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26 December 2010

Mr Sim spells it out

23rd December 2010

If you are looking for a guide around the Angkor temples we can entirely recommend Mr Sim Sophaektra – his English is good, he knows everything and he’s cool. We were lucky to get him at short notice, as tomorrow he has to travel over 100kms back to his village for a “disaster aversion ritual”. Apparently his family have been looking in the Hindu holy books and discovered that this year is a terribly unlucky one for Mr Sim; he’s likely to break an arm or a leg, or worse. The only way to prevent the prognostications of the holy book from coming true is a disaster aversion ceremony.

Unfortunately, it looks like Mr Sim already booked to take tourists on a tour tomorrow

without phoning to let his folks know. And his mother-in-law has already booked a monk for the ceremony tomorrow, without phoning to tell him. I know this situation so well. Anyway, the monk certainly takes precedence so the tourists will just have to be found another guide. As for what’s involved in a “disaster aversion ritual”, you’ll just have to use your imagination.

The Angkor complex (not Angkor Wat; that’s the name of just one of the temples here) is a place that really deserves hiring a guide for at least one day; there’s so much to see and learn about, spread over such a wide area. One of the other benefits is that Mr Sim was very familiar with the habits of that monstrous beast, the Tour Bus, and so arranged our day to make sure that we visited each temple to best avoid encounters with them. We had a good day with Mr Sim. A very long day, but a good one. We left our hotel at 7AM and didn’t get back until after 7PM; with only an hour’s break for lunch, that’s pretty much 12 solid hours of sightseeing. Tough job, but someone has to do it.

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2 Responses to “Mr Sim spells it out”

  1. Jane says:

    I think you should enlarge and print that Bayon photo and then give me a copy….

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