Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Angkor Wat

So I was looking back through some of the older posts, and I was laughing about how it seems that I have a tendency to only write about whatever horrible ailments I've had. I'm a complainer. I will stop.

Instead, I'm going to talk about what it was like to visit Angkor Wat, the 8th World Wonder. Or, rather, I'm going to show you what it looks like, pictures being worth a 1,000 words and all.

This place is HUGE. The carvings were all done by hand, and the main buildings were done in the 12th century (to give you some perspective, about the same time Notre Dame was being constructed in Paris). You can scale temple after temple, with steep climbs up to the top affording incredible views of the surrounding area.

Also, these guys were there. We had an understanding, where if I ran away from them each time they made any sort of movement, they would get to laugh at me and leave me alone. It's especially embarrassing to have a nursing mother of an infant cause such fear:

Baby hanging on to mom:

Me learning how to light incense as an offering:

Tomb Raider was filmed here. The restaurants downtown take advantage of this, with one bar even letting you order "The Angelina Jolie", which was some sort of fruity alcoholic concoction. 

The next day, we went on a day hike up through the rainforest to see some more temple ruins and a waterfall. I was more than a little winded and sweaty as we climbed over rocks and trees in order to make it to the top, but it was so worth it. This hike ranks in my top 3 favorite things I've done in Cambodia. Lots of Cambodian families also do the hike for picnics on the weekend, so I felt a little silly when moms in heels carrying children and picnic baskets were passing me as I struggled to the top of the mountain. Guess I need to work on a little cardiovascular training when I get back to Boston.

Carvings from ruins in forest:

Yes, I look a damp sweaty mess:

Butterfly landing on my flip flop (yes, those flip flops):

More ruins in the waterbed:

Waterfall at top with incredibly cold, fresh water; worth the trip!

After the waterfall hike, we visited one more temple before calling it a day.

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