Sunday, 6 January 2013

Say Wat?! In Angkor ;)

All I could see from the plane were trees and water when landing was announced. Where on earth were we going? How would we land? What kind of fresh madness was this?! Siem Reap is definitely where culture shock hit me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not some kind of uber-metro naturo-phobe, I grew up in the Fens of Cambridge which can themselves be fairly bleak and watery landscapes, but this was something else. Luckily there was a landing strip and a proper, albeit diddy, airport!

As we headed to our hotel the heavens opened, none of the locals batted an eyelid, all quite contentedly walking cycling, motorbiking (many without helmet or even shoes) all over the road in the increasing water. Then just as quickly and dramatically as it had started it stopped. Quite the crazy place!

My sense of unease increased when we made our first excursion to Ta Prohm, one of the Angkor temples. This one has been left to ruin and hides amongst the jungle. It was late afternoon, gloomy and threatening rain, the sound of the Cicadas was incredible (like a pervasive car alarm) and we were heading to this dark ancient place overgrown with wild things. 

And then, it rained some more!

See - I wasn't scared really! I'm so intrepid ;)
So Cambodia and I didn't get off on the best footing. All this would quickly change though. That very evening in fact, as soon as I discovered... Amok

No not more Cambodian craziness, but a mighty fine curry. Oh yum! It was so tasty and flavoursome. Once I had some fine Khmer cuisine inside me I was feeling much more civilised and fuelled for the big day to follow - exploring the mighty Angkor temples.

Wat a day! Angkor is an absolutely stunning and incredible place. We saw our first wild monkeys, learnt lots about the ancient culture and beliefs from our great guide and took a million photos (really there are just insane amounts of them). I'll be kind and share just the edited highlights...


Whilst in Cambodia, Mr S couldn't resist ticking off another 'floating' experience, this time a whole village which bobbed along on the great and quite phenomenally enormous Tonle Sap lake. So, we jumped aboard another boat...

The pictures speak far more eloquently about our experience than I can put into words. But, before signing off on Cambodia I have to share something which I don't have photos of - the awesome craft scene! Siem Reap had some wonderful, colourful and vibrant craftyness going on. From market stalls through to jewellery shops, boutique galleries and out of town arts centres. We could easily have filled our cases twice over with the fabulous scarves, ceramics, spices and paintings.

Coming up next - first class travel, meeting big new friends :), rustling up tasty dishes and making the most of night markets, it must be Chiang Mai!


  1. Great pics and comment
    need time to appreciate ALL the others equally