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Published: December 2nd 2018
Slightly tense moment at Da Nang airport as we realised we hadn’t paid for our luggage to come with us to Cambodia. Very kindly the Airline allowed us to shell out $120 and the cases made it.
Arriving at the hotel we were advised that there was a Water festival going on and the local entertainment area ‘Pub Street’ might be a bit noisy.
A bit noisy! After listening to a thumping bass from about a mile away till 5.00 in the morning - we managed to get a couple of hours sleep before breakfast. Welcome to Cambodia! Apparently we are near ‘pub’ street which made Magaluf seem like a sleepy suburb.
Next morning was fairly lazy then we went on a half day tour around some of the temples - avoiding Angkor Wat because it was a holiday and would have been too busy. As an aside apparently Angkor doesn’t mean anything - Original name Nangkot (dragon) Wat but first documentation typeset in France and they missed the N off then couldn’t change it so in effect a bad typesetter named the area.
Our guide took us around various temples including the outside of
Angkor Tom city - East gate where we saw a few Macat monkeys as well as The Bayon Temple with huge smiling faces of Buddha
The main temples we visited were
Preah Khan - the temple for father (holy sword)which was the last temple built in Cambodia
Neak Poan - the hospital temple
East Mebon - the temple in the dried reservoir
Pre Rup for the sunset ( although not a great sunset)
Amongst other things we saw Vishnu reclining on the back of a dragon.
Back to hotel where Sue had a swim and I sat by the pool with glass in hand and my book - The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle - definitely recommend it, before heading out for a low cost but great dinner and an early night.
Someone (no names) had booked a photography tour at 4.40am the following morning to photograph the sunrise at Angkor Wat.
Tom from Dudley, our guide met us at 4.40 and took us out to Angkor Wat - taking us away from the main crowds we got there early enough for Sue to set up right on the edge of the water looking towards
the temple. Even 5 minutes later we would have struggled to get a spot with a clear view as so many people were turning up.
Next breakfast ( made up by the hotel) washed down by coffee from Mama Blacks an off-road cafe with great coffee.
Then onto the next temple which opened at 7.30. The theme of the day was about getting to temples ahead of the Chinese tour buses and finding less crowelded ways round with good spots for photography as we went through the day. Both as a guide and as a photography expert Tom was good and Sue picked up a number of technical tips throughout the day.
By 11.30 we were back at the hotel for lunch avoiding the heat of the day and due again to head out at 2.00. I ducked out at that point having seen enough temples and stood still in enough places watching Sue taking photographs for one day.
Once Eue was picked up again I headed into town and simply followed my nose wandering along the river and through the markets, occasionally stopping at the odd waterhole for refreshment and got back about 6.00 -
just after Sue who had had a good day with Tom.
Off to town later that evening for a meal at La Malraux- a lovely french/Cambodian restaurant hidden down an alleyway.
Next day we decided we needed both some downtime and some time to plan and book where we were going next. We sat around and in the pool most of the morning before heading out to Angkor Wat again to look at the temple with a bit more time than we had at sunset the day before. Impressive.
Final evening in Siem Reap for a few days so a quick meal, grab some additional cash and an early (ish) night before being picked up the next morning for our boat trip to Battambang.
The hotel we stayed in, the ‘Central Suites Residence’, was exceptional with the most and pleasant attentive staff, particularly the guy who seemed to be the day manager - would recommend anytime. The only downside was one guy ringing up at 11.45pm on our last night trying to get us to leave a review on trip advisor and mention his name - perhaps not perfect timing for that conversation.
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