no witty titles this time if you would call the last two witty. i wouldn’t. anyway im writing today from the lakeside in phnom penh, my new favourite city. ive had two and a bit weeks here and its been amazing. ill start with siem reap when after a day and a half (with a break on kho san to watch the arsenal barcelona game) of travelling i arrived having made a few new friends on the journey. kim, chay, nesta and maria. we all went through the ordeal of walking across the boarder in the midday sun at the boarder town of poipet. having gone through that we were like a band of brothers(and sisters)! siem reap is home to the indescribable angkor wat and for the next three days i explored the shit out of it. on the first day we went to six different temples all around the two main temples of angkor wat and angkor thom (lols thom means big in cambodian so that gets a few laughs). i can only remember a few names of the temples we visited on the first day but they were truly awesome. the first was preah kahn. a temple that had been largely brought to ruins but the main lay out still remained. already at the first temple you could see all the carvings in the wall and get a feel for what it was like. there were so many i can’t really be bothered to type intricate details about all of them but another stunning one was i think called som tam. it was a giant astec like structure with steps all the way up the middle. it was a bloody mission to get up it but was so worth it when we got to the top. the view was stunning.
on the second day we visited angkor wat and angkor thom. angkor thom is the city in which the khmers lived and covers a large area. the city itself was once home to around 1 million people but all that remains is the temples as the people believed they were not worthy of a stone house. stone was reserved for the gods. one of the temples in angkor thom has the face of the king imprinted on each side of these tall pillars that rise above the temple. they were put there to look out over the people and supposedly were a tool for keeping them under control. its really incredible that these faces are so intact nearly 1000 years after they were built. the walls still have the ancient carvings eched in superb detail showing how the people fished and farmed. there were about 3 or 4 other temples just in the city of angkor thom but as stunning as they were a beer is waiting for me…. then we went to see angkor wat. what can i say about this marvellous piece of architecture. it really puts the buildings we build today into perspective. the carvings around the outside dipict various mythical tales and show the king (sorry his name is as long as so no chance of me remembering it, he was definitely the 7th of them though) battling with various demons or commanding his people to churn the sea of milk. in the middle you can climb up the stairs to the top and look out over the lake. i really can’t put into words how much of an impact this place had on me especially the next day when we went there for sunrise.
waking up at 5.30 we went to the temple with a one eyed tuc tuc driver called mr. T (amazing). when we got there (me and kim) our hearts kinda sank because there was 4 busloads of bloody chinese tourists. now im not a racist person some of my best friends are chinese but fucking hell they are annoying. they go absolutely bloody everywhere in one big massive fucking group taking photos and moving on never appreciating what they are looking at. i digress… i managed to find a nice spot on the stairs just off the main path up to angkor wat and sat there for 2 odd hours as the sun came up. it was probably the most poinient moment of my short life. sitting there listening to explosions in the sky watching the sun come up over angkor wat. it really makes you think about everything. not only about yourself but about civilisation and what a civilisation is there for. Why are we here? what are we doing? but most of all why the fuck are these chinese people walking over taking a photo and pissing off!?!? but seriously im not ashamed to say i pretty much cried at the moment daybroke.
anyway after those emotional few days i needed a beach break so headed down to sihanook ville on the coast. saying goodbye to kim and maria which was a real shame they were two lovely people. chay and nesta i would see again on victory beach in sihanook ville. while i was there i stayed on a desert island called bamboo island. all these islands are being bought up by russians, americans, french, and british to be turned into sun sea and sand holiday hotspots. well i got to spend a few nights there before those pricks could touch it and it was awesome. singing campsongs around the fire after the power went out was a particular highlight. after that i got sick and had to stay a few nights longer than i wanted which means ive had only a short stay in phnom penh which ill write about later because s.21 and the killing fields are far to fresh in the memory for me to be able to at the moment.
hope everyones good and thanks for reading.
peace and love biiiiaaatttcccchhhh!!!