Cambodia travels:On the road to Siem Reap and more..

The ride to Siem Reap is along the Tonle Sap river and would end up close to the Tonle Sap Lake. We are going northwest. Battambang, considered to the ‘colonial gem’ of Cambodia (and once a part of Thailand) is further west and south west of Siem Reap.”Seim Reap” in Khmer means Siam defeated, and Siam was the old name for Thailand!Apparently Thailand wanted to claim the Angkor Wat temples as theirs. It is amazing that such a name has survived all these years.077084073After the initial stoppings to eat and shop or use the restrooms, the bus driver keeps on driving and I am eager to look in my tour guide book to place where we are on the map.  The whole bus is nodding off but I am not sleepy. I decide to look outside. I notice houses on stilts and ask Sol about it. “We have very heavy rains here and the land gets flooded, so people here build their houses so it is high off the ground” he says. I notice something else that is quite charming. Every village we pass has an entrance like a gateway. Some are more elaborate than others. The Cambodians like to adorn their small quiet villages. I love looking outside and watching the people and their world. I am reminded of parts of India, especially rural India.We pass a big city, Kompong Khleang with shops and automotive repair shops and lots and lots of cement and clay figurines.  I see signs for Dam Dek and know we are close to our destination.

Soon we are speeding through the city and outside the city limits we get to our hotel, The Frangipani.  Sol gives us an hour to check in and says he will be back to take us to one of the temple complexes today.  The hotel has a beautiful garden and we slowly trudge our way to the rooms and deposit the luggage. The sun is bright and I feel warm and sleepy.

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