It is the rainy season (Sept – Oct ) and Siem Reap greeted us with a brisk shower and a good fair weather during the journey to our hotel.
Our very first impression of Cambodia is that it is very dusty. You can always tell that you’re in Cambodia by the amount of dust being stir up into the air in the wake of the endless river of tuk tuk and motor vehicles. Few places in the world can see such magnificent man-made sandstorm. And the best of it all,this cloud of sand was created right after a passing shower.
Angkor Wat was our first adventure stop. It is quite an enchanting sight. We visited many ancient relics from a time of great prosperity during the reign of builder kings of the old khmer empires. My favorite amongst them all is the Great Bayon Temple. There laid the magnificent sculptures of Kings and Buddha cast in volcanic stones from a time long forgotten by man.
Having visited Angkor Wat, I was particularly captivated by the sound and light fiesta the Smile of Angkor. I must say that food was beyond our expectation and the spread of the buffet dinners that comes with the show was vast and wide. Soon it was showtime and we took our seat in the rattan chair allocated to us. The musical was well choreograph with many dance and acrobatics spectaculars. However the down side of the performance was that leaves you in great puzzlement about why Angkor is smiling… Nevertheless it is a great evening out with my beloved wife.
Sihanoukville was our next stop in our little Cambodian excursion. It is a tedious 16 hour journey from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville. A gentle reminder to the kind adventurers out there that if you were ever to take the sleeper coach in the evening, always remember to take the 8.00pm coach instead of the 12.00am coach. It is a lot more comfortable, clean and spacious than the midnight bus.I particularly enjoy the endless fields of Padi awaiting the rich harvest towards the end of the year. It turns out that Sihanoukville was not what we expected. Beaches was lining with heaps of beach chairs and sofa, litering the landscape as far as the eye can see. And as expected, we cut short our stay in Sihanoukville and returned the very next day to Siem Reap.
Having landed ourselves back in Siem Reap, we took a tour of the floating village of Kampong Phruk seeking more places to leave our footprint in Cambodia. It is a very interesting place where whole living communities was built entirely on stilts to avoid the flooding of the Mekong River during rainy season. Thought water was blackish and somewhat disgusting with dead fish floating on the surface from time to time, I am particularly astounded by the fact that entire living community that includes Schools, temples and even rearing of livestock were built above these watery lands in order to survive the flooding of the river.
All in all Cambodia is a land of mystic and wonders, leaving you wondering what’s next from the day you arrive till the day you leave.
The Gaia Adventurers – Ah Long & Ah Kath