Exploring the largest religious monument in the world
Angkor Archaeological Park covers almost 250 sq. miles and includes Angkor Wat, a Hindu/Buddhist temple complex built in the 1100’s. This UNESCO World Heritage site is central to the Cambodia’s history and studied by architectural students around the world. Ancestors of the villagers who erected Angkor Wat still reside in the park, and their existence is primitive, just down the street from our fancy hotel.
If you would like to contribute to the local economy and don’t wish to walk all day in SE Asia’s exceptionally high temperatures, hire a personal tuk-tuk – all day the driver will kindly wait to take you from site to site for only $20-30 US (tipping is acceptable). Come prepared with a handful of dollars or candy to give to local children; they approach tourists in herds, hoping to sell brackets and other trinkets. “You buy, you buuuuuy??” they say, almost singing.
Honor the past by enjoying the present.
The best thing to do after a long day of climbing 900-year-old ruins? A dip in the pool, relaxing spa visit, fancy dinner and night out on the town, of course!
After a group massage, we have tea with the house owner. She left Cambodia during the 1970’s genocide that killed more than twenty percent of Cambodia’s population and her family. For thirty years she lived in Maryland, not too far from where we live in D.C. She returned to Siem Reap to open this business, which provides work for women supporting their families. An hour-long private massage that costs $100+ in the U.S. costs $5 here.
Wander the Angkor Night Market for a selection of shops and nice restaurants mostly priced for tourists. Pub Street is the place to go for dancing and shenanigans. We are having good fun and may opt to stay here for a few more days instead of continuing to Thailand.