The alarm goes off. I want no part of it. It’s like waking up in winter, no sunlight to be seen. At least I have enough sense to have everything ready the night before.
I meet the receptionist who leads me to my driver for the day and hands me my breakfast to go. Our first stop is Angkor Wat to catch the sunrise with a thousand other people. I find a spot to sit and get my camera settings just right. I panic slightly as my photos are blurry… The lens keeps fogging up! Did the water bottle spill…? I check and everything is dry. I realize that the camera was cold from sitting next to the water and foggy up from the warm morning air. Eventually it evens out.
I eat my breakfast sandwich and watch the sky grow bright with subtle colors.
As the sun peaks over the temple, I decide to check out the view from the inside.
Time for the next temple– Pre Rup. It’s so quiet. No one is around. I walk toward the other side and climb the steep stairs to the top. This is pretty cool.
Next we go on a long drive through the country to see Banteay Srei. It’s so relaxing to just stare out at the passing scenery. It’s lovely.I can’t believe it! This is country number four. I’m almost halfway through my trip.
Banteay Srei is tiny compared to the other temple but quickly becomes my favorite. Look at these details! There’s a couple women here placing an offering (?). And the children… They’re kids selling Angkor Wat knock off books and postcards along the trail that leads from the parking lot to the temple. They’re persistent.
We continue on to Kbal Spean Mountain. I will admit, I’m such a clueless tourist here. I picked this tour option from the hotel without knowing what to expect. I thought there would be a temple tucked away on the mountain side but it’s just a trail with glimpses of remaining carvings. I didn’t come across anyone until I reached the top of the trail. Also, I didn’t bring much water with me either. Not the best move. I ended up behind some French Canadian tour group, so while the carvings were pointed out I couldn’t understand any explanations.
It’s another long drive back to the main area where most of the temples are. I munch on some fruit still left from breakfast. I’m kind of sad as Cambodia is my last stop with tuktuks. It might be dusty but I enjoy the rides. It is a beautiful day. I wouldn’t mind just a long drive on these country roads.
We arrive at East Mebon. I’m feeling the dreaded temple fatigue… and it’s really hot without any shade. I’m beginning to think the driver is just taking me back to where I was just to mess with me. There’s still a few more to go… But before leaving, I walk toward one of the many restaurant/shops in hopes of finding a cold drink. It looks like a slow day and the shop keepers lunge at me, competing with enticing offers of food and drinks. A bold one takes me by the arm and leads me forward to her shop digging out all the drink options from the cooler. I pay for a Sprite and climb into the tuktuk.
Then it’s Ta Som. Walking through here I felt like I was at some ancient garage sale. There’s random piles of stones placed here and there.
Next, I am teleported to the Hyrule to battle through the dungeons of the Water Temple– Neak Pean. No, seriously, is this not straight out of The Legend of Zelda series? It’s all I could think about. There’s not much to see per se but the atmosphere is worth the trip.
And finally the last one– Preah Khan! I was beginning to think there’s no end to this. But somehow I got my second wind and started taking ridiculous photos of myself. It keeps me entertained. But you know that by now.
I ask the driver to drop me off downtown instead of the hotel so I could have an early dinner. Early bedtime too. The whole tour took way longer than I thought so I left a big tip. The driver didn’t even bother asking if he should return to pick me. He can’t get rid of me fast enough. Haha!
I walk around a little with no luck. I find a place that claims to have good pizza. Like the owner is from Boston or something, with good reviews. But I should know better. Oh well, at least it was a cheap meal. I pick up some snacks on the way back to the hotel. It’s time for a swim.