It wasn’t because of my age, fitness or my health, but it was because of the bloody humidity. I felt as if I’d turned into a senior citizen overnight. I was constantly out of breath and my heart and head were pounding like house music at a rave. I couldn’t walk as much as a couple of metres without feeling utterly exhausted.
As if I’d run a whole bloody marathon. Not that I actually know what that feels like, but you get my point. And this was only the first day of our three day Angkor Wat tour. Our youthful guide Mr Moon didn’t seem to be bothered at all. He jumped cheerily up and down the ancient steps and historic stones while telling us stories about mighty kings and beautiful princesses of times long ago.
As fascinating as it all was, all I could think of was being back in our shady tuktuk, rubbing the complimentary wet towels on my face while whizzing off to the next historical site with the wind (albeit warm) in my face. Or better yet, being back at the air conditioned room at the hotel, with an ice cold Tiger beer glass in my hand.
Just before dusk, when we were climbing a couple of hundred steps of the last temple on our itinerary, some ominous looking, inky black clouds were closing in. As the other tourists rushed back to their comfy air-conditioned touring cars or slightly less comfy tuktuks, I was savouring the coolness of the raindrops as they started falling down, dripping on my face and soaking my clothes. The temperature was suddenly bearable and I finally felt my proper age again. I felt ready to go on ten more Angkor Wat Tours. So really if you want my advice, Angkor Wat is best visited in the pouring rain. Not only will it be refreshingly cool, you’ll also have the whole place to yourself.