Hello, Siem Reap!

So I've started a new adventure: Southeast Asia. Cambodia and Thailand to be exact, because I found on my European travels that I prefer to stay in a place for longer rather than visit many places for shorter periods of time. I want to meet locals, learn a few words and phrases in the language, try out all their foods, become comfortable with the place.

Currently, I am in Cambodia, outside of Siem Reap. Siem Reap is best known for its temples, in particular Angkor Wat. I had a chance to visit Angkor Thom, a big complex with the large temple Bayon and the elephant terrace as well as many small fixtures. Beautiful, yet any temples should be visited either in the morning or late afternoon in order to avoid the heat. Furthermore, don't plan on much longer than six or seven hours of temple-climbing. I met many people who thought they could survive a sunrise-to-sunset tour--and even if they could, by the evening they would be cursing the temples instead of gazing in wonderment.

I also took a daytrip to Banteay Srei, a older Hindu temple with intercate carvings, refered to as the Women's Citadel because it is believed to be carved by women. In the same day, I visited the Landmine Museum, a surprisingly good collection of landmines and information on the disablement of the mines left over from the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. The founder of the museum was a child soldier in the Khmer Rouge, a government-sanctioned genocide. Later in life, Aki Ra decided to take up the job of disabling the mines from wartime which were still abundant in the countryside and hurting and killing many Cambodians. This museum and temple are farther away from the city than the other attractions in Siem Reap, but I found them more engaging and worth an extra half an hour in a tuk tuk.

Now, I am teaching English in rural Cambodia as a volunteer. But more on that to come.