Sunday, January 21, 2018

Last Day in Cambodia

One of the things about travelling is that it causes you to ponder and appreciate how blessed we are to live in Canada. Life expectancy here is 68 1/2 years.

We drove an hour outside of Siem Reap to Kompong Khleang which is a fishing village on a river (not the Mekong). Over 3000 families live in this village. 

People were sun drying and smoking fish. Most homes are one room and people sleep on mats at night with mosquito nets and will nap in hammocks during the day. All the houses are on stilts at least 20 feet high due to the high watts that come in the rainy season.

They sell gasoline in pop bottles.

We boarded a small boat with our guide and travelled up and down the river for about an hour. We were able to see day to day life. We passed a small floating village of Vietnamese people. Apparently they’re able to move their homes when need be. There was farmland beside the river, mostly growing peanuts or green beans.

After the fishing village we drove about 45 minutes to Beng Mealea, an early 12th century Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu. This is the oldest Hindu temple of the Angkor Kings. The jungle has made its claim on this temple but it is quite beautiful in its wild state. This temple had never been restored or cleared of the jungle but it is quite beautiful in its wild state, a massive tumble of stone blocks and ruins.

On the way out we saw the largest stick bug/ Praying Mantis that I have ever seen.

Our menu at lunch seemed to have one of those “lost in translation” phrases.

After lunch we drove 40 minutes to the Bakong district. Our first stop was  the Lolei Temple which is a late 9th century Hindu Shiva temple built by the same king that eventually moved the capital to Angkor. The king had dedicated this temple to his family.

A very short drive away was Preah Ko temple,a Hindu Shiva, mid 9th century temple. This one has has not been restored. In the same area was a modern Buddhist temple. Many nuns were nearby celebrating some kind of a special day. The nuns were all older with shaved heads. 

Our final temple was just a short drive away. Bakong temple was the largest of the Bakong temples. It was a mid 9th century Hindu Shiva temple. John went up to the top but Cora was too hot and tired and I found it a little to steep for me. 

We were dropped off at our hotel to freshen up. I had just enough time to run across the street for a foot reflexology session...sheer bliss.

I saw a blue dog on my way back to the hotel. Poor thing.

Our guide and driver picked us up and drove us to the airport. I highly recommend Angkor Guide Sam . Both our driver, Wate and our guide, Saravy were wonderful. We learned so much, they were very considerate of our comfort and Saravy is an excellent photographer. He often suggested pictures and backdrops where he would photograph us with our own phones. This three day tour offered excellent value for the money.

We flew to Hanoi, Vietnam on Viet Jet. I think the seats are designed for the Asian body (which is generally much smaller than our North American bodies). We sat in seats with the shortest legroom I have ever experienced. Thank goodness it was  only an hour and forty-five minutes of flight time. My knees were in my armpits for the whole flight.

We felt the cooler temperature as soon as we left the airport. On our way to our hotel in Hanoi, we crossed an impressive lit up bridge.

We are staying at the Hanoi L’Heritage Hotel. The rooms are nice and the bed is a king...which is looking awfully tempting.

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