Angkor Wat sunrise 

  
My alarm sounded at 04.30am. Twenty five minutes later I was downstairs in my hotel lobby, face to face with my private tour guide Mr Sophat, who would be guiding me around Angkor Archaeological Park for the next two days. “Happy Birthday” he said to me. 

It was still dark when we entered the archaeological park. Mr Sophat knew the best place to view sunrise, away from the crowds. As I stood on the bank of the moat,  I watched hundreds of people make their way along Angkor Wat’s causeway, disappearing somewhere inside. 

Under the light of a nearly full moon, Angkor Wat teased me from across the water, shrouded in shadows of which I could only make out its size. With the sun still sleeping, the intricate details of Angkor Wat were yet to be revealed to me. 

There’s something very special about arriving early for sunrise. As I waited, I observed the Eastern sky above Anglor Wat change in lightness and colour as Venus shone brightly above. As time passed, Angkor Wat slowly began to reveal her beauty, as the sun started to rise. Casting the sky in a blue, then orange, the sun finally cast the sky above Angkor Wat alight in a fiery red. 

Angkor Wat finally appeared, revealed for another day, in its full beauty and splendour.  

“The temple stands solitary and alone in the jungle, in too perfect order to be called a ruin, a relic of a race far ahead of the present in all of the arts and sciences” (D.O.King 1860)

Food glorious food – a vegetarian’s guide to Thai food on Koh Tao, Thailand.

I love to eat, especially when abroad in a foreign country. Saving money on food is never in my budget when I travel. 

In this month of January, I am in Thailand, sampling one of my favourite cuisines ever! And the great news is it’s all so cheap! 

During my stay on the island of Koh Tao, I found two places that became my local eating haunts. 

The first is a very simple food stall on the road heading left of the pier if you are facing it (follow the sign to Whitening).

 The woman who runs this place makes the best pad thai for £1.30 a plate! 

 My other favourite food haunt was a vegan vegetarian place called La Carotte Qui Rit on the one way road leading away from the pier and up the hill from the ferry port.

 
The food here is fresh, healthy and MSG free.  I ate here every day, sometimes twice! Here’s a run down of the different dishes I tried.

 I love papaya salad! And for the equivalent of £3.40 a dish including a coconut drink, this became a favourite of mine to order more than once!

 This fried glass noodle dish with shitake mushrooms and veggies is a great energy meal after a day in dive school. £1.90

 This mango salad with a mango drink was a good option for lunch one day. Light and fresh!

 One of the dive instructors at Master Divers told me to try their Massaman curry which is not spicy. I was not disappointed. It was so delicious, I could have eaten two portions, not one. £1.90 for the curry and rice.

 This green vegetable curry with rice and a lemon, mint and pineapple juice cost me £3.79 and filled the spot after a full day of diving. 

 My last meal here after another day of fun dives is a local favourite called Haw Mokk, a thick red curry with veggies for £1.90. 

I’m disappointed I didn’t work my way through the entire menu here at La Carotte. I highly recommend this vegetarian place if you’re on Koh Tao.