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Angkor Wat and surroundings

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

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I believe a visit to Angkor Wat is the #1 thing to do in South East Asia. Being the 8th Wonder of the World (so I guess that would make the Plain of Jars the 5th) it is kind of hard to take a pass on. I am pretty temple, church, synagogue, etc. out so I probably wasn’t the most thrilled tourist ever to visit the place. The town of Siem Reap is the main lodging area with the Temple complex less than 20kms away. As this is the epitome of tourist sites in SE Asia and Cambodias shining star, it is heavily tourist based. The cost for the site also reflects that with a one day pass $20, three day $40, and one week $60. I opted for the one day. After so many ancient structures, and the pre-warning by everybody that the worst mistake you can make would be to try and see too much, the one day was fine. A very nice thing that they did do is allow you to purchase the ticket the evening before and allow you to enter for the sunset. Using that option I got the ticket and bee lined it to the sunset hotspot with a thousand other people. Not such a great idea and a pretty lackluster spot. The next day I followed a one day itinerary and visited a few places in the morning and then a few more in the evening. It was more than enough for me and made the day not so bad.

Here’s a few of the better shots.

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The sunset spot. Peaceful huh.

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You can see Angkor Wat from here although the sunset is the opposite direction. I didn’t quite understand that.

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Sunset.

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Crossing the moat.

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Leading up to Angkor Wat

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Angkor Wat

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Proof I went and didn’t just download photos off the net and pocket the $20Us (although I thought about it).

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Not bad.

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Found this guy at the napping field.

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Something to do with that Laura Croft movie. I haven’t seen the movie so not sure. This is a temple where the jungle has started taking over. Pretty neat structures with these root systems enveloping them.

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I think it looks more like Pirates of the Caribbean Octopus head guy.

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Same same but different.

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Erector set.

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Cool.

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The big head temple.

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$20. There better be dancing girls.

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Big heads everywhere.

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Sasha standing in for Angelina Jolie in another movie shot location at the East Enterance.

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Elephant temple.

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The main entrance.

Choueng Ek, the Killing fields.

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

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Choueng Ek is where most of the people from S-21 were sent to be disposed of. Most of the people thought that they were being taken to a “re-education camp.” Large lorries packed with people would arrive and the people escorted to holding stations. From there they were sorted and taken to the back of the complex to where the pits were. There they were killed using farm implements as bullets would have been too costly. Most were executed the same day. Walking around the grounds today there is the large skull filled monument, and directly behind a lot of what looks like bomb craters. The grounds are littered with these large excavations. What is eerie is that there are still bones and lots of clothing protruding from the sides of the holes. There are a few areas that are labeled like the section where kids were killed, a tree for torturing and hanging, and where large speakers were set to cover the sounds of the screaming.

Places that I think are ripe for it to happen again.

China
North Korea
Afghanistan
Iraq
Israel/Palestine
Zimbabwe
Somalia
Sudan
Congo/Rwanda/Burundi
Kenya
Central Africa
Russia
Caucasus
Venezuela
Thailand

The Killing Fields: Tuol Sleng (S-21) and Choeng Ek.

Saturday, April 18th, 2009
Pretty gruesome stuff but like that CNN commercial with Cristiana Amanapour, again and again and again. Getting to travel the world you get to see some amazing sights. It’s also very educating when you absorb more by seeing ... [Continue reading this entry]

Phnom Penh: Chores

Saturday, April 18th, 2009
My time in the Cambodian capital city was hopefully going to be well spent as I had quite a few important chores to do. In no special order: 1) Fix the camera 2) new hard drive for the laptop ... [Continue reading this entry]

Fat Steve.

Saturday, April 18th, 2009
Just for those few people concerned about my weight problem (I suffer from a rare form of Bulimia (I binge eat tons of food but don’t purge). After my ravenous cruise through Vietnam combined with my camouflaging my figure ... [Continue reading this entry]

Cambodia unplugged.

Saturday, April 18th, 2009
With the strike and no functional electronics, I found that I was free to wander without the rigueur of being a travel channel flunky. One of the reason for coming to Cambodia from the north instead of through Thailand ... [Continue reading this entry]

Cambodia: A sort of quick jont but I’ll be back around.

Sunday, December 7th, 2008
100_6759.JPG It was a pretty quick couple of week run along the Cambodia coast line to Vietnam. I was pretty pressed not for time but because of the health of Sasha. Things ... [Continue reading this entry]