Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Temple monkeys

We just finished a three day trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia to explore the ancient Khmer temples of Angkor Wat. Once again, transportation in Cambodia was a ridiculous fiasco, but we managed to get to our destination 7 hours and 5 stops later. The bus ran out of gas three blocks from our departure point. Believe me when I tell you, Lou Vasta would have been in tears.

On our first day we decided to go with our tuk tuk driver to the furthest temples and gradually work our way into the cream of the crop on the following day. The hour long ride out to Banteay Srei exposed us to the Cambodian agrarian life. We drove along side a few guys with live 200 pound pigs strapped to the back of their bikes.

The Temple experience was mixed. We woke up at 5am to see the sunrise above Angkor Wat, which was pretty spectacular. Most of the temples were awesome--over a thousand years old with some of the most intricate and extraordinary carvings we've ever seen. The entire area is covered with enormous trees that wrap around the eroding temple walls. In fact, the trees are destroying a number of the temples. With that said, after a handful of temples they all begin to run together. Plus, the combination of sworming vendors and over 90 degree temperatures was a bit rough. Gino, being the gentle hearted soul that he is bought all sorts of garbage from kids though (Tre, on the other hand, has no patience for children and tends to kick and scream a lot while calling them temple monkeys). Incidentally, we also saw a number of real monkeys on the way.

After Siem Reap we made our way into southern Vietnam...


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