Monday, July 30, 2007
Siem Reap, Cambodia

Since our last installment, we left the noise of honk honk honk, beep  beep “coming through”, BLAT, and eek eek from all the cars and motor scooters otherwise known as Hanoi behind.  I have to say, a step up from Bangkok chaos but still worse for motor scooter hell than Rome.  The architecture in Hanoi is quite lovely with victorian row houses but still plenty of shacks and tin roofed hovels as well.  But I think I already talked about Hanoi.

Last night we got rain for the first time on my trip.  When we arrived in Siem Reap, Cambodia, the rain was pouring down on the runway.  As we did not have a room for the nigth yet and this is a relatively small town I was not looking forward to walking around in the rain to find a room.  It turned out OK, with a $5USD ride downtown.. Yes USD.  EVERYTHING here runs on US Dollars.. you even withdraw them from the ATM.. really quite amazing to be 10,000 miles from home and in a country where you tower over everyone by 6 inches and don’t speak the language and still are using your own home currency!

Anyway, this morning we were up and at em after a sweaty night from a piece of crap AC unit that barely chilled the room to 25 degrees C.. thats about 80 folks.  But thats OK, becuase I found some truly LARGE beers last night at the hostel and had some great conversation with the crazy Turk and his psychiatrist wife, the danish enconomics student and the “free lovin'” kraut.  But things closed early (lucky for me) at 10pm and I had to go to my room and sleep for once.

After hopping in the tuk tuk.. sorry for those who don’t know, think of a moped with a trailer and two seats on top and an awning… and we were off.  It was at this point we learned our driver Mr. Lucky would be taking care of us the whole day.  Thats where the quote today comes from.

Anyway, Gino and I are both in agreement that Siem Reap is a much nicer town than Bangkok or Hanoi.  Much quieter, just about as poor but with a developing infrastructure of nice hotels and resturants.  We get to the first temple and its a doosy!  10′ rock carved faces looking down from all angles in the jungle all spread around a 100′ pyramid like temple.  Really quite amazing to see the arrogance of the king who built it carve his own likeness in so many places!  After this we walked around and got hijaked by another tour guide who we foolishly thought was just a nice local trying to help.  Anyway, he was really low key and quite informative and I didn’t have to read (and Gino didn’t have to listen to) me yap from a guide book that we bought for the temples.

The other sites included the King’s palace grounds, a MAGNIFICENT jungle temple (very Indiana Jones) and then the leper terrace and the elephant terrace.  Really amazing the amount of rock carving that these people did.  They clearly needed more to do with thier time.. kind of like Gino and I sitting at this BUTT slow internet cafe with about a 56k upload speed and a computer that I can outtype!

After lunch, Gino the holywood star showed up at Ankor Wat.  Yes folks its true.  In his lovely golden t-shirt and his majestic stature, he truly was the sight for the asian tourists almost as much as the temple.  At one point while we were just looking at the grounds, Gino was asked if he could have his picture taken with a little asian man.. which turned into two.. which turned into three.  All three of them though they were taking thier picture with the incarnation of the happy buddha!  Really I almost fell over an pissed my pants!  Gino wasn’t quite so amused but he was laughing.

At the end of the day, Gino and I McGuyver’ed the room light/power/AC switch so that it woudl stay running when we left the room.  Maybe tonight we’ll have 20 degrees in the room.. wouldn’t THAT be grand!  (sorry.. too much time with the Irish.. Harry, would that be Lovely yet??).

Dinner tonight as a whole consisted of a plate of fried rice with beef, vegetable noodle soup, chicken with vegetable and fried egg noodles along with a LARGE beer and two cokes.  Now to put this in perspective, my “half” of the meal cost only $.40 more than my two snickers bars that I just bought.  Yes the ENTIRE meal for Gino and I was only $6, which was more than we were charged and yes it DID fill both of us up Stu.  You could have eaten for hours here for $10!

Anyway, this PAINFULLY slow experience at the internet cafe is now at an end and I’m not even going to contemplate trying to upload any photos here.  I’d be here until Friday if I did.  Tomorrow more temples.  Friday off to Thialnad again for some island loving.  The trip is winding down, but Gino and I are raring to go.  Gino can’t wait to join me on my African safari adventure when I go.. OK.. well maybe not, but Turkey, Greece and Italy sound like fun.. who’s in!!!!

Keep your nose tuned for the smell of elephant stories and your dive fins ready for storys of underwater adventure.

FACT FOR THE DAY (unrelated to our trip but we’re struggling):

Denmark has the oldest continuous monarchy in all of Europe

Miss everyone!

Bill and Gino 

Pictures & Video

Gods & Demons flanking the entrance to Angkor

 

Gods & Demons flanking the entrance to Angkor

 

The "faces" of Bayon

The “faces” of Bayon

 

The smiling Gods looking down on Buddha

The smiling Gods looking down on Buddha

 

Me and Buddha at the Jungle Temple

Me and Buddha at the Jungle Temple

 

The Angkor Wat temple

The Angkor Wat temple

 

What happens when you drink the water

What happens when you drink the water

 

7-11 Gains 9 numbers!

7-11 Gains 9 numbers!

 

 

One Reply to “Gino Does Ankor Wat”

  1. Water logged on Aug. 1, 2007 @ 01:05AM saidI want to place an order for one of the Buddah pictures. I have the frame waiting! RIOT!!! The place sounds most interesting. Sounds like the Cambodians use rock in place of the wood carving we found in Europe. How about churches? Do they have any other than the temples? What a bargain on the food. Hope you can replicate what was best. Sign us up for the African adventure. OH!…it was most interesting to note that a COKE was included on your list of liquid intake. I was beginning to wonder. Do they have AA meetings over there? Oh Brother! on Aug. 1, 2007 @ 01:05AM saidGino as the Buddha! I am laughing my ass off and I am only reading about it. I hope you got a picture of that one. Now, if you can only use this as a money making scheme .. say, $5 a picture with the great one? It's gold Jerry!Irish mike on Aug. 1, 2007 @ 01:05AM saidHi Bill ha ha ha glad to see your still a mad man ha ha on my way to surfers just left fraser island it was stunning 10 outa 10 will get back to you soon buddie be good and if you can't .. don't get caught ha ha stay on the beer bro think your turnung irish yourself .. later's