angkor

angkor is hard to describe. while we had both built it up in our minds as one of the epic highlights of this trip, it just wasn't. don't get me wrong, it was amazing to finally visit these temples (we hit angkor wat, angkor thom, and ta phrom). but they were absolutely overrun with people, and we were shocked at how the vegetation had been cut away and killed. in our minds, we would be having a tomb raider-style adventure through the jungle, and it was basically just a hot, dry wasteland surrounding the structures. I blame us, for deciding ahead of time how the experience would feel. that said, it was incredibly memorable and I'm so glad we got to see this place after picturing it for so long. our tour of the temples started at 3:30 am, when we met our guide to get to angkor wat in time for sunrise. as we worked our way through the three temples, the sun worked its way up and by 1pm we literally couldn't stand the heat any longer. our guide seemed relieved when we said we were ready to call it a day...

highlights: the monk moment pictured below, angkor thom and the feeling of going back in time

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siem reap, the base town from which you visit angkor wat and the other temples, was probably the hottest place on our entire trip. the heat just beat you up, from the second you left your hotel in the morning til you came back at night, covered in dust and sweat. but it was full of nice people and cheap restaurants, and we enjoyed the few days we spent there!

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note: all but two of these images were captured on film. our guide was SERIOUSLY confused when I opened the back of my camera to change the first roll...

need to catch up on the rest of our four month trek through asia? click here!