Posted in Cambodia

Having a break in ruins


Siem Reap is a very busy city, which is flooded by tourists from all over the world thanks to the unique medieval temples of Angkor Wat. You can get used to it, you are prepared for it and you make a living from it. If you want, you can sit down in one of the many restaurants or cafés that are geared towards western needs and put your feet up, or face everyday life in Cambodia and explore the hustle and bustle in side streets and markets. You can also get a multi-day ticket to visit the archaeological park of Angkor Wat and explore the huge area on your own either by bike or tuk-tuk.

You can get the tickets in a purpose-built building outside the city, about halfway from the center to the park, and after we have started Friday as the first day of the break and actually put our feet up a bit and later asked about bike shops to find a packaging for Maik’s bike for the return trip. Then we took our bikes to the temple complex in the afternoon to get a first impression.

The temples, which can be categorized over several centuries, were built under various kings of the Khmer in the Middle Ages and were sometimes Hindu, sometimes Buddhist, and sometimes were also rededicated after the religious reorientation of a subsequent king. at Wikipedia – can be read.

It is fascinating how much space these temples take up, sometimes surrounded by a wide moat, like the Angkor Wat and Preah Khan temples, as well as the much smaller Ta Phrom temple, compared to the later built city of Angkor Thom, which has a walled area of 3 x 3 km is said to have housed a million people. Nothing has remained of the wooden residential buildings, only the remains of the stone temples testify to a once flourishing culture, which, however, could not do much to oppose the conquests of the Siamese in the 13th century. The city of Angkor Thom was abandoned in a hurry.


Of course, I also use the days here to change my thoughts from cycling and to eat something other than noodle soup or fried rice. From time to time I also like to take an omelet or cereal for breakfast. In the Star Bar near the small hotel, a broadcast of the Super Bowl of the American Football League is shown on a big screen on Sunday morning from 6 a.m. and the restaurant sells tickets for it in all seriousness and is actually quite well attended when we pass it at 8 a.m. to stroll. The omelette also tastes good in the “Viva” at the old market.

On the bike, the chain gets fresh oil and new tension after the approximately 800 kilometers driven. The chain lengthens slightly over time, and from time to time it is therefore necessary to readjust the rear axle or the gear hub. I notice that I have a wide crack in the profile in the rear wheel. Apparently it doesn’t go right into the tire’s carcass, but on my last day in the city I let myself search for a replacement tire. As it turns out, 28 “bikes are not that common among the many bike dealers we met while looking for a box for Maik’s bike.

At a Specialized dealer, who also offers classic models in addition to individual racing bikes, I find a suitable trekking tire from Chinese production, which I will take with me on my onward journey.


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