Vietnam & Cambodia 2018 - Lesley & Neil's 25th anniversary holiday travel blog

Angkor Wat at dawn




Ta Prohm temple

Never been so hot in my life!

Such a cutie

I love antibiotics! That is all I need to say on that.

The cultural highlight of our tour came this morning with a dawn visit to Angkor Wat, the series of thirteenth century temples and mausoleum for the king at the time. It’s a civil engineering masterpiece, covering an area the size of 300 football pitches, with the mathematical brilliance of the pyramids, Stonehenge, Machu Pichu etc as the structures are built to be perfectly in line with the sun at certain times of the year. Absolutely spectacular, especially viewed at sunrise, and absolutely packed with tourists.

Our little tour group has grown quite close now and we all know each other’s names (except Neil who refers to all the women as Brenda, just in case 瀞). It was like the return of the prodigal daughter this morning with 'oh Lesley, so glad you're back with us' chorused en masse by my new group of aunties when I joined the tour for Angkor Wat. Very sweet really.

If you want to visit China, today might be a good day because they're all at Angkor Wat. They're easy to spot in more ways than one, i.e. their bizarre dress sense and the need to strike a pose like Madonna at the sniff of a camera.

This afternoon we hit the high point in temperatures with 37 degrees although even the guide said it felt like 42. Soggy t-shirts all round. I also need to tell Estée Lauder that her mattifier just doesn't. We visited Ta Prohm Temple ruins where Lara Croft is filmed and which is worth a visit before nature or Chinese tourists completely overrun it. This was followed by a trip to another educational project run by a real hero who opened a little school for 5 orphans in 2003 and now has 8 schools with over 1000 kids he's rescued. They're educated, housed and fed at these project centres and they all looked genuinely happy and spoke excellent English. Another humbling experience.

You'll be pleased to know Neil's linguistic skills haven't failed him. He's transferred effortlessly from Cambodian to French, the language spoken at the hotel and dominant in the area. In other words, he still sounds like a British tourist.

A little adventure out tonight by tuk tuk with two other couples we're friendly with as we went to the sophisticatedly named Pub Street area of Siem Reap. We probably needed our best vests, dreadlocks and backpacks but we found a local restaurant that looked like it wasn't going to poison us and took the plunge. It was good! As yet, stomachs are in tact and we live to do touristy things for another day. I don't care anyway as I feel like Wonder Woman with my antibiotics.

Bonsoir, as Neil would currently say.


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