I needed a day off after my epic grand tour bike ride, I made it my mission to find a pool for sun and relaxation. Starting my day at a cute café for some coffee and breakfast turned out to be just the right place to find a pool. See, when you’re traveling sometimes you just have to ask in order to receive. I asked for a pool and Sadie, a guest at a boutique hotel, appeared at the cute café for breakfast just minutes after my arrival. Sadie and I hit it off right away, it wasn’t long before we were basking in the sun at the Golden Banana pool sharing our life stories and travel tails. After a dip in the pool we continued our decedent day in the town of Siem Reap with massages, a leisurely lunch and a bit of retail therapy. If you’re ever in Siem Reap and you want to eat somewhere that they are not only serving delicious food but helping adult orphans with vocational training try Haven. http://www.havencambodia.com/en/about-haven/
For day two of my three-day pass I decided to wake-up before the roosters, share a tuk tuk with Sadie and catch the sunrise at the infamous Angkor Wat Temple. Angkor Wat is the largest Hindu Temple in the world, now Buddhist, it has remained a religious center since it was built. Pretty freakin’ impressive since it was built in the 12th century; I’d say it’s the crowning jewel of Cambodia seeing as it’s on their flag! The sun came up behind the heavy clouds and didn’t give us much to ooh and ahh as far as a sunrises are concerned so we checked out the inside of the temple grounds. After the anti-climactic start of the day I was blown away by the magnitude of how well the temple has been preserved over the centuries. The engineering and construction of the grand complex overwhelmed my attention; every corner we turned I was impressed a little more with the intricacy of the details, the massive scale and the sheer grandeur.
Before getting temple overload we hopped over to another impressive temple, Bayon. Incredible in it’s own right; the curious smiling stone faces tower over the Buddhist temple complex. We were lucky enough to catch a few touring monks as they snapped photos of one another amongst the temple; their orange robes creating a striking image against the weathered stones. Not one to be shy, and loving the color orange, I jumped at the opportunity to have my portrait with the three robed monks. Before leaving Bayon, with incense in hand, Sadie and I bowed to a Buddha for luck and the monk at the door tied a red string bracelet around our wrists thanking us for our donations.
After a delicious lunch in town and a snooze by the pool we hired another tuk-tuk for some afternoon temple action. The gods had something else planned as we drove into the ominous black clouds looming over the temples. Our afternoon of temple site seeing was cut short before it had a chance to begin when the small drops of rain turned into a torrential downpour soaking our skinny tuk-tuk driver; accepting defeat we headed back to town laughing hysterically. Our brief affair ended as Sadie and I parted ways; she was heading home to California and I was continuing on my journey. On my own once again I did what anyone would do – I had another foot massage, had a fresh coconut shake and found some street food before heading to bed.