We began our day with an orientation from Uniworld, where we met the 56 members of our tour. We were split into 3 groups and have 19 in our “family”, with Sokun as our leader. His claim to fame is he hid the clues for Amazing Race in Angkor Wat in 2008.
We headed off to Angkor Wat (which means City of Temples) and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the largest religious monuments in the world on 400 acres. It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu for the Khmer Empire but gradually became a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century. Angkor Wat is unusual among the Angkor temples in that although it was largely neglected after the 16th century it was never completely abandoned. And, it continues to be renovated to this day.
We followed our visit with lunch at a local Siem Reap restaurant, Champey’s. The sour soup with fish and the chicken lemongrass were quite tasty. We dined with a couple from Cincinnati, who also have a 2nd home near us on Hilton Head. Also, it turns out we went to the University of Cincinnati with Beverly and reminisced about our days there.
After a rest back at the hotel, our tour took tuk tuk rides through the town, to the old center market area and to a handicraft center. We enjoyed watching the artisans chisel and sculpt Buddha’s, elephants, etc. Ted even took a turn with the chisel.
Dinner was at Malis Restaurant with our new friends from Cincinnati - a lovely atmosphere and dining experience. We enjoyed the fried morning glory.
The Cambodian’s culture, architecture, attitudes, and politeness are refreshing, and we’re thoroughly enjoying our experience.