Links & Notes, mostly about Cambodia
Guidebooks: The classic work on Angkor Wat still is Maurice Glaize's Les Monuments du Groupe d'Angkor. The beautiful thing about this is that it's online at www.theangkorguide.com, both to peruse ahead of time and to download as a .pdf. I downloaded mine to my Palm Pilot and took along on paper only the one-pager and map that are also on that site.
Dawn Rooney's Angkor is a great guidebook. It unfortunately weighs a ton. And fortunately or unfortunately it is one of the books you can buy cheaply from hawkers at the temples. Buy it, read it, cherish it afterwards, but don't lug it with you!
For a good guide to the area, and spending time there, see Gordon Sharpless' Tales of Asia site, blog, guides. (I stayed with him at Two Dragons and was quite comfortable.)
The elements - in dry season
It's just flat very hot! in both Cambodia and Thailand during the dry season. Buy a sun hat there and wear it, and bequeath it to whoever comes next at your guest house. Expect to carry (bottled) water at all times. I also found a bandanna very handy to mop my sweaty brow! One of the nice things about using a tuk-tuk at the Angkor Wat area is the breeze it subjects you to as you scoot around. Most of the roads in the area, though bumpy, are paved and not very dusty.
There are now ATMs in Siem Reap. I think maybe six, I heard. Give you dollars.
Monkeys: I loved seeing them roadside near the temples. But beware: monkey teeth are extremely sharp and the males very aggessive. Don't tease them or hand feed them or, as I saw someone doing, try to let them drink from your water bottle.
Trees: I find the Banyan trees fascinating. They're also called strangler figs. They wrap themselves around other trees until the host tree is killed and their own vines are strong enough to continue onward as a "tree" themselves. You can see them best at Ta Prohm. Finally, there are these really weird flowers that I saw in Thailand hanging on trees - anyone have a clue as to what they are?
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