Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Birdy in Angkor Wat


One problem of having Foldinitis is when the marvels of the great temples of Angkor Wat, somehow do not quite take my breath away compared to spotting a foldie gliding effortlessly in front of my eyes. Well to be honest, I have been to this world heritage site a few times and even took part in a race on my Brompton once.

Nevertheless, I was walking past the ancient ruins of the Elephant Temple when a silver Birdy cruising in the glittering sun stopped me in my tracks. The distinct parallelogram fork gave it away instantly. It was a good thing my Canon Ixus 120 IS was at hand and I managed to get a quick shot of this rare bird, feeling very pleased with myself. But what really made my day was when Yoji turned around a couple of minutes later and landed right in front of me.

It was my joy to have a friendly chat with this Japanese foldie rider who has ridden an impressive 1000km and just came from Pakse, Laos. It was with great reluctance when we had to part - he flying on his Birdy and I, back to my tourist mini-van to join the rest of my super-fun Oz team. Yoji, if you are reading this, ride safe and God’s blessings on your adventure.

That chance meeting really gave me a big itch that needed to be badly scratched. Scouting around the various bike shops in Siem Reap, I saw an old Panosonic foldie with 20” wheels screaming, “Rent me! Rent me!” A mere US$1 was all it took to get it for a day’s use.

It was pretty neglected like most things in Cambodia and the worn out tires were severely under-inflated. One had a Schrader valve while the rear had a Dunlop valve and it took a while for me to figure out the Chinese made foot pump.

With a bike, what required 10 mins of sweaty walking to get from my fav hotel, Auberge Mont Royal, to the Old Market became a mere 2 min breezy moment.

It was also a delight to cycle along the river in the coolness of the morning. “Old Pan” came in very useful when I had to take my son shopping for gifts and it was really cool to pull up for lunch at the Red Piano (Angelina Jolie fame) two up.

After lunch, we treated ourselves to an incredible "out of this world" invigorating $2 foot massage (30 mins), getting there courtesy of "Old Pan".

Siem Reap and Angkor Wat are definitely must dos for everyone with some sense of adventure and for those like us with Foldinities, we should take a leaf from Yoji.

1 comment:

Ricky Peterson said...

Nice pics. Angkor temple is located in the Cambodian region.This temple is the national symbol of Cambodia.Angkor Wat has also count in he Seven Wonders of the World. Best time to visit is december and January in winter.You can visit any time any day throughout the year.For more details refer Angkor wat temple