Being a Cambodian king

Today, we saw an ancient temple with carvings from 800 AD, then hiked a small mountain which was supposed to be a jungle, followed by a visit to a temple covered with trees and finally a big temple complex once ruled by a king. My guide book said to stand on the terrace and imagine being a king standing in front of all your subjects with parades of elephants walking by. It was an extraordinary thought.

I feel asleep in the tuk tuk on our way back and my brother wondered if I was going to fall out. I didn’t have time to nap in a cool hammock like the tuk tuk drivers.

I met two Belgian boys who are biking the world. Awesome. Well done, they made it to Cambodia.

Tomorrow, for the grand finale, Angkor Wat.

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Ear muffs in Thailand

If you have ever walked into a sauna to sweat it out, that is what it feels like to be in South east Asia. I am melting here and my color is getting so dark I think I could be mistaken for a local. I walked into a Bangkok mall the other day and they were selling ear muffs. This is their winter season but seriously, who is buying ear muffs?

Today we toured the junior temples at Angkor Wat. If you have ever seen Tomb raider or Indiana Jones, that’s what this place resembles. I was a little sad though to see so many children selling products to tourists. They should be in school.

Tomorrow, big temples at Angkor Wat.

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Walking across Cambodian border

My first border crossing by foot made me lose a little faith in humanity. After a 4.5 hour bus ride from Bangkok to the border, we depart to be greeted by con artists selling Cambodian visas. They had an official looking office at the bus depot and the police do not stop them from selling. It is disheartening to have people purposefully benefit by tricking you. We didn’t fall victim to the scam, because upon quoting the visa price we recognized the situation and left. A short go cart ride to the border, presented the valid passport process. After the visa, we meet further shady characters who we needed to do business with to get to Siem Reap. The transportation prices are inflated by 250% compared to locals but there is no other option, we are in the middle of nowhere with few options. We shared a taxi with two others to Siem Reap (another 2 hours). It took the entire day to arrive at our next destination. Flying would have cost $200, the bus cost the price of dinner, the taxi about $12. I am glad to have experienced my first border crossing by foot however, I am not sure I would do it again.

Arriving in Cambodia is interesting, everything is quoted in American dollars, as the currency of choice and you can pay in it. There are also stars in the sky in Cambodia, haven’t seen those in Asia yet.

Photos – go kart vehicle, exiting Thai border, walk across the border and entering Cambodia.

The extraordinary, Angkor Wat, 8th wonder of the world tomorrow. By the way, the required dress for women to enter a temple is to have knees and shoulders covered. They rent you clothes if you are improperly dressed.

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