My wife and I completed another of our "bucket list" vacations in February 2014. After a superb 2 week cruise on Holland America from Hong Kong to Singapore with 4 stops in Viet Nam, one in Cambodia and 2 in Thailand, we headed back to Cambodia to do justice to Angkor Wat and give it the time it truly deserves. We booked an itinerary through a company called About Asia and they really know what they are doing; they customize in tailoring a schedule to fit the amount of time you have available. We had 3 full days and a last morning so they filled our days with tours of the surrounding Wats (temples) before the climax on the third morning of seeing Angkor Wat at sunrise. Rather than wax on forever about their outstanding professionalism, I will merely say that to make use of a professional and personal tour guide and a driver for the entire time is so worth the money. No matter how much prior research you might do, I would argue that the local professionals can provide you with much more insight and appreciation of what you are seeing than you can do on your own. Apart from seeing all the highlights, another pinnacle was to be taken out into the Cambodian countryside and meet women transplanting rice in the fields and us actually participating with them, or visiting a local village where the shoeless children are excited to see you (but they don't beg) and interacting with their simple life (such as making and eating sticky rice with them and their parents). This is nothing short of a huge education, to see how these people survive in the world, their simple life, yet their happiness and worth ethic is a powerful example and education to us all. If you have half an inclination to head to Angkor Wat, do it and let the local tour professionals give you the works; for most of us, it's very affordable as the comparative cost of living is so low.
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