Siem Reap has so much history, it’s hard to know where to begin. Angkor Wat is of course the most famous ancient site to visit. There are however a number of other significant temple complexes surrounding Siem Reap – Angkor Wat in fact means “city of temples”. The area also reveals the middle-aged history of the region – the literal translation of Siem Reap provides the first clue – Siam Defeated. All the temples surrounding Siem Reap were originally Hindu Khmer temples built between the 9th and 14th centuries to establish the capital of the Kumer empire. This empire covered an area that is now Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and southern Vietnam and at its height, Siem Reap’s population was around 1m people – the largest city in Asia.
When I started hashing, someone told me “You’ll see a lot and travel if you get into hashing.” Sure enough, few weeks later I was invited join a group of hashers travelling by bus from Pattaya to Siem Reap for Cambodia’s national hash weekend. I had never been to Cambodia before, nor seen Angkor Wat, nor been to a national hash, so I signed up.
For those unaware, a national hash, or nash hash, is a weekend event for hashers from national and international hash clubs that want to run together. These events are usually organised by various countries and hash clubs willing to host and run the events and they are generally very popular. Phnom Penn and Siem Reap hash clubs jointly organised this weekend, which included three runs, a dinner and lunch, plus a full tour of Angkor Wat. I was rather excited when I packed. Continue reading