Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Siem Reap Day Three: Hanging With the Locals

Today was an early day, really early!  We were going to Angor Wat to watch the sunrise.  Up at 4:30, we grabbed our breakfast which the hotel was nice enough to pack for us, and we left with Jet at 5am.  Did I mention that I set an alarm for 3am so I could wake Bill so he could watch the World Cup U.S. game.  Turns out Bill had the day wrong and the U.S. game was tomorrow, but he watched whatever game was on anyway.  So we were starting today extra tired.

We arrived at Angor Wat and walked to a reflection pool inside that is a great spot for watching the sunrise.  We are not visiting at a great time of year since the skies are cloudy since it is monsoon season.  We did catch a little of the sun, peeking behind the clouds.  Regardless it was beautiful seeing the temple in a different light.

We left after we had our fill of pictures since we had already explored Angor Wat the day before.  We headed to Banteay Srey, Jet's favorite temple, next.  We were the only ones there when we arrived.  It was smaller than most of the temples we had seen, but the carvings are very detailed and cut very deep so they are almost three dimensional.  Most of the temple is roped off so you can look but you can't get very close to the major parts and its hard to really see.  Jet told us since it was so early we could basically bribe the police guard to let us past the ropes.  Really?!  I thought you got arrested for bribing a cop?  But this is Cambodia and, well, Jet said it was okay so we agreed.  Jet did the talking and a small fee of $5 was agreed upon.  We paid the bribe and the guard lowered the rope for us to cross and even showed us some things himself.  It was amazing getting to see the carvings up close.  We were able to see many that would have been hidden from our view.  It turned out to be my favorite temple too.

It was another scorcher of a day.  We visited about five more temples, feed some monkeys, and after 7 hours of sight seeing, were dropped back off at our hotel at noon.  Our private three day guided tour was over.  We had a great time and my girls loved Jet!  They were a bit sad to see him go.  Now we were on our own!

The kids and Bill played in the pool while I had a 90 minute $13 massage at the hotel.  I
LOVE this place!  Bill had been talking to a few guys who worked there about soccer and World Cup, they said they were going to play in a couple hours and Bill and Carter should come and play with them.  By this point it's dinner time, but this sounds like fun.  At 5pm we meet the guys in the lobby, they have their motorbikes and we hope in the tuktuk. They have said they have rented a field, we have no idea what we are getting into.  We are all very curuios about what a soccer field in Cambodia will look like.  As our driver is navigating the narrow, crowded, dirt roads weaving in and around traffic, it already feels like a real adventure.  We pull up to an outdoor sports complex and are pleasantly surprised.  There are three small soccer fields, as well as volleyball and a few other things.  Bill and Carter are playing in tennis shoes, a few of the guys have cleats, but many play with bare feet!  After a little while the girls want to play as well so they go on the field.  After an hour the team that Bill and Carter are on loses, but not by much.  Carter has now been nicknamed Neymar, the Brazilian soccer player, by the locals.  They had a blast!

We decided to take the hotel's tuk tuk to a restrarant Jet had recommended called Khmer Kitchen.  It was amazing!!  I had the Amok, a traditional Cambodian dish that I had been eating quite a bit, and it was fantastic here.  After dinner we walked around the night market and did a little shopping.  I met a girl whose name was Happy and we talked for awhile since she wanted to practice her English.  She is twelve and works in her mothers store.  She also is in the ninth grade since she skipped two grades.  We talked about school, holidays, and her desire to be a fashion designer.  The locals are what make Cambodia so wonderful.  They are so friendly.

We are just about done shopping, when Mia starts crying.  She said a bug landed on her face and she swatted it off, but now it hurts badly.  I don't see any marks, but Mia doesn't cry from pain.  We head
back to the hotel and I look again, no one sees any mark.  We wash her face and put her to bed.  It's been another long, exhausting, fun filled day.

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