It was a beautiful walk through Banteay Srei, a 10th century temple north of Angkor Wat, on my second day in Siem Reap–I had decided a tour would allow me greater opportunity to meet people, possibly find some people with whom to celebrate the New Year the next day. Instead, I met a Dutch expat living in China who agreed to take a 40-mile bike ride along the dirt roads around Angkor Wat. I also had my picture taken by a monk with a cell phone.Banteay Srei lake

On our way back to the tour bus, we exited the back of the temple and wandered along quieter paths devoid of other tourists. Along the way we paused by the lake for photos and to enjoy the quiet before heading back to the crowds around Angkor Wat and Siem Reap during the high season.Banteay Srei boat

It was a moment of calm in the rising heat of the day. Had I not been on a tour with a set itinerary, I may have sat staring out at the lake for longer before heading to the next destination. This spot offered a great frame for the photo and an opportunity to play with some of my camera settings–not all the settings worked out well and I’ve had to delete a few photos.

Where have you found calm while on a tour of a major destination?

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