Siem Reap, Cambodia
Attempt two at sunrise over Angkor Wat: successful. We repeated the whole routine once more, but this time we did not get lost and we had purchased our tickets yesterday. We arrived as light was coming into the sky, and followed the masses to the popular viewing point. It was 6 a.m. by the time we were settled in to our prime viewing spot and we didn't move until 7:15 a.m. I must have taken hundreds of photos (literally); I think I was the last one there still taking photos. It was amazing. I was glad we made the effort again.
Once Danny could finally tear me away from the sunrise we explored the colossal Angkor Wat. We couldn't believe how massive and impressive it was, especially compared to all the temples we saw yesterday. I think a tour guide would have been helpful, as we had no idea what we were looking at. We left after a couple of hours, just as loads of tour buses rocked up and the temperature started to soar.
Next on the hit list was Angkor Thom, which covered a larger area than Angkor Wat but it was mostly made up of smaller structures, rather than one main building like Angkor Wat. The primary temple was full of huge heads carved into stone (about 200 or so), which was slightly eerie. After exploring only part of area we decided it was too hot and crowded, so we rode back to our room for lunch.
Three hours drifted by before we could brave the heat outside. I decided to ride back to Angkor Thom to see the rest of it, while Danny was determined to visit the food markets to see all the strange things they sold (not my idea of fun). An hour or so later I finished the extraordinary Angkor Thom, and had enough energy to keep exploring. I rode around a few of the smaller ruins (the "mini loop") outside Angkor Thom/Angkor Wat, which included temples with trees growing through the walls (very cool). It eventually got so dark that I couldn't see the temples any more. Somehow I rode 30 minutes back to the hotel on streets with no street lights without crashing into anything (or anyone).
For dinner it was back to Pub Street, where we ate spring rolls and a Khmer curry, a coconut cream-based dish that tasted similar to a Thai curry but again with absolutely no spiciness at all. It was nice but I prefer the chili burn. We returned to our favourite two-for-one cocktails and 50 cent beers bar, wishing that prices like these existed in Australia. Two meals, four cocktails and a few beers = $15. Can't beat that.
After dinner we made our way to the night market, where each stall was pretty much the same as every other stall. Stallholders were calling out to us constantly ("You buy, you buy, very cheap, good product"), which quickly became irritating. We were looking for stubby holders (can coolers, koozies, whatever you want to call them) but amazingly they didn't sell one (they sold everything else). They must drink their beer so fast they don't need one, or they are content drinking warm beer. Two t-shirts was the total extent of our spending at the markets.