Auck Ward

A Honeymove Blog

Tag: siem reap

Exploring Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat. Photo by Warwick Meade.

Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and the temples that make up the complex of temples have been in existence for over a millenium. There’s very little that is more awe-inspiring than seeing the temples stand another day during sunrise, in the light of day and at sunset.

The following photos taken by Kiwi show Angkor Wat over the course of two days, which allowed us to schedule a day to wake up early for sunrise, and another to go back and re-explore.

In order to get a prime viewing spot for sunrise at Angkor Wat, our tuk-tuk driver picked us up from our hotel at 4:30 a.m. The complex was located about 20 minutes away, but we needed to line up to buy our pass (which requires a headshot).

We arrived to the outer entrance of Angkor Wat at about 5:30 a.m. As we walked along the entrance, we could see a steady stream of tuk-tuks and buses parading in. We walked through the gates and ended up on a lawn and pond on the left side of the wat, a recommendation by a cafe worker who offered to bring coffee (for a price) to where we were standing. It wasn’t a bad location rec, judging from the first couple of photos.

Angkor Wat at sunrise. Photo by Warwick Meade.

Angkor Wat in early morning. Photo by Warwick Meade.

We went back a couple of days later, as part of the steady stream going in during the late morning. What was great about having the chance to return was that we were familiar with how the wat was laid out, now we could spend more time slowly exploring and focusing on the intricate details:

Angkor Wat in the morning. Photo by Warwick Meade.

East side of Angkor Wat. Photo by Warwick Meade.

Angkor Wat. Photo by Warwick Meade.

Angkor Wat. Photo by Warwick Meade.

Angkor Wat. Photo by Warwick Meade.

Admittedly, this post is thin on details on Angkor Wat itself, because I’m still overwhelmed by the size, the history and the details of the architecture, the art (the walls are covered in bas reliefs), and its role in religion. You could easily just take a book and hang out in a corner of Angkor Wat and relax amongst something much, much bigger than you or I.

One thing I think we wished we did was hire a docent or guide to show us around. The tourists who hired their own guides had an opportunity to ask questions about whatever interested them the most, be it the art or religion or Khmer culture.

Angkor Wat is arguably the most well known wat in the complex, and there’s many, many other wats to explore. I will have a blog post up in the next couple of days about Angkor Thom, a city of temples that we explored after Angkor Wat on the first day. That is arguably a cooler area to explore.

All photos by Kiwi.

Fish Pedicure: A Supposedly Fun Thing I Will Never Do Again

Feet in a tank full of fish. Fish ready to eat dead skin. I'm sorry, I know it is gross. Photo by me.

For $3 in Siem Reap, fish will eat the dead skin off your feet.

Fish pedicures are a common sight in a popular tourist area in Siem Reap called Pub Street. You can also find them in other areas: There was a fish pedicure kiosk in a mall in Nha Trang, Vietnam. I think there are some salons in Northern Virginia that offer the service.

Today, I had $3 in my wallet. Fish pedicures are $3. Little fishes peck at my toes in Santa Rosa Beach, which I find cute. And a month of flip-flops put my feet into gross shape. A fish pedicure should be no big deal…

Except these fish in the tank were 10 times bigger than the ones in Santa Rosa. And they’re black and orange, while the little cutie fishies in Santa Rosa are silver and small. When I dunked my feet in, the fish basically suction-cup-sucked their mouths to my feet millions of times.

One creeper orange fish just permanently stuck his mouth on the underside of my right foot. If he were human, he’d definitely be the guy who lines his pockets with Ziploc bags at the Sizzler buffet.

I forced my eyes to shut as much as possible; otherwise, my reflexes would kick the fish away.

The attendant told passersby that my feet in the tank started “fish happy hour.” It was 9 a.m.

Kiwi went to go browse in the bookstore while the feet-pirhanas went at it. I could have stayed as long as I would have liked. I lasted maybe 10 minutes.

Gross feet, sizeable fish, weird sensation, shame of starting off fish happy hour before noon. I gave it the old college try, and will not give it another college try. But my feet are softer…

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