A few years ago we visited Cambodia with some friends and of course during the trip we had to visit Angkor Wat.
We arranged a mini bus, driver and guide through the hotel which turned out to be an inspired choice. Not only was it excellent value for money but our guide was excellent, helping to make the day even more enjoyable.
We spent the day, pretty much every other tourist, wandering around temples and ruins with our guide telling us all about the incredible history of this UNESCO World Heritage Centre classed as having “Outstanding Universal Value”.
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Our guide was also excellent at building a personal rapport with us and we soon learned that he had a funny and cheeky personality. For example he was saving up for either a moped or a wife, not sure which. The problem being that to meet a prospective wife he needed a moped to hang out on and take his girl on dates. However once he met the right girl he would also need enough money for a dowry for her parents which he may not have if he had bought a moped.
As the day went on we had already had one minor emergency as one of the women tore the seam in the bottom of her trousers. Luckily someone had a shawl with them which helped to cover embarrassment as well as not offending the dress code around the temples
As the day neared the end one of the men in the group asked if there was a toilet nearby, not too far said our guide but it is outside the main site. Around 10 minutes later he asked again, this time a little more urgently, again he was told we were not yet near the toilets. It wasn’t long before he asked again, this time he looked quite pale and the sweat on his brow was nothing to do with the heat and humidity, “I need to go now”.
Our guide laughed and went off with him pointing the way in the distance to the little cabins that served as the toilets.
Off he ran, avoiding tourists and monks alike, out of the temple and down the hill. It wasn’t an easy journey, an uneven bank and tourists minding their own business but oblivious to his rush. Then it got worse for him, fast approaching was a fence, he would need to go around wasting more time. But no, like a racehorse he leapt over the fence, well like a staggering racehorse that was desperately trying to keep control of his bowels. He landed on the other side and finally got to the toilets where there were women taking money for use, with no time to stop to find out how much and get the right change, he threw some money to them and ran to the nearest open door.
His relief was short lived. He looked around. No toilet paper. This was not a time for no toilet paper.
A couple of minutes late, feeling much better about life, he exited the toilet and saw that the women were handing out toilet paper to people as they paid. Never mind too late now.
He walked back up the hill to meet us back in the temple, this time at a much more leisurely pace. He was relaxed and smiling. Something else was different though, what was it?
“Where’s your hat” we asked.
Ever since then if one of us is desperate for the toilet the cry of “Angor Wat” is heard, it’s caused many a confused look in the middle of a field at Glastonbury.
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