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Published: November 24th 2013
What drew me to this trip in the first place. Very overrun with tourists.
After buffet breakfast we headed by bus to Angkor Wat. This was the reason I had chosen this trip, and this was supposed to be the highlight for me. The buildup was immense for me, I had made it out to be so much more in my mind than it was, I was clearly disappointed in what it really was. Our guide, Savon, covered what books and guides don't tell you, that these monuments to Indian gods and goddesses were built with slave labor during roughly the same decades as Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The Khmer King Suryavarman II built this, the largest religious monument in the world. Today it is Buddhist, but was originally built in honor of the Hindu gods, and they are present on every wall, spire, carving, entrance, exit. Their stories are everywhere. Angkor Wat is beautiful, but very overrun with tourists, literally crumbling from the elements, and sadly now being defaced by tourists getting too close or souvenir takers. In subsequent days we visited more interesting temples that the throngs bypass, and whose stories were more interesting to me. I'm glad I saw it, but was far more impressed by other parts of Cambodia, and
Carvings throughout the temples
hope to go back one day to see more of this beautiful country and it's people.
Tonight we went to the Siem Reap Night Market. What a trip!!!! We were on our own for dinner, so headed in by Pedi-Cab, 5 of us ladies in two, to do a little shopping. The pedi-cab drivers are hard workers. For $2 the maybe 1/2 mile drive from the hotel on deserted streets, in delightful, balmy night weather is very memorable. Pub Street has about 50 little bars and restaurants with everything from British to Thai to Chinese to Hamburgers. You could hear rooftop American country karaoke blaring, people were dancing in the streets, we didn't stay late, but we were told it was just getting started when we were headed home about 10:00pm.
These were the best prices of the whole trip. You can negotiate with the vendors, and I'm guessing the overhead is lower than in Saigon or Phnom Penh. US Dollars are the traded currency here, because their currency changes value so easily. We found many lovely things here. If it hadn't been the beginning of the trip, I'm sure I would have spent much more to take
home gifts for family and friends. I would come back here for maybe a week and just relax by the pool and visit the market area at night, spending more time at each temple area during the days.
We did get scammed here by the "milk scam." Young women with baby on her hip as you to buy milk for the baby. I'm sure the people at the mini-mart are in on the scam. The milk they want is a $26 can of formula, and she can talk you into buying it for her, with this adorable baby. We had no idea it was a scam until another girl tried the same thing just minutes later. We felt very foolish, so don't let them try it on you!
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