I have been to Angkor Wat several times, over the years. A new phenomenon is taking over the ancient stone temples.
On my last trip there, I was trying to beat the clock and catch the fabled sunset. Climbing up the near-vertical steps of the magnificent ruins, I felt both breathless and exhilarated.
Halfway up, I even imagined myself as Angelina Jolie and wanted to adopt a Cambodian baby. Then, as I reached the peak, there were… well… a million other tourists already up there. That’s alright. I made it in time.
Suddenly, a macha shouted at me from above; “Dei! You from Malaysia ah?” Before I could even answer, another stranger (an elderly Chinese woman next to me) volunteered; “Myself Ipoh Mali!” That’s sweet. Malaysians can sniff out a fellow Malaysian, wherever they may be.
With the advent of affordable air travel, Malaysians are flying directly to Siem Reap by the plane loads, thanks to another macha. But most just stay for a night and never really explore the rest of the beautiful country. I will share with you some of my detours into unknown territory over the next few postings.
But if you are ever in Angkor Wat, remember this. Cast a stone and you’ll hit a Malaysian…