Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cambodia part 3, Siem Reap


The next day instead of the big tour of temples we hiked up to a water fall and then went to the Ta Phrom Jungle temple that was made famous in the "Tomb Raider" movie.  We were not actually expecting a hike to this waterfall. I only had sandals to wear since I wasn't expecting to do anything where I would need to wear tennis shoes. We thought it would be a short easy walk. Instead it was a long hike and there really wasn't much of a trail. There were lots of rocks and huge boulders. It had rained the night before so it was slick. A police officer led us so that we would not wonder off the trail and go into parts that were off limits because they still weren't sure if they were all clear of landmines. When we finally got to the water fall it was not that impressive and we had been told the day before we would swim, but there was definitely not enough way to swim. We were only there for about 5 minutes to take a few pictures and then he led us back down. On the way back down I trip and hit my left big toe and cracked the nail way down so it was bleeding. I luckily had a band aid and got it wrapped up. Then a few minutes later I slipped and hurt my little toe on the same foot.

When we got down we had lunch before going on to Ta Phrom jumgle temple. I had no idea until later on that it was the temple made famous by the movie "Tomb Raider". It was a really cool temple. I think my very favorite one. The trees were incredible. We ate at a Mexican restaurant, Viva, for dinner. It was wonderful. Since I had not eaten Mexican food for over two years it was a great change from Asian food.

The next day we went to see a Floating village and took a boat ride on Lake Tonle Sap. These villages do not use stilts for the houses. The houses are actually floating. During different times of the year they are tied so they don't float too far. They are moved up the river and then onto dry land during the dry season and then moved down the river and to the lake when it is rainy season. They lose lots of people every year during storms. Lots of times it is little children because they are left behind when the parents go to work fishing. We were told about a school for students that don't have parents anymore. We had seen a grocery store so when we were ask to buy food for the students we thought it was going to be that grocery store. Instead we were taken to a place that had three items: rice, instant noodles and water. The rice was very expensive, and we didn't approve of the instant noodles so we went with the bottles of water. We took the bottles of water to the school and gave it to the children. We interacted with them some. They were on a break and so they were playing games. We were told that the teacher works for free but gets room and board. While we were there another group of people came with instant noodles.  

After that we went to a Silk Farm. We saw the whole process of how silk is made. I had no idea, so it was very interesting to see. Followed by a Spice factory. It started pouring rain on the way from the silk farm to spice factory. We did a shortened tour of the spice factory since it was pouring rain, although, we did have umbrellas they gave us to use. We saw enough and got enough explanation to understand how it worked. They make soap, candles, spices for food and incense.  We had a late lunch at the Bengal Tiger. We had dinner at The Warehouse that was across the street from Viva. The food was ok. We went and watched the traditional dance on the top floor of another building.

Our last day we just kind of hung out at the hotel. We slept in and then I stayed in the room for awhile and read while Sally went to the pool and sunbathed for awhile. When I got out to the pool it decided to start raining, so once it took a break we went to a market and did lots of shopping for gifts. We had a late lunch at a restaurant. We gave a young girl some of our lunch because the portions were huge and she was hungry. I don't know if she really got to eat it because a few minutes after we had the restaurant people box it up I saw her over by the kitchen. I wondered if they made her give it back. After we left we bumped into her a few minutes later at another place and she was not carrying the food. It poured that night so we just ate dinner and watched a puppet and then dance show at our little boutique hotel, the Alliance Cafe. 

The next day we rode the bus back to Phnom Penh. When we arrived we checked into our hotel and then went for a walk. We got a last foot massage and pedicure. Then we went and found a place for dinner. After that we went to a bar that had some local musicians that were performing for open mike night. 


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