The alarm clock rings at 4:30am, sleepy eyed we get up and dressed into our temple clothes. We head downstairs at 5am and Tom is there waiting for us with water in hand.
Ankor Wat was the first temple we were visiting, we needed to buy ‘temple passes’ to enter the temples so before we could go to Ankor Wat Tom drove us to the temple passes office. The passes were $20 each and allowed us to go to all of the temples, which was great. The pass price was high but was so much more worth it compared to our experience at the Floating Village yesterday.
When we arrived at Ankor Wat it was sill pitch black, we followed everyone’s torches and found a nice place to sit and watch the sunrise.
The sunrise was truly beautiful, as soon as the sun was up high enough that we could see where we were going we entered the beautiful temple and explored for about 2 hours.
Once we felt we had seen enough we headed back to Tom and the Tuk Tuk where he drove us to grab some breakfast. Breakfast was on the more expensive side, but we were in the middle of nowhere and our bellies were rumbling!!
After breakfast we went and visited 8 more temples before it was time to chow down some lunch – the cheapest thing on the menu fried rice with vegetables…delicious!!
We sat with Tom and asked him about his life and family. He was one of 4 and lived at home with his mum and youngest brother, his father passed away some time ago and since then Tom had to leave his studies and work as a Tuk Tuk driver for his eldest sisters husband.
Tom was saying that when he first started working he was a builder and would get paid $3 for a 12 hour shift!!!! Tuk Tuk driving is more a hit and miss because there are so many Tuk Tuk’s around that a day may go by when he would get no business at all. It was quite touching to hear, Tom was a generous and selfless boy, any savings that he acquires after feeding his family goes into the fund to put his youngest brother through school.
Tim thought he would be an explorer and climbed to the top of the temple
It was safe to say that we were starting to get tired, we had seen, climbed and explored 11 temples and were pretty much ready to call it a day. On the way home Tom asked if we wanted to go see the temple where they filmed ‘Tomb Raider’. Having both seen the movies we thought that would be great so made that the last temple we saw for the day.
The temple was packed! Everyone seemed to be here, there were tour groups in all different languages walking around. A little Cambodian boy came up asking if we wanted to buy any postcards, we needed some with pictures of the temples on them for our scrapbook. The postcards were $1 for a pack of 10, we decided to get two packets and the look of excitement on the boys face was adorable. He ran back to his mum gave here the money and we gave him the equivalent of 50 cents to put in his pocket for himself.
By the time Tom took us home it was 5PM, Tom had taken us around for 12.5 hours. We said a big thank you, gave him the $20 as well as a $10 tip, big bottle of Leo beer and some chocolate for his younger brother.
He was so very greatful, a genuine nice guy 🙂