My roommate Daniel’s thoughts on the trip:
Five hours drive led us to Siem Reap, where the Angkor Wat is located. As expected, I fell asleep through half of the drive there as the droning sound of the tires rolled through the streets. Whenever I’m awake, I’d stare out the window watching as we pass by houses on stilts, traps used to catch crickets, pigs hanging in ropes behind vans, and people piled inside and on top of cars. These are actually things I see on a regular basis while driving to the village, yet something I haven’t seen until now was the Buddha statues being carved. We actually passed by many of these places on the way to Siem Reap. It sort of makes you wonder how many are being made per day as at one point I saw nearly every house had a moderately large sized Buddha statue sitting in the front yard of the houses. In fact, I think I’ve seen these statues nearly everywhere; in the provinces especially.
Siem Reap was definitely a very worthwhile trip, seeing enormous temples and elaborate designs on nearly every wall. I was amazing by every temple we visited because of the size and detail of each design on the walls. This is a reminder of the creativeness and ingenuity that God gave us, yet it saddens me to see when these man-made objects become the source of worship as many tourists would make a quick bow at each statue.
At one point, an elderly lady tried to get us to take an incense and walk up the temple to place it in front of the Buddha. I had to refuse, but the lady was pretty persistent in trying to get us to do it.
For anyone who has plans to visit Angkor Wat
You might want to be prepared to either feel guilty or spend lots of money on things you don’t need. At the entrance of every temple, a large group of people will start running to you to get you to buy something… when I say running, I mean literally they run to you. What makes this even more tough are the little kids who are maybe 6 or 7 years old asking you in a sweet voice “Buy for one dollah” with a desperate look on their faces. There were many times when I felt like I wanted to buy something. There were even sellers in other parts of the city.
As we stepped out of an ice cream store later that day, a group of little girls asked us to buy something. When we refused, they asked us to trade their products for ice cream instead as they looked inside the store with a longing look on their faces. By their sweet faces looking inside, I wanted to buy ice cream for all of them!
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