Exploring Angkor and Kat's Birthday! :)
Trip Start Apr 26, 2010
33Trip End Aug 18, 2010
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We took a taxi into Siem Reap and decided to stay at the red lodge. It's an old French colonnial building with a very grand staircase and balconies. The room was basic but had big wooden shutters on the windows. The first day we spent resting as we'd been up all night in the airport. Then we went off to have a look at the local area. We were pleased to find that there are a great many places serving buy one get one free cocktails and beer for 50 cents
The next day we got up really early and checked ourselves into Le Tigre du Papier which was my birthday treat. It's a boutique hotel, also in an old Frech colonnial building. We had a TV and fridge in our room and there was a jacuzzi on the balcony and swimming pool outside! Very luxurious compared to what we've been accustomed too. We then found ourselves a tuk tuk driver for the day and took off to explore the temples of Angkor. We had a 3 day pass (which fortunately you can spread out over 7 days or I fear we may have been temple-d out!) and decided to start with the oldest temples first so that we could see how the architecture had evolved. We spent about 7 hours in the temples and saw the Roluos Group which were the first temples to built in the late 9th century. After that we saw Pre Rup, Eastern Madon, Ta Som, Neak Poah and Preah Khan. Preah Khan has trees that have grown up around the stone and appear to be gripping on to it. The main gate (which I've put a picture up of) has been completely entwined by a big tree. I thought it was amazing to see these huge, old trees that are younger than the buildings they've grown around and on top of!
The next day was my birthday and we woke up in our lovely hotel! Ewan had found a bottle of pinot grigio and somehow a president camembert
We both decided to make Khmer Pumpkin Soup and a Khmer Amok curry. It took about 2 hours to prepare it all and there was a lot of focus on presentation too. We even got to make little bowls from banana leaf and flowers from tomato skins....quite tricky! At the end we got to eat it with all the four other people in the group. There was loads of food and it was really tasty. Can't wait to make it when I get home! The other people in the group were really nice and the morning passed really quickly.
We spent the afternoon enjoying the pool, jacuzzi and cocktails at the hotel. I also managed to get through a fair bit of my birthday camembert hacking away at it with my swiss army knife! Lovely!! :)
Yesterday we went back to Angkor and visited Angkor Thom - Bayon, Baphoun, the Terrace of the Leper King, the Terrace of the Elephants and Ta Prohm
Today we're having a day of relaxation and tomorrow we're going to see the big one - Angkor Wat. We've driven past it a few times and it's surrounded by a huge moat. Really looking forward to it!
Thank you all for your birthday wishes...there were loads of them and I was so pleased to hear from you.
After having quite a lazy day on Kat's birthday we headed out to go and see the Banteay Srei temple and Angkor Wat. While looking around for a means of transport in Siem Reap we stumbled upon the rock and roll tuc tuc! Borei, the driver has kitted out his humble steed with a stereo and DVD player, as well as a microphone which he yells 'yo-yo-yo rock and roll tuc tuc' from at any given opportunity. After a few soul cripplingly embarasing minutes of being bombarded with the Venga Boys on the main street of Siem reap while Borei showed us how to work the sound system we we sped out of town listening to the delights of Led Zeppelin I of towards the Banteay Srei temple. Its a relatively small temple about 45mins -1hr outside of Siem Reap thats been really well preserved and has the most ornate carving of any of the Angkor temples that we'd seen so far. After a quick stop off there it was back on board the rock n' roll tuck tuck and off to Angkor Wat.
Angkor Wat is considered by some to be the eight wonder of the world and is the largest religious monument in the world. It has a huge moat and an outer wall thats about 3.6 Killometres long and was built around the 12th Century during the reign of the Khmer king Suryavarman II, and a very impressive momument! After a couple of hours wandering round the grounds we headed back home and packed all ready for our bus trip to Phnom Penh in the morning...