I believe it's good afternoon to you all :-)
We've had a beautiful day today! But to keep it in chronological order I shall continue on from Chris' last blog...
Thursday morning we woke up and albeit our room is not 'grand' it has become our little haven away from the hustle and bustle of Siem Reap. From having sprayed my perfume multiple times and having had numerous showers to cool down and allow the shampoo smell to waft into the bedroom, it appears the odour is here to stay haha
We woke up at 8.30am and had some breakfast; the strongest coffee ever and some pancakes and toast. Before we knew it it was 10.30am; it was so relaxing just taking our time, chatting and people watching. There aren't many Brits in out hostel mainly Europeans but thankfully everyone in our hostel and Siem Reap speaks English. We decided to have a productive day as majority have just been spent sleeping!
Firstly we went to Angkor Wat museum; a great way to learn about the temples before we went. One room had 1000 Budhas; Mum (Linda) you would have loved it :) Small history lesson, Angkor Wat temple was originally built as a home for the King and represented the 'cosmic world' - still not sure what that means however as the generations went on each King would add another section and eventually was turned into a Buddhist Temple. Afterwards we caught the same Tuktuk back to town; the driver had waited the two hours we spent walking round the museum at the entrance to ensure he would get the $1 we would pay him for the return journey. As he was so sweet we booked him for following day to take us around all the temples; we bargained with him but it pulls at your heart strings to think we have all the power and ultimately we can find another driver who can drive us for cheaper. Furthermore its pennies to us but so much more to them; for the whole day including a 5am pick up it only cost £8. As soon as you start to walk away they will say 'stop stop, ok' and then they will drive you for what ever you asked.
We walked around the local town and found a cafe that sold bangers and mash/ spaghetti bolognese :) we haven't quite mustered up the strength to try Cambodian cuisine but we will soon. We found the infamous 'Pub Street', pretty self explanatory haha found a bar showing the cricket. What was an hour turned into four and 10 pints! To be fair we were the victims! We made friends with an aussie and as the banter and offensive comments flowed so did the beer. Plus it's 50p a pint hehe Had a fantastic time and felt as though we were really adjusting.
We walked around the Night Market; lots of beautiful statues, trinkets and touristy gifts. We also popped round the food market; you can't stop though or get mauled! In bed by 8pm, asleep by 8.01! Next morning we were up bright an early for the temples; we were both so excited to finally be doing the things that we have travelled so far to see. The past 5 days have been a blur.
Up at 4.30am and started the day with a 20 minute tuktuk drive to the temple; it was a lovely quiet drive through the town and countryside with a warm breeze. We arrived at Angkor Wat temple whilst it was still pitch black so we hovered around people who had torches and got a good seat to watch the sun rise. Absolutely stunning architecture. We sat inside the temple with a woman singing and birds flying above; you could imagine thousands of people coming to worship in this hauntingly beautiful building. The photos will speak for themselves :) Many people had recommended seeing the temple at sunrise for the beauty factor but also you avoid many of the big crowds plus the scorching heat which begins around 10am. In every temple there is a statue of Vishnu decorated in a gold sash, incense and flowers. Saw a couple of monks praying which is a very peaceful sight. After the first temple we got a snack; a warm baguette and a cheese triangle. Doesn't sound like much but it was magnificent!
We saw 6 other temples; one of which is called Bayon temple - my favourite. It has smiley faces carved into the stone. Another temple had trees growing through the stones, the roots were so large they required scaffolding to keep them up! But by this time all the temples were being swarmed by tourists so we spent a few more hours walking around the temples then headed home. We don't have warm running water which to be honest is a relief; we both had freezing cold showers and a little nap. We bought ourselves some treats which include more cheese triangles, crisps and a couple of energy drinks :)
On another note we have been bitten to shreds haha Chris more so with over 40 bites on one leg alone. Looks as though the only thing we have had stolen so far is our first aid kit, but have no fear will still have our malaria tablets :) we've just popped our clothes into the laundrette and are now back at the sports bar watching the cricket. We've already booked our sleeper coach to Phenom Penh for tomorrow night; last day in Siem Reap tomorrow so may go to the local swimming pool to stay cool. The poverty here is no way near as bad as India and the locals here have a fantastic sense of humour; they greet you in the morning by saying 'lovely jubbly'!
We're both in great spirits and as we know the town without a map were starting to feel like a bit of a local ourselves :)
Love to all,
J & C xxx