Okay, so I really was trying to do Siem Reap in just two entries, but we just saw way too many amazing things and had way too many memorable events happen, so it's just going to have to be three. Trust me there will be no one who hates this more than my editor. He's sick of editing all these posts. Which, I mean is tough because really the first draft is just me spewing words out without a lot of second passes or punctuation or even a real spell check run, so he does a lot of work here. (EDIT: I really don't).

Anyway, you saw the trip to Siem Reap, it ended up being one of the easiest travel times, except that they dropped us off at a random place with their own overpriced Tuk Tuk. We were just close enough to want to just walk and not deal with it, but far away enough to hate walking through the midday sun with our packs on. Again. Flashbacks from our first day in Krabi.

Trekked through this...

Anyway, we got to our hostel (which we LOVED!!), recovered from our trek and decided to go check out the town a little more. It's such a cute little place and we tried Cambodian hot pot.  

This is on Pub Street, and it apparently always looks like this.

I have to say I liked it more than Chinese hot pot, but less than fondue, because cheese. So, as seen below, Cambodian hot pot has a big hunk of animal fat (the beige piece on top) that you use to grease the place where you cook your meat, and a warm broth to cook noodles, rice and veggies. It was delicious.

Sorry it's blurry I just wanted my picture and then to get my eat on!

 While we were hunting for dinner, we found these beauts and made a mental (actual) note to return. It was lovely. A sweet, crunchy corn flour thing with ice cream in it. Fun fact, they sell the corn thing here in China, sans ice cream. It is not as delicious.

It looks like a big pipe. Like Hans Landa.

The next day we met up with a wonderful man named Eric Tan. He ran a Tuk Tuk service to the temples, from which he uses the profits to pay for education programs for Cambodian children. So, obviously, we were allll about that. Eric is a FANTASTIC man and if any of you go to Cambodian and don't ask for his contact info, I will no longer be your friend.

Anyway, Mao, one of his drivers took us for our first day to what seemed like all the temples at Angkor Wat. We had “The Grand Tour” which was a tour of many of the smaller, less visited temples to really just walk around and start enjoying them. We ended up at about 7 or 8. I really wish these pictures did this place justice, it really is the most amazing place in the world.  

The first of MANY steep, slightly dangerous stairs to climb

We found a wall with a hole in it, so we had to climb in it, although one of us, we'll call her Ichelle, is too much of a rules person to allow us to go through it and wander around. Also, she read about unexploded land mines in her books and was quite nervous...

Just the first of many "unique" hipster esque pictures (This is through the same hole in the wall but the opposite direction. Yeah. Pretty artisty fartsy)


Chad is still not great at taking pictures, but I want to prove we were in fact there and not just downloading pictures from on the line.

These guys are pretty cool, we will explain a bit more in a later post.

This kid was ADORABLE! He was running around the temple like he owned the place (kinda does.. probably from a village within the grounds), occasionally yelling and crawling all over it. So I give you a picture of me taking a picture of Brittany taking a picture of this kid. Who btw was hiding from the tour group of yelling Chinese coming through (smart kid).

Chad's artistic picture of one of the temples.

Chad took this on his phone... I took a picture of it on my camera... you can guess which one was better since I only have one on the blog.

Brittany had to start to learn that pictures with the McCombs usually don't involve smiling pretty

I can't believe we didn't do a "meet the band" picture till Cambodia... I'm slightly disappointed in us

So throughout our travels Chad and I would notice there were a lot of tourists from a country we'll call Ina. We didn't love them, and really were ready for a bit of a break. Individually people from Ina are very nice, in a large tour group and usually when they possess a large amount of disposable income they act like every place was built just for them and that it's completely okay to touch everything and shout while at places other people find very sacred. SO we didn't love them. It's just a different culture, but the time it was most evident was when we were walking to the below temple. 

As you can see there is a vast amount of water there and you have to traverse a somewhat narrow pathway to get there. By narrow I mean it can comfortably allow people to walk about 3 across, but most people went with 2 across, you know as a buffer to not fall into the water. While walking, Chad started observing the people (there was a line down the middle of the bridge, facilitating distance estimation). People from Western countries would walk next to each other, then when others approached someone would drop back to go single file and allow passage. People from Ina? Kept walking 3 across and would get really upset when I would shove them so, you know, I didn't fall into the water. Some may have been shoved harder than needed....

In case you were un sure how to use a western toilet with a bidet option

So one of the things you're told in all the guide books is that you shouldn't buy things from the children at the temples who are selling things for "just one dollar" (that's their closer). You want to because they are incredibly adorable and have such cute broken English, but you shouldn't because the reason they are there and not in school is because their parents think it's worth the school sacrifice to get a few dollars extra. So if you buy something you're reinforcing that idea. So this cute girl runs up to Chad to sell her stuff and he says "no" and she says "okay, we play a game" and squats down and draws a tic tac toe board. I pretty much thought it was the cutest thing ever. When he let her she won she said "okay you buy something now". I loved it so much that when Chad demanded best of 3 I told him to throw the game because she was too cute I couldn't resist giving her money. 

Another elephant!
 At the end of the tour we got to watch the sunset at one of the temples and it was really fun to just observe the people there. The tourists and the Cambodians.

There was some crazy European lady who LOVED this one and had her driver take pictures of her and it. She kept saying "don't count just click click click click" and "it doesn't cost anymore take more pictures" (EDIT: I don't think fair space is being given to this lady. She was literally insane. She had her driver snapping hundreds of pictures with her iPad. Which is crazy enough already, but literally hundreds. Everywhere. She was climbing all over people and doing some of the craziest 'modelling' poses I've ever seen. And we just watched Zoolander. She just kept telling him to take more and from different angles. We watched this happen, while simultaneously watching the sunset, for more than 30 minutes. Unrelenting. You had to feel bad for the guy, I hope he was being paid handsomely.)

Meanwhile all the Cambodians were down on the ground playing Cambodian hacky sack.

Some super adorable kids herding cows.

My bracelets we bought from the tic tac toe girl.

Sunset on top of a temple with a view like this is pretty awesome.

Chad and Michelle temple sunset selfie.

Brittany was pretty bored by it by the end.
 After that we did something Eric calls “Share a Village Dinner”. It was seriously a highlight of the trip. Cambodians are, for the most part, quite poor, especially those who live in the villages surrounding the temples. Many have small one room wooden homes and a single light that is powered by what looks like a car battery. 

Most days their dinner consists of some rice (they have grown themselves) and perhaps a small fish or two they caught in the river that day. They mince the fish and mix it up with some rice. So Eric has gotten to know some of these families and set up a program where people (like us) buy a ton of food for the family to cook a meal with and then we all eat together. You get a real traditional Cambodian meal and to interact with such a sweet kind people and they get a huge meal, with usually enough food for a few more meals the next day too. It was something I will never forget. 
These cuties KILLED me. The biggest is a daughter of the owner of the house and is 12, the other two are grand babies.

They're cooking away.

Just some of the spread- it all was amazingly delicious.

He reallllly wanted a soda and spent about 5 minutes trying to figure out how to open it and even started using the silverware to get into it. It was adorable and everyone just watched him, he finally managed it.

Eric's sisters were in town so we had dinner with them and the family. So this is the whole dinner group.

Eric snuck us into a temple after hours... we may have been caught, good thing the police here don't mind a bribe.