huge these places are covering 10's of acres for just one temple. Anyways, we went in one entrance, spent our time looking around taking turns and ducking through the little doors and over the walkways and soon we were exiting a different entrance. I should also mention that at each entrance there is a swarm of children and women wanting to sell you anything and everything from postcards, to books, to fans, you name it, all for $1. And if you stop walking...you're toast, they've surrounded you and there's nothing you can do about it. So once Diana and I realized we were at the wrong entrance when our tuk tuk driver was no where to be seen we picked a direction walking along side the high temple walls. Turns out we chose the wrong way....so typical We had to hire another tuk tuk driver to take us to our tuk tuk driver....really embarrassing. Our driver laughed for ages about it.
Last night we went to a buffet and cultural proformance watching the Cambodian dancers. It was beautiful and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The food was amazing too, a great way to taste a variety of cambodian specialties. Both Diana and I found the desserts to be rather interesting though and completely understand why they're not regularily appart of their diet. (those dishes could turn anyone off of desserts) We ended the evening with a trip to the night market for some shopping and a foot massage where they served us jasmine tea. Perfect day.
Today we witnessed the most impressive thunder and lightening storm I have ever seen/heard. We were safe in our hotel and once the power went off we grabbed our headlamps and headed downstairs to watch. Very impressive. Tomorrow we're off for our final bus ride to Bangkok. 10hours of fun filled, non-stop heart-wrenching excitment to be followed by a cocktail and a massage on Koh San Road, Bangkok.