Siem Reap- Sunrise over Angkor Wat, 50 cent beer and more 50 cent beer

Hello and once again, sorry for the delay in-between posts. I need to start a blog that doesn’t open with this line. I did try to upload this in the last two places we stayed. I could gain access  to any site apart from WordPress for some strange reason.

We were now in Cambodia, our second country of the trip. One thing I loved about Thailand was the admiration they showed for their late King. Thailand is in yearlong mourning for the king. It’s so lovely to see how much love and admiration they had for him. He was in reign for 70 years. So in power for many generations. Everywhere we went there were shines for the king and black ribbons.

As much as we loved our time in Thailand, a month of pretty much island hopping, eating incredible food and visiting 7-Elevens; we were ready to see what Cambodia had to offer.

Siem Reap

Once we had checked in our guesthouse, we crashed straight away. It felt like days ago since we left Koh Tao.  The next morning we had to find a new place to stay as our current accommodation didn’t have the availability. The main issue was that we needed to find some place close, as we had already arranged for the Tuk Tuk driver to pick us up from there to take us to Angkor Wat the next day. Luckily we found somewhere just down the road within budget, and with air con! The only time we had air con in Thailand, was when we were in our Christmas accommodation.

Once we had checked in the new place, we went for a bit of a wonder. The buildings here are so beautiful.  Very French colonial.  As we were walking about we started to see signs, obscured signs. Maybe we were still weary from the journey from the day before. These signs were saying beer was 50 cents! We walked past a few more places, and these signs just kept popping up. Beer 50 cents.  Beer  50 cents.  Once we realised this wasn’t some perverse joke, we headed to the next bar we saw.

We couldn’t indulge in too much beer as we had to be up early the next day for our trip to Angkor Wat.

At 4am our alarm went off, giving us enough time to get ready and meet our Tuk Tuk driver. I was still convinced he wasn’t going to show up. When we head down to the road there were a few other people out on the road meeting their Tuk Tuk drivers.

“Hello Mr Paul?” –No sorry were not your westerner’s.

I did think maybe if our driver was a no show we could go back and pretend to be Mr Paul for the day.

Luckily our driver Mr Kim was there, we hadn’t been scammed. Well actually Kim wasn’t there, he had sent a replacement as we were informed Kim was ill. He had the diarrhea. Our new driver told us this while rubbing his tummy. Poor Mr Kim… I wonder how many times he arranges a trip then suddenly gets the squirts so has to send a replacement?!

Sadly we can’t remember our new drivers’ name, as it was 4.30am and I was trying not to smirk at the fact he said Mr Kim had Diarrhea while rubbing his tummy. So for the Blog we shall call him Mr Fred. So Mr Fred drove us off in the early hours to begin our day exploring the temples of Angkor Wat. We headed to the ticket office first. The queue was already huge. Think Alton Towers and when you arrive and everyone heads to Oblivion or Air first. I wish we had a fast pass. When we reached the front of the queue we had our photos taken for our day pass/ticket. This is what a face at 5am looks like.

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We headed back to Mr Fred and he drove us off to the first Temple. Which is the most Iconic and well known of the temples.  I didn’t realise the site was so huge. I just thought it was the temple that’s always photographed. When in fact you can get a week pass so you can see all the sites, which are spread across over great distances.

We were dropped off and Mr Fred said to come back around 8am and he would take us to the next site. It was still pitch black. There were other people with torches. If we hadn’t of followed them we wouldn’t have been able to see anything. We walked through a small temple and then down a very long pathway. We noticed hundreds of people sitting by the lake. So you can see the breath taking sunrise come above the temple. We chose to sit on the wall along the pathway, as well, we hate other people. We had a nice quiet spot. Then a group came and sat by us. Another one of those groups who don’t know how to communicate by talking; only shouting. Even if I did a parody of someone talking loudly, it wouldn’t be as loud as them. Luckily they decided to head down to the lake.

Not long after the loud talkers moved, a woman who worked for the Angkor Wat site came a long and moved a large no entry sign that had been up. We were so lucky that we were close by when the sign was moved. It meant we were one of the first 30/40 people inside the temple. We got to explore and take in the incredible beauty without 1000’s of other tourists about.  It was so special getting to experience it in such an intimate setting. We have heard so many people talking about how they wish they could have gone to Angkor Wat, but when it is empty, and we actually got to do just that.

It was slightly cloudy so the sunrise wasn’t 100% visible, but it was still pretty spectacular. It will take a lot to top a morning like this one. We had wonder around the temple and then headed back to the Tuk Tuk. On the way back we saw a guy get his breakfast stolen by a monkey.

There were so many other Tuk tuks about. We were struggling to find our driver among them all. We knew Mr Fred had a red hoodie on, so that’s what we were looking for in the area he told us to meet him. At first I thought Fred had, had enough of us and driven off. It was like playing where’s Wally, we were looking for almost impossible.  When we did find him, he was having a little nap in the back of the Tuk Tuk.  We felt pretty bad for walking him up.  He must have been up at least 3.30 am, and he probably has to do this most mornings.  Once we had woken him up we realised he wasn’t even our Tuk Tuk driver! Oops!

We eventually managed to find our similarly dressed driver and he took us on our way to our next temple, which is called Bayon. This temple involved a lot of climbing. We are so unfit; it was like we were doing a full body conditioning class at the gym.

One of the temples we visited is where the filmed part of the tomb raider film. By the time we had reached the Tomb raider temple there were so many tour groups about. It felt like they just wanted a photo posing by the temples than actually enjoying them. I mean look at this guy, he climbed over a rope to get a selfie.

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By the time we had explored the last temple we were exhausted. We struggled climbing and wondering around after only one day, I’m not sure we could hack up to a week of this. Mr Fred drove us back home and we went back to bed to have a much needed nap. After a good rest, we were in need of a good drink.  We wanted to make sure that the 50cent beer from the day before wasn’t just a wild dream we had. This time decided to upgrade to a large pitcher of beer for just $2. After a few pitchers of beer we were pretty drunk and thought it would be a fun idea to get a foot massage. It was supposed to be good after a day at the temples and supposed to be very relaxing. If you’ve ever had a massage in South East Asia, you will know they are far from it.  It was almost comical. I swear at one point they tried to pull my toes off.  It was only $2 and worth it for the laughter fit it gave us alone.

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Thanks for reading. I know it’s not a thrilling read, I promise there will be a bit more to the next post. It’s really nice to know you’ve given up part of your day to read back on our adventure with us. XXXX

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