After a much too short night (we couldn’t sleep because of the jet leg), I was abruptly awakened when Myriam turned on the light from the bath room, which is automatically linked to the light inside the room. On the plus side is, that we can plug in a two pole Swiss plug without any problems and therefore can charge our phones and cameras.
We had breakfast at 7.30. The owner “Bun te” sat down with us again and wanted to know more about Switzerland, while we ate our slightly salty banana pancakes (we’re still wondering about the bananas, because they were nowhere to be found…). Again, a pot of black tea to go with it. Our driver was here right on time and after a short picture session (I think it was rather them who wanted to take pictures with us) we started on a fun 20min ride.
I’ve decided that riding a TukTuk is one of the best things to do. The breeze feels so good, you see a lot, get in touch with all the cyclists next to you while relaxing on soft seats. Heaven. And all this for $15 all day.
Before we entered the temple area, we had to also buy the tickets for Angkor itself, which is $40 for 3 days (we can just stay two). Our driver, “Som Nam” dropped us of in front of every temple on the big circle and just waited for us until we came out again.
Lots of other drivers we saw, were sleeping while their guests were exploring the temples but ours was always right on the spot again to take us to the next temple. “See you on the other side” was his comment, when we entered through the gates of the first temple. At the beginning it was somewhat surreal. It smelled, sounded and felt like in the rainforest hall at the Zurich Zoo. But these stone buildings fit much better into Europapark or Diseny World. It was so cool to explore all the rooms, climb up steep stairways, look at all these different faces carved into the rocks and all this in this lush green environment.
We felt like explorers in the 1800 or in an Indiana Jones movie. When we got out at the other end, Som Nam was ready to pick us up. What followed were many more temples in different sizes, some with huge tree roots growing over them or shrines to pray for good luck. We also lit some incense to hopefully have lucky travels. So far, it has been good because today it hasn’t rained yet (*knock on wood*) and the sun appeared a few times, when it became really hot.
At some point, I felt like I needed a snack and we bought a fresh mango and pinapple for $1 of a street vendor. They weren’t the best fruits I’ve ever eaten but a nice refreshment.
The many vendors at the temples were a rather annoying side noise. Normally, it was pretty quiet, just the birds, frogs and crickets in the background. Mostly, we even got around the big tourist crowds. However, there were all these sellers who wanted to sell us their scarfs, pictures and statues. So far, we’re still resistant.
He Ladyyyy, you buy scarf, ok, ladyyyy?
At about 2pm, we were hungry and our driver brought us to a restaurant. I had rice with fried basil and chicken and Myriam her first curry.
Afterwards, there was only one temple left and then “Som Nam” brought us back to the hostel. A remarkable thing is, that there are neither McDonalds nor Starbucks nor anything else in that direction. Just a lot of small restaurants or coffee shops and street vendors. Many of the buildings look a bit scruffy. We saw one in construction. They don’t use a metallic scaffold but simple bamboo poles. We relaxed on the terrace of the hostel for a while, where we tried a coffee. It was pretty strong and a bit like Turkish coffee. I liked it a lot. When the kids finally left the pool, it was our chance to get rid of some of the stickiness (my poor camera, don’t know how it will survive the humidity). The water had exactly the perfect temperature to feel cooling but very inviting to stay in it.
Before we made our way to pub street to find a place to eat, we met a nice Italian man who is travelling through Asia with his family. To the question whether it isn’t hard to travel with kids he said:
Until they are 5 it’s a bit difficult because you need to take a stroller but afterwards it’s never the children who are a problem. It’s the adults that cause them.
He is probably right and children are very adaptable.
We found a nice restaurant where I had Khmer noodles, an Angkor beer and later a papaya juice. All for $6! The food was good but I should probably wait with tasting the next fruits until Thailand because the Papaya had no taste at all.
At a supermarket, we bought some water and found out that the alcohol here costs about a third of the prices in Switzerland. Then, we walked through the night market again and when we decided to go back to the hostel, suddenly there were a lot more insects in the air (before we hadn’t seen one mosquito, not even at the swamp by the temples, which reminded me of the Everglades, just without these annoying bite-machines). Back in our room, we also met our first unwelcome friend, which was a very small lizard. As long as it stays this size and doesn’t turn into a spider it’s alright with me.
Now, we try to fall asleep fast (hah, good luck with that) because we will get picked up by our driver at 4.45am (!) tomorrow to go see the sunrise at Angkor Wat. Would be really nice if the clouds decided to disappear exactly around that time 🙂
Thanks for reading this, I’d be really happy about comments. Good night.
Ohh, very steep. We made it safely to the top – but how to get back down?