Siem Reap – Rain, Tomb Raider, bedtime stories and more rain

Perhaps we should have done a bit more research on the weather in Cambodia before jetting off… but we didn’t. October is the wettest month of the year in Cambodia.

As soon as we got out of the airport, it was chucking it down. Our hostel provided free airport pickup, which was much appreciated… However, we weren’t expecting it to be in a tuk tuk… we met our driver, Mr Visal and he helped us get our bags into the tuk tuk before donning a pink rain poncho. The front of the tuk tuk wasn’t covered, he was out in the rain! Poor man! Also, it was quite a long journey…at least half an hour, he was drenched!

When we arrived, we were greeted by some extremely friendly hotel employees who brought over some vegetable crisps, a refreshing lemongrass drink and ice cold towels – which would have been wonderful if it was hot outside and not a monsoon. As you might have read in the hostel/hostile that Kim posted the other day, we were given a free bedtime story each night – amazingly exciting, though the stories were…interesting.

We took advantage of the free tuk tuk service in the evening and headed to the town. It was so busy! Full of massage places, fish pedicures, beggars and eateries. We had dinner and then went for a wander around the Angkor Market. It was pretty similar to other markets that we’ve been to… but wetter.

The next day we went to Angkor Wat and surrounding temples (NB: it costs $20 for a park ticket, we couldn’t find this price anywhere so just be aware). It was quite a sight to behold, you can only imagine how glorious it was when it was first built!

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It was huge! Apparently during December/January it’s so busy here that you can’t actually walk around, you shuffle… It was pretty busy when we were there but I can’t imagine what it would be like with so many people! Fans of Lara Croft might recognise the temple as the set of Tomb Raider…

The main temple was so vast, as you walked around there were intricate wall carvings depicting different stories from important historical events.

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Some areas were still intact but others were much more decrepit.
As soon as we got back to the tuk tuk, the heavens opened and they pretty much stayed open for the rest of the day, hence the appearance of the rather fetching ponchos…

After waiting out a particularly bad shower, we headed out to set the Bayon Temple.

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It was fun to explore the ruins but it was pretty wet! We then headed to another temple and another… So I won’t put all pics on here but I really liked this one…

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I think we might have had more enthusiasm for the six temples we visited that day if it hadn’t been raining profusely.

On the final day in Siem Reap, we went to a landmine museum. It was set up by a man called Aki Ra who was enlisted as a child soldier when he was just 10 years old. He was mainly responsible for laying landmines… now he has dedicated his life to finding and defusing mines and he set up the museum to raise awareness and also, after finding injured children while out defusing mines, he set up a relief centre for children hurt by landmines. Bill, who works at the museum with Aki Ra, showed us around and was so friendly and inspiring. He moved to Cambodia from the US to help the cause and he does a lot of the fundraising for the project.

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It was a really fascinating, though harrowing place, it’s hard to believe but there are still over 5,000,000 landmines in Cambodia. It’s even harder to believe that there are other countries in the world with many more than that…

The following day, we took a six hour bus journey to Phnom Penh…

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2 responses to “Siem Reap – Rain, Tomb Raider, bedtime stories and more rain

  1. Oh you went to THAT temple (the one with the tree)! I’d love to go there. It’s stunning – great photo.

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