ANCIENT CAMBODIA and THE KHMER
The 4-day detour to Cambodia was part of our Thailand trip. So we arrived in Siem Reap by plane directly from Bangkok. We had booked rooms at the Palm Village Resort & Spa and were picked up at the airport by the hotel driver. We arrived at the hotel around 4 p.m. and were able to enjoy the afternoon by the pool. The hotel is actually a very small resort, it probably had 10 cabins with 2 beds each. But the pool was very clean and the staff friendly and very helpful.
I wanted to be at Angkor Wat at sunrise the next morning and the hotel provided us with a driver and a guide for the whole day. Mister Chang led us right in front of the main temple at 5:00 in the morning, unfortunately many other tourists also had the same idea. Therefore, the area was unfortunately very overcrowded and due to a construction fence around the front ponds, the pictures unfortunately didn’t turn out as Insta-like as I would have liked. But Mister Chang took us through the temples and told us about pretty much all the Bhuddist and Hindu dynasties that had populated Angkor Wat in the past. We climbed the highest towers of Angkor Wat, explored Ta Phrom the jungle temple and visited the elephant terrace in Angkor city.
We learned something about the responsibilities and reconstruction of the last decades and were able to take great pictures. Mister Chang was very patient with me and my desire to take photos without other tourists. So we often stood in the same place for minutes, waiting for that one moment. We even climbed the Baphuon Temple in 35° Celsius temperatures and took a short break at the pond in front of it to photograph some monkeys who were enjoying a bath there. For some reason some monkeys found my camera bag particularly interesting and didn’t even want to leave me. When I remembered that there was a piece of banana in my bag, I immediately used it as bait to lure the monkeys into the perfect photo position.
Since we had another day in Cambodia and had time, we wanted to visit a few other sights. Luckily, Mister Chang and our driver still had time for us and Mister Chang put together a personal tour for us. So after a small lunch, we continue to Tonle Sap Lake that same afternoon. And we were able to take a boat trip and look at the houses on the lake. But since we were in Cambodia during the dry season, the water level was correspondingly low. But this actually gives you a better idea of how much the water level rises and falls each season. Because the houses that stood on stilts for us are in the water right up to the entrance door in summer. The water level therefore moves up or down approx. 6-8m. Those are impressive amounts of water. In the evening we treated ourselves to a wonderful Khmer meal in the hotel.
The next day, Mister Chang and our driver picked us up at the hotel and we drove to Phnom Kulen National Park. we visited the Preah Ang Thom Pagoda, the Kulen Waterfall and learned a lot about the sacred signs in the 1000 Lingas River. These are sacred symbols that were carved into the riverbed, making the water sacred to us. Finally, we took some cool pictures at Poeng Ta Kho. A special cliff above the national park.
We were able to enjoy the pool again in the later afternoon and evening. Mister Chang put together a really cool tour for us and showed us Cambodia for two days, which definitely left a lasting impression. If anyone is still wondering, how much does a private guide including driver and car cost for two days. We paid $200 for 4 people. So $50 per person. So nothing.
For us it was definitely worth it to have someone who could organize everything for us, get tickets, show us great places for lunch and provide us with so much knowledge that we can now say with a clear conscience that we have Kamdosha experienced.