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February 22, 2004

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Cambodia's biggest river is the rush of tourists to Angkor Wat. The crowds flow into Siem Reap, a living city that accommodates visitors who will clamber around the Angkor temples nearby. The name 'Siem Reap' means "Siamese Defeated," an example of wishful thinking: the Siamese (Thais) defeated the Cambodians and controlled Angkor Wat and Siem Reap from 1794-1904. Cambodia has won back some territory but will never reacquire everything once controlled by the mighty Khmer empire. The greatest relics of that age are the Angkor temples.
The gas pump looks like a snow cone machine attached to an oil barrel. Other hybrid contraptions exist, such as the rickshaws attached to motorcycles that guides use to drive tourists around Siem Reap and Angkor for $10 per day.
Use traditional transport, elephants, yet you may need seasickness pills.
To Angkor Cambodians come for nostalgia, tourists for views.