September 27 Tuesday Siem Reap
Today has been a raincoats and umbrella day. Yes, lots of rain with flooded streets and roads. Tut-tuts galore plowing through muddy waters that just never seem to subside.
After yet another brilliant breakfast (some have tried the champaign breakfast and want it tomorrow too), we took a 37km trip out of town to see more temples. Banteay Srey, loosely translated “Citadel of the Women”, has beautiful intricate and delicate yellow sandstone carvings everywhere, especially over the doorposts. This is the first time that flooding has occurred in this temple so we walked through ankle deep waters to see the place.
Banteay Somrei was yet another different type of temple. Within the outer walls, is a moat, then a wall and a second moat before coming within the area of the temple itself. This temple had been covered over by previous dynasties, and only recently, the early 1900’s, archeologists dug out what is now, a very interesting temple. To position such large pieces of stone with intricate carvings, up so high in the structure of the buildings, must have been a grand engineering feat in its day.
For lunch, we were taken to a village place for eating. Within a short period of time, we had quite acceptable dishes of eastern type food.
The ‘free’ afternoon, started at 4pm. I had a ‘four hands’ massage on the floor. Young therapists certainly know how to ‘get in deep’ in this country. I think I will be bruised for a few days, especially in the calves.
With an afternoon off, three members decided to go shopping. The streets of Siem Reap were awash from the rain and the water level varied from nothing to knee height. One of the three had managed to keep her footware dry all day. She had managed to dodge every little puddle and mini lake all morning. However things were to change! The three decided to return to the Hotel by what seemed to be an almost new Tuc Tuc. On their way they waved to fellow guests and took photos. They rounded a corner for the final approach to base camp, to be confronted by a very flooded street. The Tuc Tuc zigged and zagged a bit and then plunged into a very deep pot hole. After the initial shock of the sudden drop, rising water level and one handbag floating down the street. The driver of the sinking Tuc Tuc gave the command of “abandon ship” I mean Tuc Tuc. Two managed to make it to ankle depth, while the third tried to upright the damaged machine. The final 100 metres home was done wading through below knee deep water. The shoes that had been kept dry all day are traveling Saigon in a plastic bag, hopefully they will be dry by the time we reach Melbourne.
Others took a $10 for one hour ride around town in a tut-tut.
The evening was taken up at a large entertainment complex where we ate from an eastern smorgasbord and were entertained by some traditional dancing – beautiful costumes and bead gear. I’m told the local beer wasn’t too bad either.
After a coffee in the bar at our colonial hotel http://www.victoriahotels-asia.com/eng/hotel-in-cambodia/angkor-resort-spa we are ready for a good rest before our flight to Saigon tomorrow.
Today’s “Senior’s” moment. Lyn put in a strong request for me to include myself (I said, “Why not? Then it’s out of the way.”) I left the room with back-pack on shoulders smiling as if I had all my bases covered as far as being organised goes. We met together before boarding the bus. As we were boarding, I remembered that I didn’t have tripod and video camera with me – oh rats! Back to the room and collect what is usually attached to me with an umbilical chord.