Day 006 – Siem Riep – Angkor Wat
2008/09/10 § Leave a comment
From Phnom Penh I took an “espress” bus to Siem Riep. The 6 hours long journey was not as dreadful as I had been expecting. Yet it was about enough of being squeezed in to too narrow seats, hence I fear for my knees on the upcoming trip to Saigon which is going to take 12 hours on the same type of bus.
Whatever, Siem Riep greeted me with a much calmer and more scenic appearance than Phnom Penh had to offer. After the typical haggle with a driver (who wanted to take me around for 3 days) I decided to see the sunset at a temple. While buying the ticket I became more and more insecure about the price my driver had made me. He wanted 55$ for the 3 days, which appeared too much to me.
Fortunately I met Barbara and Steffi from Germany at the ticket office who I compared my deal with. It turned out that I had not really gotten myself the best deal, as suspected. My driver had been somewhat annoying and deceitful in the process of haggling for the price which made me dump him and hook up with the girls instead.
We went on a grand tour of the temples yesterday and today and it is simply amazing! I have been looking forward to the temples at Angkor for many years now, since it has been a long term goal to get here. Finally I was standing in the midst of this impressive architecture that dates back 1000 years.
Fortunately we got rid of a rather useless guide the girls had hired and had a more relaxing time today. We managed to reach the temples early in the morning which allowed us to enjoy the scenery without any other tourists around! Well worth getting up early for this!
While entrance fees of 40$ per three days seemed high initially I would consider them low after having seen and experienced Angkor.
Siem Riep itself is an OK place with a good deal of serenity if you ignore the nightly party scene that develops after sunset by the old market.
I am somewhat amazed about myself and about the fact that the party craving has not at all had a grab on me yet. So far I easily stayed away from the temptation for ethanolic evening pleasures… 😉
I think that I am slowly but surely getting into the realisation of where I actually am. My “soul” seems to still try to catch up with the change of scenery. However, today I felt more and more that I start to arrive. Probably just in time for me to get rid of the last troubles with jet lack, or so I hope. I have not yet found a decent sleep of sleeping pattern, but I guess I will get there eventually.
One thing for sure, I am enjoying it tremendously and I can´t wait now to catch up with Björn in Saigon.
Tomorrow I will take it easy and read my books. Tonight the rain does not seem to want to stop so I might actually get all the excuses I need to just sit on the hotel´s veranda and endulge in philosophical reading 🙂