Day 215… up STUPIDLY early to visit the world-famous Angkor complex. These magnificent temples were built between the 9th and 13th centuries and were believed to represent the cosmic world around us and were set in perfect balance, symmetry and composition. That’s WERE. The intervening centuries have kind of screwed that up a little. However… thanks to France, China and India… some very serious restorations have been taking place over the last half dozen years and now a good chunk of them have been set aright. A lot of the time I am bringing up the rear with the lovely Joana on my tour as we take photos aplenty. The intricately carved bas-reliefs and architectural designs are mind-blowingly cool and there are spectacular photographic opportunities at any time of day – especially as we were able to watch a sunrise over the temple. The ruins are scattered over an area of some 160 sq km, but the main cluster of temples is so close to Siem Reap its easy to fully appreciate the great archaeological sites of Angkor Wat, the Bayon and the jungle-covered Tomb Raider Ta Prohm. On the way out we even espy some monks who get a selfie with me in my ridiculous but cool demon sunglasses, then a high five and a bro-fist-bump. So when you look back, future historians to when buddhism was destroyed, I might be the cause LOL.
After this stunning display of ancient awesomeness, we get a chance to visit Tonle Sap Lake for a look at local life. After the bus trip in, and some adorable kiddies waving at us, we pull in to the on shore area of the town where a small girl with a digital camera runs around taking our pictures… cute. That will come back in my story… bear with me. So first we jump on our boat… then immediately jump off again as the engine catches fire. When it is sorted out we jump back on… the same boat… little choice really… ADVENTURE TIME! Then we pull out into the filthiest grey water i have ever had the misfortune to see or smell. I’ve been pretty good so far with awful smells. .. but this river was next level disgusting… rotted fish and filth… nearly threw up a few times there and back again… if not for chewing gum for 10 mins and a 3rd price broken open up each nostril i would not have made it! Seriously. .. put a lightning bolt through this muck and you will start life! IT’S ALIVE… ITS ALIIIIVE! However out 5 mins the water cleaned right the zark up and went a gorgeous deep russet brown and only smelled of mud, refuse and weeds. A pleasant change! So we saw some very poor folks living thier lives on the water, stopped at at floating market just past the floating school and head home again. Now… back to that photo taking oung girl… hit the shore and the miracle of technology means they have already printed out photos onto stickers and whacked em on cambodia wooden plaques of the lake area for us to buy. Industrious! And at a mere $2each… why not! Oh… also… just sayin… its hot as heck here… loving it!