ANGKOR WAT DAY#2
Yesterday evening we finally met back up with Derek, Yve, and Janice. Derek and Yve were heading off with two new replacements (I mean friends...) to have dinner as Tommy and I were leaving the Internet bar. They met these two guys, one Canadian named Danny and an Aussie whose name I didn't catch, while touring the temples and had yet to be separated from them. Tommy and I met up with Janice at our hotel and spent the rest of the evening playing Spades. Just as we finished and headed for our room to read quietly before going to sleep, the prodigal friends, Derek and Yve, returned with Danny and the other kid for a jam session in our room. Yve had guitar, Aussie had vocals, Danny had drums (well sticks and mattresses), and I, well, I had a vibrating bed from all the jumping around Danny did. Needless to say, we slept in this morning.
After we finally got around, we rented bikes and headed for Angkor Wat. Yve is really sick again today, but she didn't want to miss the most famous temple and like a trooper, biked out with the rest of us. Along the way, she mentioned that Danny invited her to go to Malaysia with him to meet up with some of his friends. She's rather smitten with this fellow and since she doesn't have to return as early as the rest of us to Shiyan (it's still questionable whether she will be able to or not anyway - long story), she decided she really wants to travel with him. He's leaving tomorrow, and if all works out, she'll be heading out too. Crazy!
Anyway, Angkor Wat was amazing. I have been constantly surprised at how few tourists there are here. It seems like I see them in the city, but when we go to the temples, there's usually only a small clump of tour groups near the main entrances, and everywhere else is more or less empty of them. It's so nice! And there's so much freedom to wander about. There aren't a lot of protected areas to prevent self-injuries which is strange to see coming from the West where we have to put warnings on everything. The architecture and ornately detailed carvings and bas reliefs within the temples at Angkor are breathtaking, and I feel so fortunate to have been able to see them. But, in the end, our bodies gave out. After biking such a distance and climbing several steep stairways and hiking around in the heat, we decided to head back (after realizing we had seen all the other temples yesterday and after playing for a short time with the monkeys, yet again). We have a three day pass to the temples, but two days were enough for me and so tomorrow we will probably head back to Phnom Penh in the afternoon.