Today was our first day in a new country, Cambodia!
Our last day and night in Vietnam was spent eating lots of pho, visiting a water puppet show (some cultural theater of Vietnam involving puppets on poles in a pool), and walking around markets. Now we’ve spent our first day in Cambodia, and it is already extremely different!
Rather than the bustling city that we left in Vietnam, we’re in the more spread out and dustier city of Siem Reap. We got in late, got lost on our way to the hotel, and discovered the widespread usefulness of the local transportation, the tuk-tuk. Our driver didn’t seem to understand us too well, but he got us to our hotel!
Our first day here was spent on a full day tour of various temples around Siem Reap. We first went to Angkor Wat, the big temple that everyone talks about. While it was a bit frustrating that it was so crowded, it was really an incredible sight and could have made a great day on its own.
After Angkor Wat we proceeded onto Angkor Thom, where we saw a jungle temple, a temple with 216 Buddha faces, and lots of gorgeous temples and ruins all around. It’s amazing to think that they have so many temples and ruins inside of Angkor Thom that they don’t even bother to restore or advertise many of them. Ruins just lie by the side of the road, looking beautiful and seemingly going unnoticed.
The day concluded with a trip up a large hill to yet another temple, where we went to watch the sun set over the country. As with the rest of the day, we were up there with 300 of our closest friends, which made it a bit difficult to get some good pictures but overall wasn’t too bad. The sun didn’t so much “set” as “disappear into haze”, but it still made for a good evening and a good end to a very exhausting and incredible day (I know there aren’t really any photos in this post, I just took way too many. If you want to see more then check out my Flickr album).