Taming of the Tuk-Tuk Driver and the Wats of Angkor

January 14, 2009 - 7:07 pm No Comments

After dinner, a drink, and light conversation with some Cambodian hookers, we waited for all the tuk-tuk drivers to gather around before announcing that we were going to pay exactly US$1 to get back to our guest house, since that is what we paid every night for the ride there. All of the drivers looked displeased and turned away, but due to the sheer number of them, we knew it was just a matter of time before someone would bite. About four seconds. We made sure that it was one of the certified drivers with a numbered vest and not some random guy looking to make a buck, and we had a deal.

Woke up this morning feeling lousy. My throat felt like I swallowed an angry puffer fish. But I wasn’t going to let it slow me down.

Voy took us back into Angkor. On the drive in, I was almost overcome by dust and the smell of burning plastic. There is definitely an air pollution problem here. At Angkor, many of the Asian tourists wear surgical masks to keep out the bad stuff. Looks silly, but perhaps it’s effective.

Continuing through Angkor, we explored a few of the other wats. Some have been partially restored, and others have been left to be overcome by the jungle. Rooms, corridors, and crumbled archways make each wat fun to hop around. I agree with Doug in that they would be absolutely perfect for a game of Paintball. We also revisited a few of the wats we saw yesterday. They certainly looked a bit different, with the sun hitting them at a different angle.

Bayon in the Morning

Preah Khan

Preah Khan

Preah Khan

Neak Pean

Woman at Neak Pean

Taking you back hundreds of years when they were first built, a mystical haze covers the grounds of each wat. Is it really the ghosts of a forgotten past? Or the carcinogenic fumes of burnt plastic?

Our Sweet Ride

Tourists on Bicycles

East Mebon

Boy at East Mebon


Of course, the souvenir kids were out in force again. When I told one of the girls that my name was Frank and I was from France, she gave me a bracelet for free in appreciation for what France has done for the people of Cambodia. I felt guilty for lying to her and told her she should take the bracelet back and try to sell it to someone else, but she refused. Quite mature for a young kid who was desperately trying to make a buck, I thought. Or was it just part of the game? In the end, I bought a Pepsi from her. Maybe that was her goal all along.

Devata at Banteay Kdei

Banteay Kdei

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm

We’re taking it easy for the rest of the afternoon. Tomorrow will be an early start, leaving at 5am to catch a sunrise at Angkor Wat.

Cambodian BBQ

Sparkling Dessert

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