Not really sure if there's anything better than being steamy, stinky, sweaty-hot...then soaking myself beneath a cold shower and parking my skin in front of a fan. Seriously. Heaven.
Glad I got my e-visa ahead of time--the line for visas on arrival at the border coiled around a series of partitions. I walked across the border in a cinch.
Deciding my transport to Siem Reap was perhaps the toughest decision I made today...I settled on a taxi blowing cool air for the 2 hour jaunt (driver: Tee...or something like that). I got to a hotel, found an ATM that didn't carry a $4 surcharge ("Canadia" Bank....not sure whether or not there used to be an "n" at the end of "Canadia"...), and washed down amok trei/fish with a mango shake. My tuk-tuk driver (Long...or something like that) met me to start my day in Angkor. Before I left BKK, Travis said, "Angkor Wat will blow your mind"...to which I replied, "I could use a good mind-blowing."
Did it blow my mind? Yes. It was amazing, lots to see, endless sculptural ornamentations, powerful energy, easy to spend days there. But, like always, I was more entertained by some of the characters I met along the way. There were lots of tourists, lots of touts, lots of tuk-tuks. People riding elephants. Monkeys running around. It was steamy and sticky, of course. I clambered up steps all day, visiting Ta Prohm, Ta Keo, Angkor Thom (including Bayon), and finally Angkor Wat (around sunset). That was certainly more than enough to cram into the time I dedicated.
Young girls talentedly projected, "Helloooladyyyyyyyy...I have colddrinkcoldwataaahhhh. 2, 1 dollaaahhh." I tried my best to ignore them. But cold water sounded amazing. I caved. At Ta Keo, an unofficial tour guide (whose name escapes me), subtly insisted on showing me around. He was 20 years old and wore clean, lean white pants with matching flip-flops and a red western-style shirt. He talked about the difference between our skin...his being "strong" because of the Cambodian sun...mine "clean" and very light. Yes, very...very...very light.