I arrived in Cambodia after a grueling 12 hour bus trip. It’s so apparent that you’ve crossed the border. The roads in Thailand are first class, while those in Cambodia barely deserve to be called “roads”. It took 10 hours to go 100 kilometers! When I got to Siam Reap, I tried to find Meg, but there was some confusion about the name of the guest house she’d give me. No big deal I figured, we seem to run into each other often enough that we’d end up hanging out again.
Angkor Wat is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. If these temples had been located in a more accessible and politically stable part of the world, I’d be willing to bet that they would be as famous as the Pyramids of Egypt, the Taj Majhal, or the Coliseum in Rome. Without seeing them for ones self, it’s impossible to convey just how impressive these temples are. I spent two days exploring the temples. The first day I saw all the major attractions..Ankor Wat itself, the Bayon with its nearly two hundred identical faces staring at all visitors, Ta Phrom where the jungle still keeps watch over the temple, and lots of other amazing structures. In fact climbing on top of one, I did run into Megan coming up the other side. Amazing!
The second day I rented a motorcycle to go see some of the more obscure temples. The ride out is still one of my favorite memories of the trip. I had a great time passing thru small villages where the kids would just run out of their homes and wave at the strange white tourist. I eventually made it out to Bantae Srei, which is famous not for its size, but for the delicate pink carvings in the stone. On the way back I saw the Rolous group of temples, some of the moats around Angkor itself, finally stopping for sunset at the top of Phnom Bakheng.
Angkor is definitely someplace I’d love to see again, only next time I want to come in the wet season, when the temples are covered with coats of stunningly green moss, the surrounding jungles are at their brightest, and the moats around the main complex still fill with water.