We explored Ta Phrom, the temple complex where Tomb Raider was filmed. We came at a bad time and had to dodge tourist groups, but still managed to get some photos with no one cluttering them up. Later, we returned to Angkor Thom to ride an elephant around one of the temples. Elephants are cute and gentle animals, but riding them is not a particularly smooth ride. I prefer camels. Still, it was fun to be able to see things from a new perspective, lifted off the ground the height of an elephant.
Cooking was really fun because we got to chop (which I always find somewhat cathartic) and use a mortar and pestle. And spring rolls are so easy, I’m definitely making them frequently when I get back to the States if I can get my hands on rice paper. After we finished making our food, we sat at a pavilion on a pond and ate it. A storm blew up and by the time we were finished, it was pouring out. The evening was spent wandering Siem Reap, looking at book stores and eating pizza (bacon and spinach).
I talked Greg into staying an extra day, taking the night bus instead of the morning bus so we could go to the floating village outside Siem Reap. It was an adventure just getting to the boat, as Cambodian roads are not all paved and have plenty of pot holes. Still, once we got to the boat, we had a good journey up the river to a village that was all on stilts. They even had pigs in cages on stilts out on the river. The river led to the Tonle Sap Lake where we turned around to head back, offering us a chance to get pictures of anything we missed the first time.
After that, we went to a Cambodian BBQ place where we had the sampler meat selection. There was chicken and beef, but also crocodile, python, and kangaroo. You grill it yourself at your table along with the vegetables and eat it
with noodles or rice. Greg and I both really liked the kangaroo. The crocodile was nondescript and while the python tasted really good, it was way too chewy.
Before we left, Greg wanted to give blood. He’s a do-gooder that way. I gave blood all the time in the States, but it never would have occurred to me to give in Cambodia. I was concerned it wouldn’t be safe, but he assured me that all the NGOs working there made sure it was. So we stopped at the local hospital and gave. We had to go one at a time, but it was quick and we got free T-shirts. I don’t know what they say because they’re in Khmer, but I imagine it’s something like “kiss me, I gave blood.”
Then, we packed our bags and boarded the sleeper train for Sihanoukville.