Pizza, monkeys and Angkor Wat

I had a lovely lie-in this morning and awoke to the sight of beautiful purple lotus flowers in bloom upon the surface of the pond. The small fish that were previously not visible in the pond, were now swimming around the lotus flowers and feeding on the over-ripe mango we’d thrown into the water for them.

I spent most of the morning utilizing the free internet facility at our guesthouse to update this journal, and then I joined Kotoe on the veranda (I swear she’s becoming part of the furniture up there; no wonder the cats keep sitting on her!) I allowed myself to be relatively lazy as well due to the fact that i’d been awake for approximately 20 hours the day before, and the fact that i’d spent $46 in one day just on my Angkor ticket and transportation, meant that i had to watch the cents! So we spent the afternnon chilling in the Sunset Bar (the name of the attached restaurant/bar on the rooftop of the guesthouse) and the evening enjoying a very tasty pizza at Ecstatic Pizza in Siem Reap town.

The following day i hired a bicycle ($1.50 for the day) in order to explore the temples of Angkor a little further. My plan was to cycle out to Banteay Srei, however after realising that cycling 8km out to Angkor Wat had taken me approximately an hour, I decided that a 36km ride (one way) was a little over-ambitious. When investigating alternative temples to visit, i encountered a similar problem with the Rolous group – also 30km away. Clearly I hadn’t done my homework and hadn’t realised just how spread out Angkor’s temples are and how difficult it is to see them all when :

  1. you’re on a budget and cannot afford to pay a tuk tuk driver to drive you to the temples which are more further afield
  2. you haven’t done any exercise for 3 months and are subsequently very unfit so spending a whole day on a bicycle in the intense heat no longer holds much appeal.

As a result of my discoveries I spent my time at Angkor re-visiting the temples I had (briefly) seen a couple of days ago. I appreciated the time alone to be honest, and it’s a lot easier to explore and photograph temples when you’re not constantly thinking about someone else. I didn’t have to worry about whether Kotoe was bored, or about my wandering off and us losing each other; it was just me, my camera and the temples (and several hundred other tourists!)

I also couldn’t resist the temptation to waste an hour or so in monkey territory. This time i remembered that my camera did in fact have a recording facility, so i shot a few of them on video – keeping one eye on the camera’s LCD and another on the monkeys that were getting incredibly close to my feet!

I stayed at the temples until sun set, in the hope that the clouds may have taken pity on me because it was my last day at Angkor. Unfortunately they didn’t, but it didn’t stop me staying at Angkor Wat until closing time at 6pm – just in case.

Photo is of monkey admiring his reflection in the rear view mirror of a motorbike at Angkor.

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