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Friday 7 Mar 2003
Siem Reap, Cambodia

Cycling the Wat!

OK Ive learned my lesson.... NEVER cycle from Siem Reep to the Angkor temples!!! Not that its a far distance (about 3km) but that it is STINKING HOT!!! I was walking around, dripping in sweat the ENTIRE day!

Apart from that, hiring a bicycle (for Im not ready to get a moped..cuz its mad here!!!) was the best thing I did today.. I had total freedom to visit any temple I wanted to (within cycling distance that is!!!)

Went to Ao Prom today. This temple is in the middle of the jungle surrounding Siem Reep and still retains the rustic ambiance that the first explorers would have seen when they arrived here hundreds of years ago.... massive 50-100 ft high trees growing among the ruins, their massive roots wrapped around the doorways and essentially becoming a part of the architecture... I think this is my favourite temple here.... truly like something out of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom!!

The kids around the temples are really cute too... selling you water at hefty profit for their folks (no doubt)... ah yes and they dont stop damnit!!!! te te te I say over and over!!

...raconter...

...just dont get talking to all the kids who hang around the temples though. They have a scam running, and I got caught once in it, where the kids start asking: "where you are from?", "how old are you?" while they "slip" in some historical information about whatever ruin you are walking along. They then turn around to you and demand some money for "the tour". In my case the "guide" was joined by his friend, who didnt say a thing but also demanded money!! I gave a tiny amount to the guide-kid, just to get him off my back, but became wary of talking to any of the kids hanging around the temples henceforth.

...end raconter...

Talking of which Ive learned some handy khmer:

Sious Dei ("Soo-ez Day") - Hello

Ar kun thran - Thank you

Te - No

The last one is particularly useful!!!!

Something quite sad that you see around Siem Reep though (and Im sure all over Cambodia) are the beggars on the street who have no legs (having trod on a landmine)... these people may have been succesful farmers but because there is no social security in Cambodia, they lose their source of income when they become crippled..... its pretty depressing.

On a lighter note... Im off to Phnom Penh tomorrow (via speed boat no less!!). Siem Reep has been cool and the people are REALLY good craic (always smiling... it makes ya feel good!)

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