Cambodia - Ankor Wat

Talk about HOT; we flew into Siem Reap and I could not believe the heat when we got out of their beautiful new airport. However the heat is not going to be the obstacle in this wonderful religious and spiritual setting.

Siem Reap has magnificent 5 star destination resort hotels and we saw more being built. I did not enter these but I am sure that they are all accessible. Our smaller hotel was beautifully appointed and right in the middle of town. But you guessed it; it had two steps to get into the front door. This was handled by a temporary and portable ramp. Once inside the hotel was totally accessible. Being downtown was great fun because of the many shops and restaurants. This country, that only a few short years ago was led by a tyrant who tried singlehandidly wipe out the entire educated middle and upper class population, killing millions of his own coountryman, has rebounded and looks forward to a prosperous and wonderful life for its citizens.

Hidden by jungle overgrowth and fobeautiful templesrgotten for years Ankor Wat is one of those World Heritage sites that one feels they must see. The good news is they still allow tourists to access all of the sites; to go inside and sense the beauty of what was once a grand culture. Unfortunately I was not able to access many of the ruins in spite of the fact that my fellow travelers helped me by lifting me and my chair into various ruins; a little help from my friendshowever I think that in the case of Ankor Wat, the beauty and the spirituality of these buildings and temples is so powerful that it is well worth the effort to get as close as one can.While touring some of the temples I ran into two other wheelers from England and they agreed that the trip was worth the effort.

The story behind this country is an amazing tale of human endurance in the face of unmitigated cruelty.
There are numerous books on the subject, my favorite for the graphic detail of hate and revenge was First
They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers. But I would read none of this until you return
from a trip there, for fear that it would turn you off of an incredible adventure into the history of a
beautiful culture.

This is a three to four day excursion to be tacked onto any visit to Southeast Asia. The Buddhist temples
are magnificent and their restoration essentially through UNESCO, are ongoing so that you can see what
these magnificent building were in their historical prime. As for accessibility; all I can say is push
like crazy the distances are large over hard packed dirt. The temples are for the most part viewed from
the outside. I could not get into a couple of them, however there was plenty to see from afar and again
the group was ready to shove me often.

Looking back on this trip I must insist that there is plenty of accessible sights and the unbelievable
faith of the people who constructed this community is evident everywhere and well worth experiencin

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