Just got this email from my sis and hubby, who just landed in Siem Reap, Cambodia, where they have elected to spend Christmas this year. Just in case you think your own Christmas plans are "non-traditional," well, think again:
Yesterday after we arrived (and after getting up at 3:00 am - ouch!) we had a lovely light lunch, met with our guide for the week, Teng, and set off to explore the area on foot. We visited several of the local markets (mister mister, please buy this shirt - only $2) and walked some of the streets including one they appropriately call "pub street." After meeting some VERY friendly people (mister mister - I take you on a ride in my tuk tuk), we made it back to the hotel for a little rest and shower (badly needed - it is in the low 90's here). Some of our friends are also visiting Siem Reap right now, so in the evening we were fortunate to join them for a lovely dinner at one of the colonial style hotels here. It was beautiful and a fun evening!
Today has been all about TEMPLES! We visited some of the larger temples closer to Siem Reap today including Angkor Wat [see photo], Angkor Thom, Thom Throm (the one where Tomb Raiders was filmed) and the Bayon Temple. They were amazing to see. Other than being completely soaking wet (like I said it is in the 90's here) it was a great experience. We also went to a local artisans school where they bring in teenagers/young adults from the villages and teach them skills (carving, painting, etc.) over about a year's time. They have amazing skill, and yes we did add to the local economy.