CAMBODJA

APRIL 2012

We arrived at Cambodja by bus coming from Bangkok. The trip took 3h, at the border we spent 2h and then until Siem Reap took another 3h. This trip, besides being way more cheaper (and still doable), showed us the big diferences between Thailand and Cambodja. The first is rich, with good roads and where everything is golden, the second is dusty, bad roads and has poor woodden houses. The language is also very diferent. Thai people seam to speak chanting and Cambodjan are more rough. Faces are similar, although Cambodjan have more square faces. As we stop to put gás, lots of children come and ask for money (Dollar, Sir?) .

Some of the temples in Seam Reap are free after 5pm, so as soon as we arrived, we catch a tuk tuk to go to Angkor Wat to watch the sunset. The main access to the temple gets filled with turists, that as we, read that it’s free to enter after that hour. So, find yourself a good spot (we climb a little construction) to have the perfect view.

Having a meal here it’s really cheap (around 5$US) and the minimum wage is 55$US. Our hotel costs 8$US per night and a beer costs 0,5$US, but the temple's tickets costs 20$US and a tuk tuk ride costs 1$US/km well negotiated!

The Khmer Kingdom was almost as big as the Maia’s and it’s one of the 7 wonders of the world. This is not connected to the greatness of the people but with the civilization,hindu with some bhudist influencies. Cambodja is a poor country and land mined mutilated children are frequent. As the Maia civilization, the temples are spreaded through a big part of the area and a selection was needed, as we weren’t spending a month here, we only saved one day to visit the temples. 

We started by Angkor Wat again to watch the sunrise and then we went to Shangri Srei, then Ta Phrom (where the movie Tomb Raider was filmed) and Bayon with all the stone faces sculptured, facing the four directions. The story tells that the temple guardians, send by Shiva, were so destructive that they ate their own body, leaving only the head.

The temples are deep into the jungle, so between them we go throught it, having the chance to view the wildlife around. We stopped to see some monkeys, and a funny one came to us and played with us some time. He was very unsettled with the similarities between us and kept touching our hears and his, comprai our hands and even tried to find lices on our hair and end up being frustrated not to find any. So funny!

The massages here are, as well as in Thailand, very cheap, so making one at the end of the day is a must. It costs 1$/h and with our feet and backs hurting from walking and climbing, it gives us the perfect end for an amazing day.

We also ate snake, frog and cockroaches at a street stand and I must say that the cockroach wasn’t the best experience for me… the frog and snake tastes like chicken, but I couldn’t swallow the roach! D. ate it and liked it, but he said he couldn’t eat the frog because the skin was messing with his head… really?

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