The original plan was to get a 3 day pass to check out the temples but after talking to some other tourists I figured 3 days may become too much. In the end my friend Hannah (whom I’m travelling Cambodia with) and I spent only about 4 hours checking out 3 temples – Angkor Wat, Bayon, and Ta Prohm. We hired a tuk tuk for the day and were simply exhausted. I have never encountered heat quite like I have in Cambodia; it is intense! Luckily I had bought a krama (Cambodian cotton scarf) at the market which is excellent as a scarf, a handkerchief, a bandanna, and protection from the sun and dust.
The temples can tend to be a bit too much unless you have some knowledge of Angkor era history and architecture. It is definitely a feast for the eyes, especially Ta Prohm with its massively rooted trees.
I have been really impressed with the amount of English that Cambodians know. This is a country where the literacy rate is very low, so low that instead of street signs they have statues in order to indicate turn offs and buildings. Yet Cambodians are able to tell me the capital of Canada and our 2 official languages. Of course this information allows them to impress the tourists (like myself) and sell their stuff. It’s all part of their living and I enjoy speaking to the locals and getting to know their perspective of life. It can be difficult to converse though because they are limited in their English vocabulary (hey lady, where you go? you want moto?) but body language can really go a long way.