Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Mom always said, if it wasn’t screwed on I’d loose my head.. well today is proof of that. This morning I came down to catch our tuk-tuk with Mr. Lucky, forgot my key, then left for the temples, about 15 minutes out realized I left my ticket in my room. Then it was no money. Then we get to another temple and I left my ticket in the tuk-tuk. Anyway, all worked out well but it would be nice to not be running in circles for a bit.
The temples today were another long, sweaty, hot day of climbing stairs, looking at sandstone carvings and fending off the hordes of 5 year olds..
“MISTER.. you buy some postcards” …. “MISTER.. you buy book” .. “Where you come from.. USA, capital Washington D.C., 300 million, 50 states, you buy from me one dollar”… “MISTER you rich, you come eat with me”… “MISTER.. you need tuk tuk”.. “MISTER.. you want boom boom” … (yes.. boom boom is what you think! it is really a problem here apparently)
It really makes enjoying the georgous and historic sites so much harder when you have to get downright rude with children just to get to your ride.
The first temple we visited today was far out of town so it was about a 40 minute ride out to visit it. It was supposed to be a beautiful example of pink sandstone and exquisite carvings. Well it was but before we got there our Tuk-tuk had a tire blow out on the road in the middle of nowhere rice paddy central Cambodia. It turns out somethings are universally true no matter where you go. First the entire village of men needs to show up to “supervise” the mechanic, then they all need to tell him how to do it, and finally the grumpy old man in the bunch needs to push the youngsters aside and show them how to get it done. While this is all being done we sit watching in amusement as the “jack” that is a piece of tree deadwood, the lift, that is our tuk tuck driver all work together to change the flimsy tube whcih is protected by cutting an old tube and wrapping it around the new and dangerously thin one.
We spent a lot of time driving through rural Cambodia though and it was nice to see how the farmers live and the scenery outside of a city. I think some time spent traveling from north to south in the country would prove quite interesting. I think Gino and I both put Cambodia higher on our lists than the cities of Bangkok or Hanoi right now.
Once we were done here, we took the ride back to the jungle temple. Now you really have to think Indiana Jones here and in actual fact, the movie “Laura Croft, Tomb Raider” was filmed at this location. Truly stunning, and I’m sorry I don’t have the ability to post pictures right now. Think of THICK jungle and then pyramid like and maze filled ruins rising up out of nowhere. Then picture the most MASSIVE tree you can think of and have it grow right over the top of these ruins. It really was our favorite and I did take a ton of pictures.
Finally we made it back to the hostel and got situated in our new room. Thanks to lots of years watching McGuyver, I was able to “fix” the room switch so you didn’t need to have your key in the slot to get power or AC. Generally you have to put your key in a slot when you walk in and it turns on the power to the room. When you leave all power (including AC) goes off. As we wanted to come back to a cool room for once, we managed the use of a saftey pin, some bamboo from a hand fan and a little TV inginuity to “fix” it so that we could take our key and keep the power running. We should be coming back to a nice and cool room tonight.
Tonight we went back to the street cafe where we had both dinner and 4th meal last night. Taco Bell really needs to look out, or Navee and her hyper children are going to give them a run. For a buck, you got a large plate of fried noodles with veggies and beef, another buck gets you a beer and another buck gets you a plate of fried rice. Tonight she was supposed to show me how to cook. Well she said she was too tired ’cause we kept her up too late last night. That I can believe as we didn’t get to bed until about 2 last night and were up at 7:30 this morning.
I know this sounds twisted, but I can’t wait for my surgery so I can sit on my butt for a while and rest!
Anyway, tomorrow we travel ALL day starting with a flight in the morning from Siem Reap to Bangkok, then a flight from Bangkok to Krabi and then a boat from Krabi to Ao Nang which is supposed to be a nice beachside town with good beaches, access to diving, elephant treks, kayaking and rock climbing. Hopefully during our layovers in all of these places we’ll be able to catch up on posting photos.
FACT FOR TODAY: We didn’t learn much of interest today other than, albeit beautiful, 20 hours of looking at temples ruins across two days is simply too much to handle.
Thanks for all the comments.
Bill and Gino
P.S. For Aunt Betty. I realize I can’t spell, but you should try typing on some of these keyboards you have to use that have keys that stick, sometimes your hands stick to the keyboard, not to mention, my inability think clearly after a six pack 😉