Cambodia is boiling. On the dirty, dusty Poi-pet border the heat rises, in Siam Reap, buildings are bubbling up from the jungle - big shiny 5-star palaces. Crowds steam and churn around the ancient towers of Angor Wat as the sunrises - the noise is intense as voices from all over the world cackle and chat and click digital cameras at the sun brings its heat to the day.

The Tuk-Tuk Touts in the town fizz around you as you walk down the street - 'tuk tuk sir?' 'tuk tuk now?' 'lets go!' their voices seem like bubbles popping around your ears Waiters in town fuss and bother and still manage to get the change wrong by one dollar less every time a bill is paid. Cambodia is actually boiling. A seething gumbo of dollar-hungry people, churning and splashing around the visiting nationalities. And why not? I spent 3 days exploring the temples and tower of the crumbling Angkor and even though it was hot, busy and full of tourists from around the world, everyday I said ''i'm glad I made the effort'' Up at 5a.m. for sunrise, chilling as the sunsets, the great complexes of Angkor are a world-beating draw and deserve to have a tourist trade that pours money into the local economy, picking people up from the poverty they face in the paddy fields surrounding it. My guide pointed out the areas inside the temples where the 'common people' would live and pray on pilgramages. These areas are the sizes of football fields. A thousand years ago, millions of people from all over the eastern world would have travelled here. The industry, commerce and busy-ness of all these people would have been a massive city, that will forever dwarf the current town of Siam Reap and the modern-day pilgrams of our tourist trade.

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Angkor Wat is a truely magical place. To get the best out of the temples I would recommend hiring a guide. We used Sophanna Muon who was excellent - fluent English and an enthusiasm for his homeland. He can be found at

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  • The Crashpacker

    I never meant to go travelling, I just went. You start moving and can't stop, and when you do come to rest the inertia swells i…

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