I sleep in. The hotel has free breakfast and it’s not some sad buffet. I get option one– two fried eggs, toast with butter and pineapple jam, tomatoes, fruit, orange juice and/or tea. So good!
The hotel offers free tuktuks into downtown and you can walk back or pay for a tuktuk. It’s daytime so I already decide to walk back to see what things look like outside of tourist central.
Anyway, I’m dropped off at the old market. I take a peak inside and a lot of the shops sell similar items. I think about tablecloths and colorful bowls. It’s day one so I buy nothing. Outside the market, I spy a cute rainbow plaid scarf. So it begins.
Earlier I picked out a restaurant from tripadvisor to have lunch. I’m told it’s fully booked but the owner (?) offers the couch. I go for it and the meal is good. Perhaps too hot of a day for curry but whatever. Tripadvisor lists it as cheap but I can’t imagine paying much more. I mean, I better get the best meal ever for $50.
After lunch I stop at a store to buy water and snacks. I head back to the hotel but instead of the main road, I take the back streets. At this point you should know, I love exploring and taking side streets.
Outside the main areas the roads turn from asphalt to dirt. There’s variety of homes here– gated community to fenced off homes to rustic. A lot of schools are along my path to the hotel. Why must it be so hot? Looking back at these photos, I know mom would not approve.
I had hoped to get back early enough to swim in the pool before seeing Angkor Complex but it was too late. Instead I spent the hour cooling off in my room and downing cold water. I was feeling lazy and could have spent the rest of the day in bed but the driver was already booked.
I hop into the tuktuk and we’re off. The route is similar to the airport but we take a different turn and more trees come into view. We stop at the entrance so I can buy the 3 day pass. Continuing on, the temple complex is huge. We just enter the start of the complex, passing the most famous temple, Angkor Wat. There’s quite a few people picnicking along the moat that surrounds it.
We arrive. My driver points to where I need to go and and points to where he’ll meet me. I’m not sure how we’ll meet up. There’s a lot of people here. I follow the crowd.
I’m stopped again. The workers here take their jobs seriously and visitors need to present their tickets often to the point that many tourists have it hanging on a lanyard around their neck. I keep following everyone else. It’s a wooded path with the occasional view point of more trees in the distance. I hear a few people speaking Polish.
Around the bend I reach the top to find Phnom Bakheng. There’s a line of people waiting to get to the top for the best views. I walk to the side to see more of the temple and then get in line. The sun is low and I fear I’m missing the setting sun. And I did miss the best of it. Oh well. I can’t imagine it topping India’s.
This is also the point where my camera decides to tell me that the memory card is full. Seriously? Luckily I do have a spare with me. So, it took me about two months to fill 32gb. Keep in mind that I shoot in two formats– JPG and raw. Too much?
It’s dark on the way down. I have a flashlight with me but it’s not super bright. Walking on a dirt path at night is the kind of thing to do with friends. It’s a good time for ghost stories. It’s moments like this that I wish I wasn’t traveling alone.
Off the path, I’m bombarded with a ton of activity– people, tuktuks, cars and elephants? My driver spots me before I see him. All is well. He drives me back to the hotel.