Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Thu 3 Feb 2011 - Sun 6 Feb 2011
I am always a lady and its always a dollar- in their singsong, always polite, definitely annoying tone, kids and adults try to sell you beads, bracelets, postcards, their grandmother. Just for a dollar! The whole idea of US dollar being the unofficial-official currency of Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia is amusing. They don't use their own money themselves...for example, the tuk tuk driver bought gas for 2 USD (not in khmer riel). I think currency is one of many ways one feels a sense of national identity. So, the Cambodians trade in USD and their signage is in French. Hmmmm...Oh well. Idle thought while spending a fabulous few days spent among the ruins of Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The pictures are endless- have patience clicking through, as I just couldn't decide which temple, which ruin, which photo took my breathe away. Everytime I walked in to a ruin, I almost could hear the soundtrack of Indiana Jones in the background, and I wished I looked as good as Lara Croft in shorts!
The first misconception I had was that Angkor Wat is just one temple-- true. However, it is one of many in a complex of temples built over a 1000 years ago, over a period of 200 years. Second misconception was that I could ride a bicycle from one site to another. That is such a laughable thought- the complex is sprawling, with miles and miles of paved and dirt roads. And the sun is exhausting (100 degrees!). But I guess I cannot be Indiana Jones from inside an air-conditioned car. So, mode of transportation was tuk tuk, with private driver no less ($12-20 a day).
The wonderful thing about such ancient history is that if I take my future kids to Angkor, it will be unchanged, remaining the same, proudly saying phoeey to the eroding sands of time.