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Published: February 12th 2013
Hello gentle reader - firstly apologies for the uncharacteristic delay in bloggers' corner but computer station at hotel in Siem Reap was well hot and stuffy! Rest of hotel was fantastic though. Boutique hotels in Cambodia are no more than 2 storeys high and suppposed to have very lush tropical gardens and lovely pools - well this baby did not disappoint. Prettiest hotel and best pool to date and a superb restaurant which was very reasonable. This was particularly useful cos when you're 'templed out' (and they are amazing) and you will be(!), it's really nice to have a good dip, force down a cold beer or, if you're Sally a Mai Tai or Singapore Sling, and then slip into the restaurant. Particularly good after the 05 am start on day 2 to check sunrise at Angkor Wat. The whole temple area is undoubtedly a wonder - Deg's customary "it was just incredible" may even be appropriate and worthy of these sites. Some were built in red sadstone with amazing carvings, some were built high with tiny bricks, some even had four heads (NSEW) on each tall dome and one had been taken over by nature and had trees and roots growing through it! I think this one was the original inspiration for Tomb Raider! Too much detail to go into here. If you've been you'll know what I mean and if you haven't you'll have to wait unil we return. If you are reading this and about to go then look up a guy called Mr Kriss (Trip Advisor, Google or Cambodian Yellow pages - yes I'm serious!). If he doesn't take you round himself then he will fix you up with someone equally brilliant - worth every dollar!
We also visited a wonderful lake biggest in SE Asia- with great big floating village and even had croccdile farm!! Learnt lots about different fishing techniques but no- didn't try them out!! Visited a small but harrowing war museum where we were guided round by a veteran of the civil war. He had lost his whole family, an arm and had a belly full of shrapnel but seemed to have no bitterness in him - just a quiet sadness. Humbling to say the least.
Next visit is Pattaya!!!
After a huge long bus trip and mad tuk tuk we eventually arrived at Angela and Mike's- they live in a wonderful condo overlooking the beach- wonderful "sun downer cocktails" on balcony.They showed us some cultural sights in Pattaya- yes there are some for those of you thinking it's just famous for the red light district! Some of the highlights were a beautiful wooden temple with carvings of everything from elephants to chinese dragons- it worships all religions from chinese taoism to hinduism to buddhism, also a golden buddha carved into a mountain, and a museum where we saw some of the famous terracota chinese warriors. Some great food too- our first rock lobsters and crab claws in curry sauce; a trip to Pattaya's cabbages and Condoms and a fun Mexican restaurant in ...yep the Red Light District - 4 Brits, 4 Danes and 4 jugs of Margarita!!
After what seemed like an even shorter time than ever we were off again and heading by plane and boat to The Islands. Now in Koh Tao at stunning hotel but more on that later!!
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