Thursday, 25 April 2013

Day 53 - Around Angkor Wat - Wed 17 Apr

Day 53 - Around Angkor Wat - Wed 17 Apr
The Wanderoos toured many of the Wats by Mr Lak's tuk tuk. He lives with his brother, has 5 month baby, comes from village "far away 34 kms", reasonable English learned at primary school. His family lost members in Pol Pot regime and mother had no money for school, so he had to work - started in security but not enough money there.
Some ruins are not only well preserved but there are several funded reconstruction projects
It was very humid walking around ruins, ducking under sunken columns, up steep stairs as storm approached.
Angkor Wat (first half 12th century) architectural masterpiece, astonishingly well preserved and maintained


Angkor Thom – Bayon complex (latter 12th century) Impressive guardians of the bridge over the moat, 200 large faces on 54 towers (one with spider web teardrop); and elephant terrace

In a downpour, had lunch at Mr Lak’s "sister in law restaurant stall no. 9" - coconut milk drink, Amok chicken (its GirlRob’s new favourite!); had to navigate pools of muddy water rest of afternoon ("mud follow you Cambodia", referring to way thongs flip mud up back of legs as you walk)

Taprohm (Buddhist monastery complex) stands out because of the tree roots entwined with ruins; Sralao tree looks like it has been painted in gold.

Suddenly came across band of landmine amputees with prosthesis removed – so shocking, a donation seems so little. 

We would have enjoyed browsing at markets surrounding all the Wats, but we couldn't stand pesky, whining women and children touching us, constantly darting in front and blocking the way, trying to sell postcards, Tshirts  bracelets, scarves, guide and history books. Everything is offered at twice or three times price at first. Much of the information on street kids says not to give money because it perpetuates the way of life and keeps kids away from school.

Dinner at night markets in Pub Street, "maam - fish massage?", ice cream with no discernible flavour difference between colours. This is first time we’ve been bothered by kids begging in street – they see begging either as a way of life or a game. Play-time has never seemed so sad…

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