Popping in and out of Cambodia

After Cambodia, Otto (our guide) will be going back to Bangkok with a third of our group. The rest of us will continue on toVietnam  and get a new guide and group. 
I’m surprised I haven’t melted into a puddle by now, Laos and Cambodia were so hot. 

I wish we had gotten more time in Siem Reap, Cambodia, even if it had meant cutting Laos out of the tour all together. We had two packed days in Siem Reap and no time to explore or enjoy the city. I feel like I have to come back to both countries simply to get a better feel for them.

Tuesday 5/2

Full day of travel today. This morning we spent about an hour in the city (not doing a whole lot) before heading to the airport. Our first flight from Luang Prabang to Bangkok left at 12:40 and our flight to Siem Reap left at 5:30, so we didn’t get to the hotel in Cambodia until after 8. 

Wednesday 5/3

We covered all the big ruins today, and even managed to take a break in the hotel during the hottest part of the day. We started with Angkor Thom, the old capital city. It is walled and surrounded by a large moat. Angkor Thom is a really nice place with lots of interesting carvings to spend time looking at

After Angkor Thom, we walked through Ta Purim Temple. The temple is pretty much rubble, with trees growing out of it and piles of rocks everywhere. It was nice, but our local guide took us through far too slowly for me. The heat is unbearable when you’re standing still. 

After lunch and a break at the hotel, we headed back out to the real reason to come to Siem Reap, Angkor Wat. It was impressive of course, but I was surprised by how small it actually is. I was expecting something the size of a city, but in reality it was closer to the size of a small college campus. It was lovely though, and we spent nearly three hours going through it. 

Angkor Thom
Angkor Thom
Angkor Wat

Thursday 5/4

Today was a little less stressful than yesterday, though just as long. 

We started the morning with a water buffalo cart ride in the country; two people per cart plus a driver. When we reached the bus (which had dropped us off then gone down the road)  we went to a small canal where we took three boats down through a floating village. The village doesn’t have running water or anything and is constantly moving as the weather  changes. 

We had lunch in town then went to the National Museum where our local guide gave us a tour. I wish we had done the National Museum first and Angkor Wat second because the museum had a lot of cool information to get hype about Angkor Wat, but oh well. 

At dinner, we saw a show with 5 traditional Cambodian dances: the Blessing Dance, the Coconut Shells Dance (my favorite!), the Mekhala Dance, the Peacock Dance, and the Apsara Dance. 

Water buffalo cart ride
The floating village
The Apsara Dance

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