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CRUISE L


Explore Cambodia in comfort on a river cruise, writes Katie McGonagle


@katie_mcgonagle


Come wat may


M


aybe it was divine providence, maybe it was


just Cambodia in rainy season, but within moments of walking inside Angkor Wat’s ancient walls, the heavens well and truly opened. This wasn’t rain, it was a flood, pelting down in torrents from a stormy sky, sending streams of water to chase away our footsteps and streaks of lightning


across the horizon, and spurring us to race for shelter under the sagging ruins of one of the temple’s twin libraries. An enterprising young lad


already had a roaring trade in bright plastic ponchos – a bargain at a dollar a pop – while his friends larked about in the rain, not caring how wet they got. Perhaps they knew what we


were yet to realise – as quickly as the clouds appeared, they were gone again, leaving the weathered stone of this one-time Hindu, now-Buddhist temple glistening in the sunshine. The calm after the storm, if you will. Not that Angkor Wat needs


any added drama: it’s quite impressive enough on its own. The entire complex covers nearly


500 acres, making it the world’s biggest religious monument, and as it still inspires awe and adulation today, one can only imagine the impact it must have had on its first wave of worshippers in the 12th century. It sets quite a precedent for


the start of a cruise from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City on board new CroisiEurope ship


11 January 2018 travelweekly.co.uk 61


CRUISE CAMBODIA DESTINATIONS


PICTURE: SHUTTERSTOCK


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