I get the feeling we are being watched!

Trip Start Mar 18, 2009
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Trip End Jan 12, 2010


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Sunday, July 5, 2009

It's day 7 of our Angkor experience and we have decided to save the best to last. After having a slightly longer lie in, we awoke at 5am and cycled for the last time to the Angkor ticket booth. Our pace was much more relaxed as we didn't need to get to Angkor Thom until around 7am for the best light at the Bayon temple. Possibly the jewel in the Angkor Civilization crown, well that's our opinion anyway.

Bayon (12th - 13th century) was built by king Jayavarman VII and Jayavarman VIII, the most active kings in the empire. It is a relatively small complex but has so much detail in its architecture, possibly eclipsing that of Angkor Wat. Its outer walls were covered in some of the finest bas reliefs we have seen. Thousands of dancing apsaras were engraved on the hundreds of pillars inside the complex. While the most outstanding of its features are the 37 face towers.

In the right light it can be an eerie experience. Over a hundred faces smiling at you from all directions, that must have been some sight, especially in its pinnacle years when the surrounding people would have no doubt feared and loved this symbolic complex. Oh and it gets even better when you climb the stairs to the top tier. A small terrace is completely surrounded by floating heads. I'll let the pictures do the talking. By the way, some of the photos are in sepia because we were unfortunately not blessed with the best light that day.

Wow, that's it. We have seen everything. A sense of accomplishment and sadness washed over us as we cycled back to the hotel. It has been such a prominent part of our daily life for the past week and has given us glimpses into some wonders of the world. Will we ever see something like this again on our trip? Who knows.

We had three more days in Siem Reap before we would move onto Battambang. Our first was spent relaxing in our room and resting our weary legs and bottoms. The second we went souvenir shopping in the old market in town. Again discovering how bad we are at haggling. I have developed a silent technique, which means I stand with a blank look and not reply to the merchants offers, forcing them to reduce their price to hold my interest. It does work a little :). For dinner that evening we went to La Residence D'Angkor for a posh dinner and apsara show, toasting to Emma's brother Daniel's recent engagement to Johanna.

Our final day in Siem Reap was spent in the Borei Hotel and Spa, roughly 2 minutes cycle away from the Golden Mango Inn. For $10 each we go to use their large swimming pool and dine in some poolside luxury. Unfortunately the day was marred with a slight upset stomach on my part. Put it this way, I have never cycled so fast back to the hotel before.

Anyway tomorrow we move onto Battambang a sleepy town in the Northwest of Cambodia, roughly 3-4 hours from Siem Reap. We have really enjoyed our time in Siem Reap and a special thanks goes to the Golden Mango Inn hotel. By far our best hotel in Cambodia and in our top 3 so far on this trip.
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Comments

rfbevis
rfbevis on

I love fish and chips!!
I am so glad the Golden Mango was such a good place to stay...we will email them later to remind them about our booking.
The basic diet of burgers, cocktails and chips seems to suit you! I must continue with the diet so I can eat like that for a month:-) I really miss fish and chips...covered with salt and vinegar...oh dear I'm almost dribbling.

Love Ma

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