motos. naked babies. the skinniest cows i've ever seen. rice. colors-pink, blue, green. geckos. Lady, you wanna tuk tuk? lady, you wanna silk scarf? I make good price for you. smells-manure, burning wood, grilling meat, orange blossoms, lilacs. Palm trees. the best pineapples I've ever tasted. beer. temples. dirt. men in sarongs. monks. monks on motos. babies on bikes. hello, bye bye! dogs. everywhere. Cambodian weddings (it's wedding season). temples. beer. honking motos. cambodian music that i cant understand. toothless old women. more naked babies. more colors. more smells.
the past two days have been nothing less than incredible. Traveling alone is so empowering, and while I've met a few fun people already, I love not having to check with someone else on where to eat, sleep, what to do and what to see. Where to go. It's been awesome.
My first day here I went to see some of the smaller temples that are a bit farther away than Angkor Wat. I woke up early, hiked up a small mountain, had lunch with my tuk tuk driver, Piri, and then watched the sunset over Pre Rup. Not too much of a view, but a wonderful, HOTTT sweaty day.
The next morning I went to see some floating villages nearby. It took nearly an hour to get there, and on the way we went through some local villages. It was awesome to see the locals in their homes, going to/from the market, selling goods and cooking outside. Lots and lots of adorable babies too! Then I hopped on a boat with two brothers, both of whom were no older than 17, and we rode down the river past the "floating" villages. They're not really floating now, just on high stilts, but I believe during the rainy season the water raises really high so it seems as if they are floating. Stopped for a coffee and played with a few more babies, then rode out on a huge lake for a bit before heading back to the hostel.
I was picked up about 1/2 hour later for my cooking class. We made Cambodian curry, spring rolls, and a crispy dessert that reminded me quite a bit of fortune cookies. In the evening I went to dinner with a few other lone female travelers, one of whom I'm hoping to meet up with in Phnom Penh later this week.
This morning was my longest, albeit most incredible day. piri picked me up at 5, we rode to Angkor Wat, and I sat around for a bit until the sun rose. It was absolutely incredible!! the sky was pink all around, and the temple just rose out of the dark. I walked around that temple for a while, before hitting a few others (including the one where tomb raider was filmed!!!)
In the afternoon I took a quick nap, then headed into the town to do some shopping and bargaining. Got some nice gifts, then went out again for dinner and to see an Aspara show, a traditional Cambodian dance/show, It was lovely and the dancers were amazing. Going to bed super early tonite, as I'm leaving early in the morning for Phnom Penh. Sad to be leaving, as Siem Reap was incredible, and my hostel was absolutely amazing... Siem Reap Rooms in case anyone is interested! They're super accomodating, helpful, amazing staff, good food, and great advice/help with booking things.
So, Phnom Penh for a few days before going into the mountains on Friday. My trip thus far has been a blast, and I'm hoping the rest of the days will be just as great!!! Hope you're all doing well, wherever you are!!