Siem Reap Day 5 (23 Oct 10) – Lazing Around Town

Wandering around Siem Reap

This would be the last day of my 5 day temple ruin trip to Cambodia. Originally wanted to sleep in, not too sure why I woke up at 8 am local time. Damn, I was hoping I can bunk in till 11am or something. After washing up, I finished up my blog entries from last night (worked till around 2am local time). Well did not take me long to complete yesterday’s entry, soon it is time for breakfast. The warmth of the staff in the hotel never failed to put a smile on my face. The lady at the reception greeted me and was asking how was I. Well you don’t even get this level of personal service in 5 star hotels these days. As I had finished up my breakfast, I checked with the lady at the reception about this hot air balloon ride that would take me up to the sky to have a last look at Ang Kor Wat from the sky, afterall I am not too sure when will I ever visit this part of the earth again.  On the way to the balloon ride area, as we were passing by the ticketing area for Ang Kor archeology site, the staff at the site told my tuk-tuk driver that the balloon was not flying today due to strong winds. I am kinda disappointed with that…. maybe god did not want me to board the balloon for some reason.

So I got the tuk-tuk driver to head back to town, this begins the (boring) day of wandering around the town like a zombie. As I had been to the town for the past 4 days, walking around especially under the hot sun was a torture. The weather was so hot here that I finally gave in and seek refuge in an air-con restaurant. Initially I was here only for a drink and to chill out from the hot sun. The staff was rather irritating and kept asking what food I wanna order. Well since it is time for lunch, I ordered this Siem Reap soup. The soup was so-so, not spicy  but abit on the sweet side. I guess most of the Khmer food are sweet in nature, and this soup is rather acceptable to me. After eating, I walked around the old market area twice to kill time. As I was walking, the usual “Sir you want tuk-tuk”, “Sir you want to buy T-shirt”, “Sir you want to buy something from me?” chants became audible. I must admit after hearing that for the past 4 days, it is rather irritating. How I wish time would fly I could quickly get to the airport. After wandering round the area for a few more rounds, it is time to head back to the hotel for a good shower before heading for the airport. The journey to the airport on tuk-tuk was enjoyable, despite the crowd at the check-in counter, I saw this business class cum internet check-in counter. The queue was way shorter. Did not take long for me to check in and sit down to write up my blog.

Walking around Siem Reap Town
Shopping at a local market
A market in Siem Reap Town
Walking around Siem Reap Town
Walking around Siem Reap Town
Lunch Time
Lunch Time
Walking around Siem Reap Town
Walking around Siem Reap Town
Walking around Siem Reap Town
Walking around Siem Reap Town
Walking around Siem Reap Town
On my way to Siem Reap Airport
On my way to Siem Reap Airport
On my way to Siem Reap Airport
Siem Reap Airport
Siem Reap Airport
Siem Reap Airport
At the immigration area of the airport
At the immigration area of the airport
The bird that is going to fly me home
Boarding time
The bird that is going to fly me home
Boarding the aircraft
The bird that is going to fly me home
Taking off

Afterthought

A reflection of the past few days. My first impression of Cambodia was that it is a country strike with poverty. The kids here did not have much choices of entertainment other then fishing at any water pond they can see. The very same water pond is also their swimming pool where they take a swim with their friends to past time. These kids do not have sophisticated gaming machines like PS 3, X-box 360, and yet they still enjoy with what they have. As my guide has told me there is no public bus service in Siem Reap. To get to school these kids would either have to cycle or walk there. As a result of the lack of a chance to be a couch potato and exercising daily, I din’t see any fat kids around. As I was telling my guide, the kids here are allowed to be kids and enjoy their carefree childhood.

Touring around the temple with a guide certainly is a better idea. With a guide, the guide was able to relate the importance of the temples, the significance of the carvings and where to look out for these carvings that will be commonly missed. I drew my experience from my trip to Ayutthaya last december, where I went around without a guide. Without a guide, it is synonymous with walking around blindly, as I do not know what was I suppose to look for, what is the significance of these temples. After awhile all the ruins just look the same to me. This time round with a guide, I was able to know more about the ruins, the lore behind it, as well as the story behind the carvings. It has made me realise that touring around the temple ruins is not just to see the temple itself. It is also to know how the temples interacted with the people, the community around it. Many people visit Siem Reap just to visit Ang Kor Wat, no doubt it is a must visit for people, it is not THE only temple that one should visit. Other then Ang Kor Wat, the other temples that I really like are Ta Prohm, Ta Som and Bang Melea due to the state they are in at the moment. Especially Bang Melea, the unknown purpose and the unknown builder of this temple further adds a mystic flavour to it. This trip to Siem Reap has educated me alot on the history of Khmer people and opened my eyes to see how fortunate we are to be born in Singapore. My next destination will be Iran (hopefully I can make the trip there), where I hope to see more of the ancient historical site.

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