New Years day was spent with the extended family at the ruins. We went to a few temples/ruins in the morning - one used in Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie, both visited had fantastic carvings, and were great examples of the ruins among the jungle terrain, with big trees growing through and over many of the ancient relics.
As usual there was plenty of fun to be had with the extended family, our last day together on this trip - like a Khmer version of the Griswalds ala Cambodian Vacation. We spent the afternoon in town having lunch, a little bit of shopping, and returning to the hotel for some respite from the afternoon heat, a swim and a beer assisting with the mission!
The family picked us ap at 4.30pm for sunset at the ruins. Suggested by our numskull guide Dom, we went to a not too secret spot, us and hundreds of others climbed a big hill and then to the top of the ruins at the summit, for a view of Angkor Wat. It was however only mildly visable through the trees, made even more difficult with the hoards of other touristas there. As usual granny was up and down the hill and temple stairs with her steadiness, not displaying any of her 70+ years - she is a dynamo, always laughing and smiling, chatting away in Khmer despite my lack of ability to respond. I did however try and tell the gate keepers I was Khmer, in Khmer of course, all for a laugh both from them and the family. Anyway sunset did not really live up to expectations, the most fun bit was decending the hill in the dark on a bush track, again granny being the champion.
We were dropped in pub street in Siem Riep, bidding our fond farewells to the family. Drinks were needed, and we ordered beer and a pitcher of Long Island Iced Tea at the Temple, gaining a free t-shirt for our efforts. Another picher later we had two ts, and were all feeling a little merry. Rob returned to the hotel and Marie and I went for a massage, me opting for reflexology, neck and shoulders for $7. It was great, even had a quick nap, and soon my hour was up. Marie had a Thai/Khmer massage, and after we did a little more shopping, wandering around the precinct and the night market area buying a whole bunch of stuff we probably didn't need. A tuk-tuk home and I was soon in bed, our last night in Cambodia and final night of the trip. I am the only one so far feeling ok - Marie has a terrible cold, Rob woke with tummy pains and has been frequently visiting the WC.
Returning from the morning coffee run, we ran into the family again, they saw Marie and I walking along and stopped to say hi - I asked if they missed us already and needed to see us again. As usual lots of laughs and a couple group pics cos we don’t already have enough - various angles of course! More hugs and goodbyes and they were on their way travelling around Cambodia, while we are off to the airport soon.
A great trip has been had by all - so much crammed into two weeks, at times it feels like we have been away for months. Til the next trip - hopefully to India, but happily anywhere in the big wide wonderful world!
*Moi Tiet = one more in Khmer