We travel for seven or so hours through rural Cambodia. It is flat! We must be in the Mekong River flood plain because all the houses are built on stilts. The people all live close to the road with endless rice fields behind. The rice was recently harvested, so the fields are brown, instead of the emerald green that you see in photographs of rice paddies. Cattle and water buffalo graze on the rice stubble. Actually, given the option, the water buffalo seem to prefer lounging up to their necks in ditches filled with muddy water.
Curiously, among mostly simple houses constructed of weathered boards, there will suddenly be a large, brand-new house with sparkling paint and fancy balconies.
Siem Reap, the town closest to Angkor Wat, is tourist central. There must be hundreds of bars, restaurants and hotels. There is a thoroughfare called, appropriately, Pub Street. In the last decade or so, Angkor Wat has become one of the must-see tourist destinations.
We engaged a tuk tuk driver for the next three days to schlep us around the sites and make suggestions as to where we should go next.
The Xing Angor hotel actually has a swimming pool -- a cut above our usual accommodations.