Day 1 Tonle Sap Lake and Apsara Dancing
View of the boat houses on the lake. These villagers live in extremely poor conditions and depend heavily on the tourism industry.
The entire lake lacked the feel of authenticity because it was heavily dependent on tourism. Everywhere we went, people were asking for money. Also, our tour guide did not speak very much English, therefore much of the history and description of the people living on the lake were left out during the tour. The entire trip went on without much discussion of the area and we were often brought to boats seeking for additional donation for the lake and surrounding area. It made the entire trip uncomfortable and left us feeling trapped and irritated.
We purchased a three day $40 pass for Ankor Wat and all of the surrounding temples. We ended our first day by going to Phnom Bakheng hoping to catch the sunset.
We caught the first big storm of the rainy season shortly after returning from Phnom Bekeng. The rain prevented us from doing anything outdoors on the first day, we decided to watch a traditional Apsara dance in a nearby hotel. The dance included an all you can eat Americanized buffet dinner. The total for the dinner and show cost $12 USD. The food was mediocre, but I really enjoyed the traditional dancing.
Day 2: Bayon, Ankor Wat
There is a dress code for several of the temples currently still being worshipped by locals. Women can only go in the temple if their legs are covered above the knee. Our tour guide Bob failed to tell us this prior to leaving the hotel. It turned out I was the only person in the group who was dressed appropriately to visit these temples. Miscommunication is becoming a reoccurring problem with our tour guide.
Ta Prohm, best known in the Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider
Entrance of Ankor Wat
Bob, our tour guide telling us the story of the Churning of the Milk for immortality for the hundredth time…
Michelle had to rent a Sarong to climb to the top of Ankor Wat.
Incomplete carvings inside Ankor Wat.
We lost Michelle among a big group of Asian tourist
We ended our day at Banteay Srei Temple, better well known as the lady temple. The temple is within the outskirts of Siem Reap. It took us approximately 40 minutes to get to the temple via our Tuk Tuk. With no shade in sight, the temperature was becoming unbearable, it made it difficult to concentrate on the beauty of the architecture.