Angkor Wat???

Andrew and I had a great weekend in Siem Reap. Siem Reap is the most Western-ized city in Cambodia, located about 2 hours southeast of Poipet.

We experienced major culture shock as very technologically advanced things just amazed the socks off a traffic light!!! Who knew those existed in Cambodia??!

Obviously, Poipet does not have stoplights.

One of the enjoyable things about Siem Reap is the freedom to ride a bicycle throughout town. The traffic is a little crazy, as you're weaving around tourist buses, motorcycles, and moto-rickshaws, but relaxing none the less. Because Poipet has primarily dirt roads with a surface like the moon, bicycling isn't very practical. Renting a bike for $1 per day is definitely cheaper than paying for tuk-tuks.

The biggest attraction of Cambodia, which draws millions of visitors every year, is the historical site of Angkor Wat. The largest religious structure in the world, it is a complex of Hindu temples built in the 12th century as a state temple and capitol city. One of the temples in the complex is also famous for being spectacularized in Angelina Jolie's Tomb Raider movie - so much so, that it even earned multiple mentions from our Lonely Planet guide as "this is the place where Angelina enters the temple...where she gets the cell phone from the monk...where she picks the jasmine flower from a tree, spending 5 minutes in meditation before running to kick some bad guy butt." Ok, not really. But almost.

It is really difficult to capture the enormity of the buildings, the complex, the multiples levels and walls of these temples. And when you finally turn from the big picture and look at the details in every square inch of these structures, it's even more astounding to realize that they were built entirely by hand, without any mechanical or technological assistance.

We found it quite interesting to also watch tourists from all over the world. I have to admit, I took photos of more than just the old stuff...there were some newer amusements as well wandering around...

I'm sorry, I don't care if you are yoga gurus. You do not have the right to wear tie-dye sarongs and see-through pants.

The main reason we travelled to Siem Reap was to relax and rest for the weekend. Although we don't feel run down or stressed out (yet), we have been encouraged by a lot of people to make time for resting and relaxation before we get to the run-down point. Life in Poipet has been an adventure - enjoyable, challenging, pushing us out of our comfort zones, even totally adjusting our definitions of "comfort level." I never thought that cooking in a 90-degree kitchen would feel comfortable, but with God and a few fans, all things are possible! 

Sweating in Cambodia,
Andrew and Whitney