Monday, November 26

Vietnam-Cambodia, Day Ten: Angkor Wat

Our earliest start yet, it was pre dawn when we headed out to Angkor Wat. This turned out to be a bit of a bust since it was way too cloudy for any decent sunrise, but I guess that's the risk of being at the mercy of the weather. Still, we made the most of our early time there amongst the largest temple in the world and although there was a fair number of people with the same idea as us it felt less busy than it could have been.

So yes, Angkor Wat et al. You've all seen it in pictures (if not in real life) so I won't bother you with the detail except to say that yes, it did feel like I was going to bump into Angelina Jolie at any minute. You can see the pictures I took here. I warn you, temples feature a lot in them.

But overall the temples were just as we had expected and if I'm honest they weren't as awe inspiring as I wanted them to be - I'm actually beginning to wonder if I'm desensitised to these kind of things now. In fact I was amazed to find out how young they were! Of course I am glad that I got to check them out anyway and after a hot morning slog, we managed to finish the main four temples (including Ta Prohm, the "Tomb Raider" temple) by around 3pm. This was quite the result considering we had budgeted the whole day for them.

Since we had time to spare a couple of us decided to take advantage of the afternoon and headed over to the nearby Mechrey. In my opinion this was just as much - if not more so - a win than the events of the day as we took our own motor boat into the floating village.

Yes, it was sparse. No, there wasn't much to do. But it ws a cool experience in terms of cultural porn and as pricey as it was (don't be expecting a fixed entry price here), it was definitely worth it. Even though sunset was a bust since it was way too cloudy. Pictures are here.

For dinner we headed over a mass Apsara dance and dinner show. It was the most touristy thing we had done that day but fun anyway (pictures here) - if any visitors decide to catch a show it will probably pay dividends to plan ahead. The day was ended with a local massage in a parlour recommended by our hotel. I won't say anything except that it was... different.

And that was our first day in Seam Reap. Looking back, I was pretty amazed at how much we actually got done... but then I remember the insane time at which we got up. Absolutely worth it though.

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