Vix & Alan's S.E.Asia Travel Blog travel blog

Alan @ Angkor Wat

An Angkor Wat outbuilding

Nymph relief @ Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat @ dawn

Angkor Wat complex

Kay and Richard @ Angkor Wat

Nymphs @ Angkor Wat

stone carving in Angkor Wat

The complex of Angkor Wat

Turret @ Angkor Wat

View from the top of Angkor Wat

We are now trying to figure our way out of Cambodia and back into Thailand and it looks like we'll be attempting an obscure border crossing called Pailin (probably quite apt as Alan was mistaken for the Great Man himself in a bookshop in Phnom Penh - and went along with the mistaken identity which was quite funny!)

So, next update will hopefully be from a sunshine island paradise, assuming the next part of the journey goes well... very little written about this crossing and it seems it hasn't been possible for too long so it'll be interesting to see how we get on...

I don't like to be judgemental about these things but here's some of the less appealing of Cambodia's features:

1. Constant power cuts in the towns and no electricity in the country

2. 'Roads' that are deep with craters, ridges, potholes and thick thick red dust

3. Food that is unspeakably revolting including a huge selection of unidentifiable gloopy things in fermented paste type stuff

4. Everyone trying to make a fast buck (off us)

5. Constant loud speaker public pop 'music' and/or propaganda blasting out (including an unholy awakening this morning at 5.00am)

6. Everyone in bed by 8.30pm

7. Apart from the wonderful temples and palaces, the only other 'tourist attractions' are Killing Fields, rifle shooting ranges and the memorable but terrible Genocide museum.

8. The daily and widespread slash-and-burn of fields, forests and virtually anything that could be described as green.

9. Piles of rotting rubbish absolutely everywhere, town and country alike

10. Dreary regional towns with crumbling buildings, half pavements and occasionally abandoned colonial buildings in severe states of disrepair

11. A wilful and dangerous ignoring of any rules of the road

However, to offer a fair and balanced picture of the place, I include here a few pix of the marvellous Angkor Wat. Although the 'spectacular' 5.00am dawn sunrise didn't prove spectacular (it was overcast the day we visited), the temple complex itself is truly marvellous and, having arisen at such an indecent hour, we did at least avoid the crowds. There were some pretty steep steps to climb, including one set which was practically vertical (very few handrails and just signs saying 'climb at your own risk'). When we'd panted and puffed our way to the top of these narrow and worn steps, we were greeted by a poor sobbing woman who'd lost her nerve and got a sudden fit of vertigo, but luckily Alan was able to soothingly counsel her down again.

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