Yesterday will always be remembered as the day I ate a tarantula!
We had two fantastic days in Phnom Penh, a lovely city full of pleasant surprises like fresh baguettes and one of the best museums in Asia. Then  yesterday morning we set out by road for Angkor Wat, something very few people do in the Jet Age. Somewhere along the Mekong our guide stopped for a supply of fried tarantulas to snack on. Local ladies sell heaps of them to spider aficionados who come from every corner of Cambodia. We both tried them and I have to admit they don't taste as awful as they look.
We spent last night in the rustic little town of Sambor, which gave us a real taste of rural Cambodia (two noodle stands and a night market). From there we took a detour to the monumental pre-Angkor ruins of Prey Kuk--a warm up for our long-awaited visit to Angkor Wat.

In air conditioned comfort have we had intimate glimpses into every day Cambodian life on this two day journey. The countryside is both beautiful and serene, like driving through one huge postcard. This morning we stopped in a town filled with French colonial villas, which seemed very out of place. In another village we found dozens of sculptors chipping away at reproductions of ancient Khmer masterpieces. (Guess what I bought!) We arrived in Angkor at the perfect time for a martini and a swim. While Tom is reading up on all the things we will see tomorrow, I plan to have a massage.

This has been a delightful break from everything in the news lately. The guys at Purple Dragon have done a splendid job with our arrangements. Why don't you turn off that TV and enjoy some of this yourself?
-- Chuck


photographs 2003 by Purple Dragon

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