Arriving in Seam Reap, Cambodia, it became apparent very quickly that we had arrived at a very special time. After being sprayed by giant water guns for the umpteenth time we finally asked someone – Maha Sangkran – New Year!
Well this turned our trip to visit the temples at Angkor Wat into something much more interesting for the children. By day we walked the temples, by night we were water warriors!
Max was very excited to see Angkor Wat however I was not looking forward to wondering around old buildings all day, I know I’m terrible. After squeezing all five of us into one tuk-tuk (money saving Yorkshire mentality is hard to let go of) we at least would have a fun ride there.
First impressions weren’t great as we were inundated with pushy sellers that I personally find very uncomfortable (and that’s quite an understatement). The upside was the advice to buy a top to cover our arms; we had come with legs covered but in a vest top. Max also loved his discounted book on the temples.
We then spent the day walking around the temples, even I was impressed, they are truly stunning. Looking out from the top gives you at least a feel for the vastness of the development. I would have loved a helicopter tour to really see the extent of the ruins but when travelling for six months these luxuries are out of budget.
It was also lovely to be walking the temples with locals rather than just tourists as they enjoyed the temples as part of the 3-day new year celebrations. Seeing large family groups pitched up by the side of the road, cooking, playing and having an amazing time was a privilege.
Xander and Scarlett were pretty impressed with the temples however it was the evening that they continue to talk about daily. Both children were bought their own small water guns and we entered the “zone” in the centre of Seam Reap. It took about 5 minutes before Max bought himself the biggest one he could find. It was great good-humoured fun. Lots of water, smiles, music, dancing, and a gentle talcum powder rub on each cheek to wish you a happy New Year. If anyone knows the background to the talcum powder please share!
We left Cambodia after a couple of days with fabulous memories of the sun rising over Angkor Wat, big smiles, warm welcomes and wet clothes.