25.12.2008 - 28.12.2008 25 °C
We met our tour leader and our group of 16 and went for dinner together at a traditional Cambodian restaurant which surprisingly had nice veggie food. It was interesting to meet the group and start getting to know people over dinner, everyone seemed really friendly and everyone was there for the same purpose - to have fun and make the most out of the trip.
We woke up early and left at 7am the next morning to make our way to Cambodia. We crossed the border and we could straight away see a massive difference between the 2 countries - it really did feel like we were going into a third world country with the buildings, smell and the pollution. There were very bumpy roads on the way, but when we got to Siem Reap, it looked like we were in a really developed country as it was clean, had lots of tourists and international restaurants.
The next day we woke up really early so that we could see the sunrise at Ankgor Wat temple (which is meant to be amazing). We got there at 5am - waited until 5:30am and then 6:00am - by which time it started to become daylight which meant that the sun was already up and the clouds were covering it so unfortunately we didn't get to see the sunrise which was a bit disappointing but we made the most of it by starting our tour of all the temples early and got to see things without as many people being there as it was so early in the morning. Ankgor Wat and its surrounding temples were amazing - its like paradise watching the views from the top of Ankgor Wat - its surprisingly still in good condition as it was built in the 12th Century. The other temples were also beautiful - one of the temples had 300 steep steps to climb up which was tiring. There was a theme of hinduism in all of the temples, and a lot of stories around the Mahabharat and Ramayan so it was interesting to hear about the hinduism influence in Buddhism.
We got back to the hotel at 6pm after seeing all the temples. We then went for a Japanese Shiatsu massage by blind people, which did hurt a bit as they use their natural body weight to apply weight and they focus on various pressure points in the body - it was a different experience. We then went for Pizza with one of the other girls on our tour as she fancied some pizza rather than Cambodian food too.
The following day we went to the floating village, where we saw houses, shops and schools floating in the water. We then stopped on the way to see some crocodiles - they were all sleeping on top of each other and were a lot smaller than we thought they would be. We had dinner at an Indian restaurant - never thought we would find one in Cambodia but was really delicious food, even though Rohit wasn't too pleased that they didn't give mukhwas at the end of the meal (as that was his main reason to go to the restaurant in the first place ).