I met a very cool canadian girl named Amy who is traveling around South East Asia for four months. We decided to pay a tuktuk for the day to take us everywhere we wanted to go.
We started super early. We met at 5:00 a.m. to hop in our tuktuk and get to Angkor Wat in time to see the sunrise. The temple is enormous and quite astonishing. Although the sunrise wasn't what we had hoped for (due to a cloud cover) I didn't regret our decision. It was nice and cool in the morning and we spent 3 1/2 exploring temples including Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and Ta Prohm, where everyone wanted to talk about the tomb raider movie and Angelina Jolie because they shot a good portion of the movie there.
The back of Angkor wat
Me and my new travel buddy Amy
Angkor Thom south gate
A little girl who was very much enjoying saying Hi and Bye in English to us and was eager to pose for pictures
I am lara Croft, except not in that orange dress
Ta Prohm Temple
After our long morning we grabbed breakfast in town. Satiated from my banana flower salad we took our tuk tuk for a scenic drive out to the river to enjoy the view. The rest of the day was more or less downtime to rest up for planned activities tomorrow. We decided to go relax at a pool for a few hours, we found a hotel that let us pay three dollars to use their tiny tropical oasis. It was so refreshing. It's pretty sweltering and uncomfortable here so the cool water was much appreciated.
We then returned to our respective hotels, changed and met up again to explore pub street, the old market, and grab some dinner.
A couple things I have noticed about Cambodia. Begging here is a career for all ages. Its far worse than in Thailand or Vietnam. Even more heartbreaking, most of the beggars are children sent out by their parents to attempt to collect money. Its hard not to give them anything cause they look so sad but we were told that the more money they make the less likely they are to be sent to school. Its like the starving children on the "for just $0.50 a day" commercials. I think I might start donating when I come home. Ugh. Cambodia is far more poor than Thailand or Vietnam and is supposedly less expensive but in Siem Reap everything cost twice as much. I suppose thats what you get when you spend time at a tourist hot spot.
I don't know if my blabbering makes sense because I am so exhausted at this point so its off to bed early (since I awoke this morning at 4:30 a.m.). Tomorrow's agenda- floating village, silk farm, and ATVs (which they call quad bikes here) for a two hour ride around the country side and to watch the sunset from a rice field. Then its off to Phnom Penh.