Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor Wat

For most the Cambodian working week spans all seven days so public holidays are special occasions. Fortunately for us we timed our stay here well as it coincides with a number of the major festivals.

Our first, Bchum Ben (the festival of the dead) meant that Amy had a five-day weekend. For this holiday people discard their urban existence and return to their place of birth to spend time with family and celebrate the lives of those whom have past. Even better, this simple celebration of family and loved ones doesn’t seem cheapened by the commercialism typical of most western holidays.

For our first weekend away, we decided to journey to the home of the ancient kingdom of Angkor. The city of Siem Reap, a five-hour bus-ride from Phnom Penh, is the gateway to the most magnificent of the temples built by the kings of Angkor to house their gods.

After another bus trip overseen by a maniac we arrived in Siem Reap thankful to be alive. We made our way to our hotel, the Golden Temple.

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Neverending adventures from the flying saddle

I have owned a number of bikes over the years.

My first was a wooden tricycle turned from the hands and heart of my great uncle Alf.

A Christmas gift from the early stages of my pre-pubescence provided my primary school ride. It was antiquated even when new, compared to the shiny alloy rigs of my contemporaries. But damn, good times were had with that rust ridden, heavy, old shit truck BMX. Wagging school, tadpoling and piffen yonnies. It also had sweet pegs and character.

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The streets of Phnom Penh

The best way to know a city is to walk her streets.

Immediately evident in Phnom Penh is the number of cars and trucks on the road in comparison to other Asian cities were the Moto tends to be king. The roads are definitely indicative of the divide between rich and poor. The affluent in the air-conditioned comfort of their brand new Hummers, 4WD and SUVs fly by while a naked toddler shits in the gutter, parents nowhere in sight.

For those lacking their own ride, Phnom Penh offers a number of different ways to join the procession.

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