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Published: November 4th 2009
Angkor Wat at sunrise.
A wise and well-traveled friend of ours advised us that the smart way to travel for long periods is to carve out time for a few short vacations within your vacation (thanks Julie!). After almost 2 weeks on the road, we've decided that it's time to heed that advice - but starting in the afternoon because we had big plans for this morning.
A tuk-tuk driver picked us up at the hotel at 5:00am and we joined a long precession of tuk-tuks and vans on the road out to Angkor Wat in the dark. Zipping up the main temple road, with the wind (and bugs) in our face, it was actually almost a bit cold for once. The guards checked our tourist passes and we walked through the gates with our headlamps lighting the way, probably hundreds of people, to watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat. I'm sure that it will be one of the most memorable moments of the entire trip. It's magical.
Back at the hotel, we checked email and had breakfast and then around 10am we headed into town to explore a bit. We wandered around the Old Market, hundreds of stalls of people selling just
Another shot of Angkor Wat at sunrise
about anything you might want, and then popped in to a store recommended by our guidebook. It's called Colors of Cambodia and sells drawings of the temples by school children. A portion of all revenues go to the local schools. We bought a watercolor of a Buddha head at Bayon. We also picked us some post cards and stopped by a great little cafe called the Blue Pumpkin (excellent pastries and ice cream) for some cold drinks and to write a few of the post cards (Diane, Nancy, Robin and Heidi - we did send them so hopefully they'll make it to you in a few weeks).
We had lunch at the Khmer Kitchen; it was our only meal in Cambodia that was just average (we wouldn't recommend it) and then went back to our hotel for a lovely afternoon of reading books pool side or in the wonderful comfort of our AC room (most hotel lobbies, restaurants and public areas only have fans, not AC, which makes it a little tougher here than in big cities where it's easeir to escape and cool down for a few minutes).
Siem Reap's restaurants continue to surprise us. So many
Cambodian version of the Tuk-Tuk
of them could easily be transported to LA or Miami and not look a bit out of place (except for the prices). We had dinner tonight at Viroth's, another one of these gorgeous restaurants with a beautiful large open patio with wood floors and candlelight under the stars. We've had the best food of the trip here in Cambodia and will certainly miss it.
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