Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cambodia Itinerary

It's been a long winter: nearly three months straight, with nary a break, and a severe diet, to boot. It should come as no surprise, then, that we haven't done much that's blog-worthy - it's been enough work just surviving, without any extra adventures thrown in!

But a week from today is Spring Break, the perfect chance for one of our biggest adventures yet. Yes, in a mere seven days, Nana and I are off to Siem Reap, Cambodia, to spend a week exploring the jungle temples of Angkor.

You've seen these before. (Wikimedia Commons.)
Visiting the temples of Angkor has been a dream of mine for decades, since I first saw a documentary on them way back in elementary school. For hundreds of years, Angkor was the largest city in the world - some estimate its peak population at close to one million souls, which would have made it a good hundred times larger than almost any city in medieval Europe, and arguably the largest city in history before the Industrial Revolution. Now, some of the temples have been painstakingly restored, and others have been reclaimed by the jungle. It's basically the world's biggest playground for history dorks. And we're going in a week!

As a preview, here's a glimpse at our itinerary. The touring days are arranged through the Khmer Angkor Tour Guide Association; other activities will be arranged through the Bunwin Boutique Hotel, where we'll be staying throughout the trip (after snagging a great rate on

Saturday, March 17
Fly from Fukuoka to Siem Reap, with a long layover in Busan, South Korea.

Sunday, March 18
Relax at the hotel. Poke around town. Shop.

Monday, March 19
Visit the Rolous Group, the oldest of the Angkor temples. Visit Angkor Thom, the ancient walled city, in the afternoon.

Tuesday, March 20
Visit various temples of the "Grand Circuit," including Ta Prohm and Banteay Kdea.

Wednesday, March 21
Visit Angkor Wat and some of the smaller surrounding temples. Spend the afternoon at a local craft cooperative, then dinner and a show in the evening.

Thursday, March 22
Take a morning cooking course arranged through our hotel. Relax and explore on our own.

Friday, March 23
Excursion to Bantey Srey temple, the Kbal Spean river carvings, and Tonle Sap Lake, where we'll visit a fishing village, a crocodile farm (!), and a mangrove forest.

Saturday, March 24
Spend the day relaxing or exploring on our own, before catching a midnight redeye back to Fukuoka, via Busan.

There will also be elephant rides (I think) at dawn and dusk, but we haven't decided the days yet. Can't wait!

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