Road to Saigon 2018
4 February - 2 March 2018
FEBRUARY 23, 2018
Siem Reap - Rest day
Once your car is fixed the thing to do in Siem Reap is to visit the 12th Century Angkor Wat Temple. Occupying a 162.6 hectare site the complex has been a UNESCO world Heritage Site for more than 25 years and is a significant tourist draw for this part of the world. It’s immense, ramshackle, imposing and today was very crowded.
Getting there was part of the adventure as well and for the 6km journey from the hotel countless tuk tuks jostled for position with, and raced away from, tour buses, traffic lights and junctions. The fact that it was wet and muddy added to the drama and coated everything with an epic, ochre red mist.
A thorough visit to Angkor Wat can easily take a whole day, but for most people, a half day excursion is all that’s required and there’s a lot of walking, climbing and waiting to get into the best spots.
Monastic blessings were also available - for a price - and these saffron clad monks rubbed alongside hordes of tourists clutching a jungle of selfie sticks, Burberry clad iPads and shiny plastic Hello Kitty bags to better record the moment of enlightenment.
Those who had mechanical issues to address today included Andrew Twort, of Amy Amazon fame who was seen tightening up some of his steering components and checking on his fluid levels whilst Claudine mopped his brow.
The Sofitel carpark was a hot place by mid morning made even hotter by thick cotton overalls.
Alan Beardshaw unfurled his tool roll for the second time in two years, removed a spanner and took off a wheel. He had a look around and commented on how well built the car was and probably didn’t need anything else doing to it other than this.
The sweeps kept a close eye on him to make sure everything went back correctly and that nothing of any importance was left on the ground.
There was a fair amount of car washing and cleaning as well. We still have the film crew here and they all want to look their best.
In the evening, and by way of contrast to this morning, the Rally enjoyed a lavish meal at the Kravan Temple in the grounds of Angkor Wat. We had the place to ourselves with dancers, musicians and a son et lumiere under a waxing moon and a star filled sky. The floodlights cutting through the darkness and the feeling of quiet and solitude we enjoyed in this special place was quite overpowering and the food wasn’t too bad either.
A fleet of buses finally ferried the crews back the Sofitel ready for their beds.