Friday, April 6, 2007
Woke up at 6 am before the alarm went off, waited for our 6 am wake up call and when it didn’t happen realized that we’d forgotten to turn back the alarm clock! It was 5 am when we got up! Oh well, we’re awake and dressed so it’s too late to get an extra hour of sleep!
Had breakfast 6:30 after checking for emails on the lobby computer. We were all on the bus at 7:30 am for our morning tour. It was already getting very warm…it finally got up to 95 degrees with about 85 percent humidity. We’ve had three showers today! The bus driver has cold bottles of water and cold wipes ready for us each time we get back into the bus!
After driving through the modern city of Angkor for a brief glimpse of the emerging economy we arrived at the ancient holy city of Angkor. It was built somewhere back in the eighth century and then was lost for centuries under the jungle according to some reports and other just indicate that people knew about it.... they just didn’t go there. It was built by the Khmer aristocrats and covers an area roughly six by sixteen miles. The temples and monuments are based on their Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. A massive complex of structures built of stone and partially restored first by the French in the 1800’s and again after the wars. It took us over an hour to walk the Temples of Angkor: Thom, Bayon, Baphound, Elephants Terrace and Terrace of Leper King. We then drove to the Angkor Ta Prohm Temple that is covered with Banyon Trees that have intertwined under, over and surrounding the temple walls and buildings. Our guide Nang is very good with all the history and stories and very patient with the huge numbers of tourist in every venue that we visited.
By now it was after noon and we drove pass the
We were all ready for a siesta and showers by this time and headed back to the hotel arriving about three. Christa and I decided to take a swim in the pool and then we showered and changed for the afternoon tour at 4:30 to see Angkor Wat for the sunset views. Lots of walking and climbing; four of us climbed all the way to the top for some fabulous views. At sunset we were all back to the moat where we enjoyed a nice wine and snacks provided by Nang as we talked with the children vendors and watched the final sunset before heading back to the hotel at six for another shower before dinner.
Our dinner was at the Angkor Mondial Restaurant; we enjoyed a traditional Cambodian buffet dinner and watched a Khmer Cultural Show. At the end of the show the dancers stayed on stage and willingly posed with customers for photos…that surprised us! Our trip back to the hotel was made on remoks; they’re a rickshaw pulled by a motorbike instead of a bicycle…very exciting on a very dark street full of other motorbikes, buses, cars and bicycles! Jim was glad when we were safely back at the hotel after our fifteen minute ride! Another day is finished and it’s early to bed after our final showers of the day as we have another early morning tomorrow.