Siem Reap & Route 66

Cambodia has been my favourite country to travel, and the easiest. The people that live here are so beautiful with their warm smiles and eagerness to talk to you. We first checked in to a luxurious (by our standards!) guesthouse in Siem Reap with a pool (!) air conditioning and cable tv. We spent about 5 days there, mostly exploring the several temples of Angkor, eating and drinking in the town, or chilling by the hotel pool. I’ll try and limit the number of temple photos I post but they were so spectacular it’s hard to pick! Some were built almost a thousand years ago by kings and rulers trying to outdo eachother. The thing that always surprises me is that you can walk and climb all over them – no red tape or security guards like you’d find in the western world.

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part of Angkor Wat, the largest and most popular temple. We took quite some time in this temple and still probably missed thousands of little nooks and details.
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Since the temples aren’t well guarded several artifacts, such as these statue heads, have been stolen by thieves and sold on the black market.
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A monk studying Angkor Wat.
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This temple, which was mostly crumbling stone blocks and walls being pushed aside for new (and old) trees, was my favourite. Most of the temples had been restored and cared for in some sense but the fact that this one hadn’t yet added to it’s allure.
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Another spider photo! I can’t help it, the colours and patterns are soo cool!
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After a very long day of ‘templing’ we start our 7km bike ride home and left those tour buses in the dust!

About midway through our stay in Siem Reap we bought motorbikes from other tourists. It took a few days (or weeks) to get used to the traffic and road rules here (stop signs and traffic lights are mere suggestions). Meet Winston Hung Fat and Polley Hung Lo!

 

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Packs are strapped in and we’re ready for our fist day on the road!
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Watching a little cobbler fix a pair of shoes while getting a spare key cut.

We left Siem Reap with a full tank of gas, a road map (in Russian), and the excitement of getting a new toy at christmas. Our first leg of the trip was along Route 66 through rural cambodia. It has only been ‘rideable’ for a few years and has undergone demining and lots of roadwork. Even still it was mostly a dirt path covered in potholes! I’m not complaining though because we got to see some amazing sights and see a very ural part of the country. There was no chance of finding an english speaker but the kids were all smiles and waves and the adults just looked shocked/confused!

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Our view for most of the day. That red sand gets into your skin, teeth, hair … everywhere!
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A girl we met along the way.
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