Wednesday, 12 October 2011


Angkor Wat lived up to expectations, a thousand year old monument of extraordinary artistic quality and the largest religious building in the world apparently. I can believe it. Climbing the ruins in 30 degree heat and drowning in the humidity was hard work but exhilarating. I doubt anywhere else in the world you would be allowed to clamber all over crumbling ruins of such historic worth. I saw some graffiti but it was rare. Some of the steps were near vertical and health & safety in the UK would have a fit. In it's day, painted and pristine, it must have been worthy of that word overused word, awesome. Some interior pillars still have vestiges of the paintwork that must have been very bright and colourful in the same way modern Hindu art still is. They must have had a good sense of sensuality judging from the beautiful bass-relief images of shapely women and the many Lingam's (stone phallus) around.

I tried to get a crutch to help me walk but the hotel said they would have to get one made to measure. In a country suffering from millions of land mines and the dreadful consequences I expected my request would be easy to fulfil. Maybe I can find a walking stick in the market tomorrow. I'm not staying confined to barracks if I can help it! Walking is painful and slow but possible. Hopefully the swelling will have gone down some by tomorrow morning. Meanwhile I'm stuck sightseeing inside the hotel which is a surreal and unreal world compared to the life outside it's doors...

For all it's apparent sophistication, the hotel's first aid consisted of a plaster and some cotton wool and an offer of a lift to the hospital. Can barely walk this morning, need to get strapped up I think. Tuc-tuc into town and find a chemist I recon.

Lobby reception.


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