Friday, August 3, 2007

The first night in Siem Riep



After checking in to the guest house, Steph and I arranged with our driver to go to see Angkor Wat after 5:00 (the day pass for the next day starts at that time--so you get a little extra for your money). It started pouring rain as we approached Angkor Wat, but we made the most of it and had a great time exploring the Angkor in the thunder and lightening. It added a really interesting feel to the whole experience.
Angkor Wat is the largest, and most famous, of the temples in the area. These temples were the capital of Cambodia's ancient Khmer empire which lasted from about AD 802 to 1432.























We had a bit of an adventure on our way back, as the rain had caused the roadways to flood dramatically. Our tuk-tuk died out in the middle of one such road turned river and we had to get out and walk down the street while our driver pushed it to higher and drier ground. The moto was quite damaged by the water, however, so we enjoyed the hospitality of two Cambodian women under their food cart umbrella while our driver took the moto to be repaired.










We finally made it back "home" though and dried off in time for a fantastic dinner at the Red Piano on a balcony overlooking "Bar Street." This street, as well as the "Alley," are an amazing find in Cambodia. Most of the restaurants have balconies looking over the streets which are shut down for pedestrians, there's live music and just a great atmosphere. Down the Alley (which is just that, so not so much with the balconies overlooking the street) I also discovered a number of little art shops that were fun to stroll through.

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