Sorry fellow adventurers, but I’m now back from my two-week vacation. I would have given more warning about my leaving, but I was a little too busy and procrastinated it. However, now I have many adventures to share with you: from the far reaches of the Angkor Kingdom, down the Mekong, and to the shores of Vietnam. It was a wonderful journey and I’m excited to share it with you.
The adventure started June 12th when those of us here in Cambodia, joined by our counterparts from Thailand, boarded a bus for Siem Reap. The bus ride was surprisingly smooth and I rather quick. I slept most of the time, so maybe that’s why it went by so fast. We made a few pit stops at some little out-of-the-way places for bathroom and snacks, but nothing too special. What was special was the people at these places, especially at one stop in particular.
As we got off the bus, little girls rushed the doors like we were a famous rock band getting off our tour bus. But rather than hound us for autographs they begged us to buy fruits from them. Phrases like, “I remember you, you remember me? So you buy from me.” resonated through the air. What made these girls unique was that they all had tarantulas crawling on them! Why you ask? I don’t know. I had to do a double take because I thought it probably a gimmick, but they were real. At some point these eight-legged fiends end up dead and deep-fried for tourists to munch. Yum-yum.
For the record, I hate spiders. I hate looking at them, thinking about them, even blogging about them. Thus as you can imagine, I didn’t ask to hold one, eat one, and I even made sure the girls stayed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s arm length away from me (if you don’t know who that is, find a sports nut and they’ll tell you). With that said, let’s get back on the bus for Siem Reap.
Despite what I thought about the quick ride, it apparently took a little longer than we had planned (part of that was we left an hour later than we’d planned, but oh well). We got to Siem Reap and had a quick bite to eat (props to the restaurant the Khmer Kitchen for a fast job on such short notice) and then it was over to Angkor Wat.
As a quick side note, Angkor Wat is only temple within a vast complex known as Angkor. It would literally take weeks to see every temple. We didn’t have that much time. What we did get to see though was amazing. Seeing Angkor Wat was like seeing Cambodia for the first time. It really felt like the Cambodia you’d see in movies; the stuff Indiana Jones filled or heads with. The craftsmanship and the precision, it’s incredible that something like that could be built thousands of years ago. It was such a privilege to walk around the temple and see what we could. Sadly, because of our tardiness, the main areas of the actual temple closed and we were unable to see too much inside. Even Martina was able to see all I was able to see, thanks in large part to the great people we had traveling with us and who helped us throughout the trip. Apsara dancers adorned many of the walls and a small lighting storm took place in the background that perfectly accented this other worldly monument.
I wish that I could do Angkor Wat justice in describing it, but you really just have to come see it for yourself. With that challenge, I’ll end for now and share more with you next time. Unitl then, adventure on!