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Thank you!” in Khmer.

After visiting a dozen temples in and around Angkor under close to 40C degree heat — I say goodbye and thank you to Cambodia! The temples are simply impressive, breathtaking and should be in every traveller’s list of must-see. The people are very friendly and helpful.

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The crowd out to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat

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Restoration and conservation work

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There are many tourists in Siem Reap and Angkor and it is apparent that every effort is being made to cater to them. Costs are relatively reasonable, probably with the exception of hotel accommodations – but there is a variety of standards to choose from. The U.S. dollar is the currency being quoted and accepted by all, including by tuk tuk drivers, just make sure the bill has no tear or damage, as it will be politely declined.

I stayed at the Shinta Mani Club Hotel (across the street from the Shinta Mani Resort), a 39-room boutique hotel smartly designed by Bill Bensley (architect of many Four Seasons and Shangrila resorts). Located in a less busy street, yet only a $2 ride to the many restaurants and bars on Pub Street or the Night Markets. The service is extremely warm and hospitable — and evident in the small touches, which included a cold towel welcome every time you return to the hotel. The excellent food they serve in their Kroya restaurant is a blend of traditional flavours and ingredients with international dishes. It helps as well that they have created a charitable foundation to support the local community.

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Hanging swing daybeds

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And thanks to Mr. Chet and Mr. Khan, the owner-guide and driver, of Angkor Wat Services. Mr. Chet was excellent in planning my itinerary to go opposite of what the big tour groups were doing and using less-travelled gates to avoid the many crowds. Mr. Khan, on the other hand, will have the car air-conditioner running by the time we return with a bottle of cold water — which was very much appreciated under the intense heat of the day. Arkoun!

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