We slept late, meeting downstairs at 10:30am for brunch before negotiating two motorbike-driven tuk-tuks for two days ($50 total). The lead driver, Mr. Meth, like the hotel, was a recommendation from Ross who had visited Siem Reap once before. At the ticket gate, which was eerily empty, we all got 3-day passes as it was no cheaper to buy two separate day passes.
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Angkor Wat is BIG. It is the world’s largest religious building and the primary attraction for most visitors to Cambodia. We took lots of concept photos which was fun.
Bayon was the temple with all the stone-carved faces. I enjoyed walking through it more than Angkor Wat, perhaps because it was smaller, and the 216 faces seemed more engaging than bas-reliefs.
Sunset from atop a temple was anti-climactic, too many clouds and tourists, but it still offered great 360-degree views of the landscape. I was showing Sandy photos of India when we heard a collective gasp as the sun fell behind thick clouds, extinguishing people’s hopes of a dramatic and colorful conclusion to their day.
Throughout our tour of temples, we were approached by young kids to buy cheap, copy Lonely Planet guidebooks for Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, as well as copies of top selling books on the Khmer Rouge and genocide. At times, it was overbearing, especially as heat and fatigue began to take its toll. We all did our best to be friendly as they followed us around.
Sandy and Phillip planned to wake up in the pre-dawn hours to catch the sunrise from another location, while Alice and I declined in favor of precious sleep.