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The Rambling Family

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Cambodia

Wait wait wait

Today we stood in THE LONGEST immigration line ever!!  Going into Thailand from Cambodia at Poipet was insane.  It was organized but so very slow.

Our driver came to get us promptly at 7:30 this morning and we wound our way out of Siem Reap to the north.  The road was nice and smooth thank goodnes as there were lots of obstacles to go around … Giant trucks, bikes, kids, dogs, all kinds of stuff.  And he drove at 60 the whole way;  keeping the lanes as more of a notional thing.
Sadly Avi could not handle such driving and we needed to stop three times so he could puke… Once because both he and I needed a change of clothes.  Yuck! He sat with me up front. 
At the border he was still so car sick he threw up in a bag twice… Once even while in line to get stamped out of Cambodia.  Luckily no one saw as the line was thick. 
From there we walked down the road and into the line from hell.  It took us just over 2 hours to get past the Thai immigration.  The line was so slow moving the kids watched The Goonies.  
Our handler met us on the other side and walked us down the road to our Thai driver.  The kids got some ice cream and we were on our way again.  This is another 4 hour drive to Ban Phe.  The driver was very speedy!  We had Avi sit on my lap up front from the beginning, but he still eventually got sick and threw up a couple more times before falling asleep. Then he woke when we stopped for gas and had another puking bought before sleeping again. Poor kid!!  I had grabbed a bunch of  tiny bags from the first driver (seems he was prepared for car sickness), so it was kept clean and we didn’t have to stop… Just kept the AC blowing on his face and he slept.
At Ban Phe we checked in and arranged our boat – pricier with no other people arriving this late to share – and speeded out into the water to Ko Samet.  Zoe was beside herself with excitement over going back.  We pulled up to the beach of Sametville and jumped out into the water to wade in. 

Sametville Resort hasn’t changed much – got an ATM, that’s about it.  We checked into our little bungalow in the woods and headed out to the beach for a twilight swim. Bryan took the kids out to the jumping dock.  The water was still pretty warm for being sunset.

Dinner was kind of a fiasco.  We ordered food and waited and waited and waited,  watched the cool fire spinning show and still no food.  45 minutes!  Bryan asked about it and I think they forgot…. But didn’t really fess up and brought some food another 20 minutes later.  Mine was later still and poor Zoe had waited a super long time for a potato!  Ridiculous. We were just tired and hungry and mostly exhausted from waiting in lines and cars all day that another giant wait was a bit much. 
Otherwise it’s nice to be back to Sametville – it’s quiet and has its own beautiful beach.  Now if only Bryan’s runny nose and my sore throat would clear up.
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Angkor Wat

Ahhh. Our final day in the tuk tuk seeing temples.  It was wonderful and exhausting.  Wet took us to the biggie, Angkor Wat, first where we tried to avoid the crowds by going in along the side and seeing he famous panels from the reverse tour route.  It is massive and gorgeous.  The kids were tired of carvings soon into it,  but didn’t tire of looking for Buddhas and apsaras.

I walked to the steep top tower area which was too steep for kids: they weren’t allowed.  The view was wonderful. And the main temple was actually four small ones facing each direction. 

From there we went to a temple I hadn’t visited last time: Preh Khan.  It was apparently a university and is awesome. Still in a good amount of ruin with trees and plants and amazing corridors to explore.  The kids loved it!  We had to take turns being “follow the leader” so no one would get lost. There were tiny dark alcoves and even bats. 

We got (overpriced) lunch at a stand and continued to our final temple called Ta Prohm.  This was the purposely left-in-the-jungle temple I loved last time.  Now, however,  it’s unbelievably crowded.  It is still pretty with the giant strangler dog trees growing out of the walls, but the new rebuilding efforts and board walkways took away from the adventure…. And let in the hoards. We got some cool pictures and did enjoy it, but it made me appreciate the Angkor I saw 6 years ago even more.  
Back in the hotel in the late afternoon we napped until dusk.  Then we walked to the local Wat again to visit our kitty friends one more time.  I was surprised to find the monk there… His classes are later today.  We chatted and he said he has 6 years left of schooling at the monastery and then he hopes to go to the US or Canada for university.  The two kittens, Violet and Clover, were there and appreciated the hotdogs we brought from breakfast. It was quite dark by the time we left. 
Through the market we bought me a new pair of flip flops,  I already miss my old ones-  they were so worn in. We had dinner again at the outdoor cafe with the delicious pumpkin chicken soup, and finished our last day in Siem Reap with a family visit to get a massage. Aahhhhh. Perfect ending.
The ladies always love Avi – he was picky about choosing his masseur.  She was one who we met the other night. 

Kids day

Bryan was sick all night with food poisoning… Something didn’t sit well.  So, we changed some plans around and I took the kids out.

We got breakfast and talked about what to do, and decided on an “animal tour” of our neighborhood, pool time, and followed by a visit to a playland.
After taking Bryan some toast we walked a block up the road to Wat Bo.  It’s a local wat (buddhist temple and monastery) that was built in the 900s.  It is still a very active monk school that boys from the area try to get into for the good education which includes English. We were mostly there because the temples are safe havens for animals.  There were many dogs lying around, cats wandering, and even a huge geriatric pig hobbling about.  We found some nice kitties to pet with the assistance of one of the monks. 

At Zoe’s request, we walked a few blocks across the river to the more modern Wat we visited a few days ago.  It is a treasure trove for Zoe – she brought a bag to collect dropped flowers and nearly filled it.  The Wats’ are not just a temple, but a walled area with grounds, gardens and many buildings as part of the monk training areas.  

The highlight, though, was the kittens.  We were petting a nice male cat when a young mink called us over to see a mama and her tiny kittens.  The kids loved them at once and we spent a long time petting and holding them while mama cat washed herself.  The male cat even came over for more pets like one big happy family. 

We wandered back to the hotel for some snacks and swimming in the pool while it was sunny. Bryan was up and about and thought he may join us at the playland.

So we took a tuk tuk to a place read about – a cool playland and restaurant – that turned out to be out of business.  No matter our tuk tuk driver called a friend to find somewhere else; apparently 3 of these kinds of places have failed recently.  Had I known, I would’ve thought of something else… But the kids needed some playful energy burned.  He dropped us at the new Lucky Mall where they played for a long time.

That outing was enough for Bryan, who was still feeling touchy with a headache to boot.  He and Avi headed back to the hotel for a nap.  
Zoe and I walked down to the market, and I realized we were close to the hotel I stayed in last time I visited Siem Reap: with just Zoe who was 2.  I popped in to ask if our previous tuk tuk driver, Pearom, was still working there and he was!!   The lady at the desk called him and we met him outside.  He was excited to see us and we caught up a bit.  He is now a tour guide with the hotel’s new company… They have built a huge new part to hotel which is still a bit under construction.  He also has a one year old baby.  We took pictures.  It was great.  I again felt a bit bad we weren’t staying there but the place is so different now. The hotel is awesome but the area is no longer a cute neighborhood with a dirt road and small home-based shops.  It’s all very new and trendy-looking nearly like a strip mall. I much prefer the area we are staying in … For the experiences like we had this morning at the temple.
2015:
2009:

So, curiosity sated and an old friend found, Zoe and I  walked to the old market for some shopping – she got a little golden jeweled elephant.  I got a new shirt and bag.  We also popped into a grocer for some milk and fish-flavored chips for our other friends.

The kittens were still wandering around the wat we pass on the way back!  We sat and fed them milk they loved, gave them chips, and spoke with the monk from this morning.  He recognized us from earlier.  We talked for a while: he is in classes over at wat bo, his name is Phos, the kitties live in front of his place, and I helped him with his new vocabulary… tough words like reflection and rush hour. He was curious about Zoe’s book (a Henry and Mudge I was surprised to find in the used book section of the supermarket).  So she read it to him. I then let him have it and he thought that was awesome as it was perfect for him to read as well… And had interesting American style quotation marks. 

We stayed a long time playing with the kitties, even after Phos had to go to classes. They are adorable.  Mama and dad cat joined us too.  What a great evening.

Back at the hotel we found Bryan an Avi still napping.  Zoe did her school lessons,  and we all had some dinner at the hotel. I then went out for a massage but my flip flop broke on the way!  Bummer!!  I wandered a couple blocks up the road with one shoe and gave up on finding a replacement or getting a massage. A nice hot shower felt just fine.

Tuk Tukking

This was our long day in the tuk tuk. To break up temple viewing we spent today riding in the tuk tuk out to two outlying sights.

It was just under an hour to Bantaey Srei; a small gorgeously carved temple. I know it’s another temple, but it is quite different.  For one,  it’s carved from pinkish orange volcanic rock. It’s also very petite; you don’t go into it.  Of course the giant Korean tourist bus arrived around our time, but we were able to ditch them a bit by wandering the “tour route” in reverse and taking our own explorations off the track.  
The kids mostly enjoyed the small passageways around the external wall which was just as well because they were devoid if other people.  Bryan and I tried to get them to see the intricate carvings but the novelty was lost on them…We appreciated it though! 

Outside the temple was a small stand setup with a landlines victim band. It’s made up of injured people who play traditional instruments for donation.  Avi really liked this; he sat patiently and listened to many songs.  He was curious about blindness and missing limbs, but mostly just liked the music.

We also had a snack break before walking along a circuit trail around the adjacent wetland. It was very scenic with water buffalo and white cranes.  Plus, the sun broke the morning clouds away and we warmed up. 



From Bantaey Srei it was another 30 minutes or so in the tuk to Kbal Spean. This is not a temple. It’s a trail to a creekbed covered with carvings…. Male phallic carvings emerging from the river – so mostly it’s like a bunch of circles.  Tips if you will. And also some people.


The hike was fine. We were in flip flops and the kids ran around.  I have one child who is quite adept at being physical in that way – good balance and finesse hiking on a trail.  She finds all kinds of fun hanging on vines and swinging like a monkey. I have another child whose skills lie elsewhere. Avi fell about 8 times with two big biffs with some blood leakage; one requiring a band aide and a piggy back ride. We discovered much too late that he was better without any shoes. 


At the waterfall we all took off sandals to enjoy the cool water.  It was pretty and jungley. Nearby were some caves as well.  As usual, the walk back took half the time with barefoot kids nearly running down hill. 



We got lunch at the open wooden food stalls at the trailhead.  Both tired kids took some relax time in the hammocks while we waited,  and then fell asleep in the tuk tuk on our return trip.


Our final stop for the day was the Landmine Museum.  It was quite informational… Lots of reading that we thankfully didn’t need because an American military veteran guide worked there and took us around.  It was sad but interesting to really learn the military history here and see how much of a problem the landmines still are.  The place is also a boarding school for local kids who  are victims… national numbers are down from 4000 a year to 100 a year, thankfully,  so they now also open their doors to kids with physical deformities. Anyway,  their main purpose is educating local kids and actual landmine finding and disarming. Avi slept on Bryan for the tour and woke in time to look at their fake minefield; a fenced area full of dangers to spot.  Zoe found the place somber; she was interested especially in the prosthetics. 



The ride back to the hotel was pleasant – back through a few stilt house villages full of kids and dogs and cows, people cooking outside, and even a dog lounging in a hammock.

Selling fuel in bottles out front.

Pool time at the hotel,  followed by a warm bath, and some welcomed down time (read: we let them watch TV).



For our evening entertainment we went to a place called The Temple that has free cultural dance shows (as long as you are there for dinner).  It was nice – the food pricier then on the street but fancy and includes the show with girls dressed as golden apsaras, a peacock dance and fishing dance plus others.  Quite enjoyable. Plus,  there was even a kitty under our table; I shared a few bits of my fish, but Bryan wouldn’t let me share my empty banana lea bowl. 

The restaurant is on Pub street, and as the name implies, it was hopping by the time we were done at 9:30.  Bedtime for us while the downtown turns into a big party.  It’s way more wild and party-focused than when I visited before. 





Angkor Thom

Started the day with a mediocre but just fine buffet breakfast included at our Rithy Rhine hotel.  Then it was tuk tuk time with our driver Wet.  He is a nice guy.

Today we tackled the biggie: Angkor Thom. This is essentially what is left of a huge walled palace grounds and the surrounding temples.  Angkor, the city itself, was made with wooden homes and even the palace was as well, but the gods’homes were built in stone.  So, that is what’s left and there are lots!

We started by getting 3 day tickets at $40 each for Bryan and I.  The kids are free.  Then we headed into Thom through the south gate.  I am overwhelmed at how much more built up the place is and how many big-bus tours (seemingly all Korean) there were clogging the road this morning.  When Zoe and I came 6 years ago it was all tuk tuk and the odd minivan-bus. Wow!  

The crowds were fairly crowded at the first giant famous temple of Bayon – this is the one with the 216 giant heads of a god that really reasemble the Khmer king who had it built. It’s purpose is still a mystery. It’s full of fun passageways and courtyards and even a round temple on the top of the three levels.  Once we figured out that the big tour groups followed the “tour route” per the arrow signs we veered away and had a great time in solitude. 

From Bayon we wandered to the Baphoun, a mostly Hindu, but also largely Buddhist pyramidal temple within the Thom grounds along a large raises walkway.  The structure is so steep they would not allow the kids!  Bryan went up, which worked wonders as the kids needed some time to mess around.  They played on the broken temple stones in the shady areas surrounding the Baphoun and we met Bryan round back after a while.  What was cool here was to see the entire rear of the temple was a giant reclining Buddha!  Bryan said the view from up top was great as well.

We then walked into the central palace grounds surrounded by its own huge wall.  The crowds has thinned by now and it became a pleasant stroll.  We go some lunch at an outdoor hut/stand and continued inside the palace grounds around the back and out the other side of the walled enclosure to a small Preay temple with huge trees growing out of it.  The walk was quite pleasant through a forested area with very few other people.

By now it was early afternoon and we were getting tired.  We finished our loop to the front of palace grounds where there is a famous wall of elephant carvings.  Wet spotted us and came zipping over.  
We had him drive out the east gate for a longer scenic ride home and a stop of the gate for pictures – no giant Korean groups our here. Avi fell asleep in the tuk on the ride back to the hotel where we all had a nap and quiet time.
A dip in the pool for the kids was in order after nap time.  The pool at this hotel is great but it’s shady in the late afternoon so it was too cold for me.  The kids had a blast, though, chattering teeth and all. 

In the evening we walked to a nearby local temple on the way to the market.  We enjoyed the ornate golden grounds and a nice kitty!
We walked into the market – it’s quite a pleasant walk along the river in town.  Not far,  maybe a km. t kids love shopping and we again gave them each $5 which goes really far in SE Asia.  Avi spent a $1 on an Angkor snow globe (talked down from $3) – he loves kitchy stuff like that! Zoe spent $1 each on an incense kit and a metal cat statue.  Adorable!  


We had dinner at an outdoor cafe stand – kids got pancakes, I got something delicious with pumpkin and coconut milk and chicken while Bryan got another combo with lemongrass and tofu.  The menu at this place was huge as it had a picture for each dish! 

Bryan headed out to a meeting (his friends of bill w are everywhere!) while the kids and I finished out banana shakes and I paid the $11 bill. The kids and I wandered around the corner and right into a massage place.  At $6 for an hour Khmer massage we each got one!  These are a clothes-on kind of muscle massage and bit of nearly-chiro movements…  Just like a Thai massage. The kids loved it!  These places have big rooms with lots of mats on the floor and silky curtain dividers tht we just kept open between us all. Of course the ladies loved Avi.  He is so cute and was Mr. Relaxation.  Zoe took I in stride too, having a conversation with her masseuse.  It was awesome! 

We walked up the road to a tour arranger to get our onward travel taken care of and then tuk tuked back to the hotel.  Now it’s books and bed! 

Ho Chi Mihn

We spent our final rainy morning in Hanoi visiting the country’s most famous leader.

The Ho Chi Mihn complex had a lot of sights to see, and started, of course, with a visit to the man himself.  There is tight security with metal detectors and they took away my bottled water and gum – but stored for free. We then had to walk two-by-two along a walkway and around a block past lots of security guards to the mausoleum. 
It’s a big colonnaded square building set high on its own little hill. We entered two by two in a darkened hall, around a corner and into a dim lighted high vaulted room containing Ho Chi Mihns preserved corpse.  He looks like he is sleeping in a glass coffin with dark wood engravings at the bottom.  The walkway led around 3 sides of him and then back out;  there was even a small raised walkway for kids to see while hand-in-hand.  It was hushed and respectful; he looked asleep.  The kids were silent, and later told us they thought it was creepy but it didn’t make much of an impression. No pictures allowed inside.

The well defined course within the complex next led us to the old palace grounds.  Here we saw a huge ornate yellow mansion that was the French Indochina colonial governors house.  It was massive and obnoxious in comparison to Ho’s small two room simple stilt home that we visited … Of course he also had a nicer home on the grounds used later in his life where he kept his fancy gift car collection. 
The rain started to really soak us,  so we were glad to step into the museum and find it warm and mostly dry except for the roof was leaking into a few buckets.  It was quite unique.  A modern art take on the Vietnamese fight against colonialsim and how great Ho Chi Mihn was.  It was odd enough to keep the kids interest and thankfully that kept the adult themes a bit  uneccessary to over explain to our curious kids.  Essentially we didn’t need to go into “us vs. them”.  Avi loved the “volcano of freedom from colonialism” – a brick artsy volcano and ribbon lava- and the “good vs bad use of technology” – a video surrounded by metal scaffolding that lit up an showed lots of space shuttle scenes.  Fascinating.  Zoe was curious to know names for each piece of foreign miltary equipment that was artistically displayed.
The volcano
Ho Chi Mihns clothes
Weapons

Done with Mr. Mihn, we grabbed some lunch and taxied (got ripped off on a fast-flying meter, btw) to St Joseph’s Cathedral where we caught the tail end of Mass and stayed to take a few pictures. It’s a very euro-styled place which was refreshing. 
We took a fun bike rickshaw back to our hotel where we finalized our bill, made our farewells to the kind staff, and took a car to the airport where we spent an uneventful couple hours before flying off to Siem Reap. 

The flight was a quick 2 hours except for our too-quick descent and go-around.  A tuk tuk was waiting for us with my name and our driver called Wet.  We are staying at the Rithy Rhine Angkor which is nice if slightly outdated.  The kids loved a romp in the pool.  I’m feeling a bit like I should’ve booked at the hotel I stayed with when Zoe and I came 6 years ago…. It’s odd. This current hotel is a bit nicer and gets better reviews but I can’t help but feel nostalgic for the other place.   Mostly I really wish we could see our former driver Phearom, not necessarily the hotel. He loved little baby Zoe and it would be a tear jerker to have him see her again. I tried tracking him down, but he never replied to the 3 emails I sent; I’m guessing he doesn’t use the account.  Neither did the other hotel reply to two separate questions – which kind of precipitated me not booking there. Pool and breakfast and wifi and service in general here is nicer; bummer for nostalgia. 

Home again Home again…

jiggity jigg!

Our flight home from Cambodia was fine; slept most of it and was awoken to a lot of turbulence on landing. In fact our pilot had to go around, which added a half hour to our already delayed flight. bummer…puking Koreans everywhere. We both fell asleep again on the bus home; it was great to see Bryan at the bus station waiting for us. Today we walked around town for a few errands and then went to Mrs. Lee’s house for dinner. It was so nice to hang out with her family for the evening, and a wonderful treat to have a homemade dinner after our long trip.

Last Day in Siem Reap

Today we had a liesurely day of shopping and swimming. Woke up to another sunny hot day and read an email from my Dad about snow in PA! Hard to imagine as I’ve been sweating from every pore all day. We had breakfast and packed up our stuff checkout – they stored our suitcase for the day in hotel office.

Walked down to the old market and spent a long time browsing before buying some gifts and souv’s. There is so much neat stuff, but we have limited space (I purposely brought a suitcase bag to avoid buying to much) and we really just don’t need a bunch of kitsche even if it is cool. As it got perilously hot we tuk tuked over to the Butterfly Garden Restaurant I read about from the ad on the back of a tuk tuk. It was fun and cool; an outdoor place with huge netting around and lots of butterflies and gardens. Zoe had a banana pancake while I tried the chicken and cashews plus a red bull; I needed wings. We spent a long time there and then had a nice long stroll along the shady river back to the market area. Zoe spotted some ‘needs’ and the locals are good at selling her stuff. She has gotten good at saying “how much is it” and “no thank you”.

 Eventually she was almost asleep on my shoulder so I thought I’d get a massage. Well, apparently there is nothing like a darkened zen room full of futons to wake up a sleepy child. She ran around playing with the towels and one of the massage girls for a while; they both seemed to have fun, and she even got her fingernails polished. I had a Khmer massage which is awesome; similar to Thai but less forcefull. You wear a linen shorts/shirt set and they both rub you and do a semi-chiropractic number with stretches. It’s great. Well, Zoe finally konked out…I decided that another hour of massaging was in order (hey they are only $5) and opted for a foot reflexology and back/shoulder combo – the lady was amazing.

When Zoe woke up we walked back to the hotel, hit up a grocery for some snacks, and went for a swim. We stayed at the hotel playing in the pool, looking at pictures, and then skyping with Bryan until 9:30. Pearom met us for a final ride to the airport. It was actually tough to say goodbye, he had gotten fond of Zoe and really made our trip enjoyable. He was even tearing up. I was sad to say bye, as we had gotten to know him so well…our 26 year old Cambodian tuk tuk driver worked in a factory for a long time (some teen number of years) to earn enough money to buy a tuk tuk. Now he makes good money, but doesn’t yet have a wife and family. Such a nice guy! We happily exchanged emails.

Zoe and I are now waiting in the boarding area of the Siem Reap airport (free wifi!) waiting for our flight. She fell asleep on the ride here and is now sprawled on the bench beside me. The next couple weeks will be so busy as we move to Georgia, I’m not super excited to go back to that but can’t wait to see Bryan.

Tonle Sap Trip

We awoke this morning to a deluge; it was the most and strongest rain I’ve ever seen, complete with lightning and thunder. Powerful. Took our time having breakfast, and hung out at the hotel for a bit waiting for it to let up. Surprisingly to me it was over in an hour.

We boarded our tuk tuk and were off to the village of Kampong Phluk. It’s not super far away, but the drive took about an hour. The first half is on the main thoroughfare through Cambodia…so we were passing bikes while motorcycles and trucks passed us. After that it was a half hour down a very rough pothole filled (and now soaked) dirt road. It was fun bumping along passed folks who didn’t seem to get alot of visitors. This route is off the beaten path; most people go see a floating village closer to town, and rent a boat from there. Well once we arrived at the end of road there is a home setup that sells tickets to get on the tour boats around the village. I was shocked to find that our fare is $40! Thats’ crazy considering I’m paying $20 a night for a hotel. Oh, well I coughed it up, but not after deliberating with the ticket agent to make sure he wasn’t charging for Zoe and even asked for a discount…he said no, “just one”. We then walked a 1/2km down the road to the boats and I figured out why its so much…”just one” boat…that can fit about 10 people. Had I known this I would’ve been happy to sit around for a bit waiting for any other tourists to come down the road. I felt a bit gipt (well I still do), but it’s tough to know sometimes and we’re only here once.

Since I got the whole boat, Pearom our tuk tuk driver came along. He ensured me that alot of that money goes to the town people, and especially the school; he also said it’s more expensive (like $100)to go the other route…via a different town nearer Siem Reap and then boating farther down the lake. I believe him and I’m so glad we went. It was awesome to see how these people live in the lake. During the dry season the houses are on stilts about 10 feet up above the water, but now they were only about 3 feet up! Amazing. I guess they live off fish and sea veggies and venture into town periodically to get other staples. There were dogs, chickens, pigs, and cats living in these little islands of homes. The kiddo’s learn early how to boat and balance on the board bridges and the village Wat (temple) is the only built up flat space so that is where they all hang out and play. It was way fun to have Pearom along since he explained some stuff and helped play with Zoe. I always welcome another set of eyes to watch our crazy kiddo – especially on the water. It was cool…there is also a flooded forest near the town which was neat to see as was the center of the Tonle Sap lake where we turned around.

The return trip was enjoyable as the clouds had fully cleared and the sun was out in full force. Zoe had to pee, so the boat driver stopped the thing so I could hang her over the edge to go. I really wish I could’ve gotten that on video. We then tuk tuked to the last set of temples on our agenda: Roluos complex. The drive was fun since there were lots of kids everywhere taking a dip in the water. There is standing water and a flooded river everywhere, so it’s fun to see all of them out playing and fishing. Zoe fell asleep in the tuk tuk enroute so I got some lunch while she napped in a hammock at the restaurant-hut. She awoke and was obsessed with feeding her rice to the local chicken. The Cambodians love her and think she is hysterical.

The last of our temple visits was neat. These were older, Buddhist temples, the first in the area. So, they are built differently with more brick work. The Bakong temple was awesome; it’s like a big pyramid with elephants and lions gaurding the corners. The sun was getting low by the time we got there, so we didn’t have many other tourists to deal with. Zoe enjoyed running around the different levels and up the huge stairs. The view from the top was neat; just over the trees. Our tuk tuk ride back to town was uneventful.

We then enjoyed some swimming pool time and I had a beer with some of the workers. I guess the owner is having a bit of a party and they all love Zoe, so we hung out with them for a bit. I believe we’ll go back down to the restaurant and get some dinner before hitting the hay.

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