Siem Reap - Day 3 - Angkor Wat
Siem Reap Travel Blog› entry 6 of 10 › view all entries
December 29th, 2007 – by: Traveller_Gin
From the inside of the temple, I could see the tethered balloon in the distance that is one of the tourist attractions. So I decided that I would like to see what that would be like. I spent most of the morning at Angkor Wat until we left just before lunch and then I went on the balloon ride. This cost $15USD and whilst it wasn't a real balloon of the type you probably think it is. It's on a tethered rope so you don't really travel that far. It gives you a birds eye view of Angkor Wat but unless you have a good SLR camera with a fairly strong zoom lens, the opportunity for an aerial photo is good, but not fantastic.
After having lunch at Pub Street at Soup Dragon and chatting with a few of the local tuk tuk drivers, we went off to a local government school that was run by volunteers. This highlighted to me how different the public schools were. In this particular school there was a big building which would have housed about 100 kids in the one room, split into probably three different teaching areas. I saw all these bicycles the kids were riding and couldn't believe that most of them were riding ridiculously disprorportionate bicycles compared to their size. A tiny girl who looked about five years old would be riding this bike that I don't even think I would try riding.
Following this, we visited a few more temples in the afternoon. Amongst them Preah Khan, Ta Som and Eastern Mebon. I know that each one had it's own significance, but I did find that I was beginning to mix up all the history of the kings who commissioned the buildings of all these temples. But I did notice (after the guide had pointed out to me) that a number of the temples which were Buddhist temples had a number of the original Buddha statues with the heads removed. The guide told me when the Hindu temples became commissioned, all other temples dedicated to Buddha had to have the statues with heads removed.
I returned back to the hotel late in the afternoon in time for a quick shower and quick nanna nap before I was going to head out to the local hospital for a cello concert which is held every Saturday by one of the local doctors in the area. I texted my tuk tuk driver I had met the previous night and just like magic, he was waiting outside my hotel along with a number of other drivers. We negotiated a price and he took me to the other side of town to the hospital. We chatted along the way and he said that he would wait for me to take me back to Pub Street after the concert.
The cello concert was performed by Dr Beat Richner, the leading doctor at the children's hospital. He names the concert Beatocello. It is held primarily for tourists so that they can raise donations of funds and blood for the children's hospital which is not government run.
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