Angkor Wat and Temples

Trip Start Jan 23, 2013
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Trip End Jul 23, 2013


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Flag of Cambodia  , Siem Reap,
Saturday, March 2, 2013

No word of a lie, we got up at 06:00. This was because we had booked a Tuk Tuk to take us to Angkor Wat and the other temples around the area. The previous evening I had tried to convince Terry to book the Tuk Tuk at 05:15 as would have liked to have seen sunrise at Angkor Wat, but he didn't think that was necessary.

The ride to Angkor Wat took about 20 mins and was a little hair raising. Oh, I forgot to say, Terry was STILL not feeling well; so I heard the occasionally groan from him. These Tuk Tuks, which are towed on the back of motorcycles, only have two wheels so are much more bumpy and tend to lean a little more on corners. We didn't know the name of our driver, but we had Tuk Tuk No. 9

Angkor Wat Temple has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag. The Temple was originally built in the 12th Century for King Suriyavaram 2nd. as his state temple and capital city, and remains a significant religious centre to this day. We walked around the Temple for about an hour, and as it was still relatively early it wasn't mobbed, but when we left the crowds had started pouring in. Terry did well and only keeled over in pain once or twice - I had told him to take an Ibroprufen before we left.

From Angkor Wat our next stop was Angkor Thom; this was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire. It was established in the late 12th. century and covers an area of 9 km2, so we didn't walk all around it! Within the walls of Angkor Thom is The Bayon, which was built as an official state temple. The Bayon's most distinctive features must be the multitude of serene and massive stone faces, that are carved into the stones of the tall towers. Every where you were, you felt you were being watched!

From Angkor Thom, No. 9 took us to Preah Khan, one of the largest complexes at Angkor. Preah Khan once housed more than 1000 teachers and may have been a Buddhist University. The Temple was in a much worse state of disrepair than Angkor Wat and like many of the Temples we saw or passed during the day, was subject to restoration.

It was almost midday by this time; our most favourite time to be outside. Terry seemed to have chirped up a little although said his stomach was still occasionally turning over like a washing machine. We decided we would by pass a couple of the smaller Temples so asked No. 9 to take us to Ta Prohm, which was a little further out.

Unlike most Angkorian temples, Ta Prohm; built in the 12th. century, has been left in much the same condition as it was found in its jungle surroundings. The atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins; sometimes splitting but other times binding the huge stones together, made us want to grab our cameras at each turn.

On the way out of the Temple complex a little girl stopped us and asked us to buy something from her. We bought some Postcards and I gave her some sweets. She was pleased to let us take a photo of her, little sweet pea.

By the time we reached No. 9, word of the funny little fat lady who gave out sweets had got round, and we were mobbed by about 30 children. I tried to hand out the sweets fairly, but it was useless. No. 9 looked worried for his Tuk Tuk and shouted at the crowd of children to go away, but while I still had sweets, they were not going to move. Not knowing what to do, I threw the whole bag a little far away from the Tuk Tuk hoping the children would move away so that we could drive off. It worked; but not before one little girl, who had been standing right by me and who Im sure I had already given some sweets to, looked at me darkly and said 'you stupid woman' Charming. I didn't know they were still showing 'Allo Allo' in Cambodia.

We asked No. 9 to head back to the Hotel as Terry really needed a rest and I was upset after the children incident. He tried to convince us to visit the Floating Market, but Terry worried that the sight and smell of fresh meat and fish, might be just a step too close to his fear of a 'Homestay'' experience, so we said we would give it a miss, in case it tipped him over the edge.

When we got back to the Hotel the power was off again, so we popped into the town centre for a beer and a bite to eat. Not wanting to risk anything spicy, we committed the cardinal sin of ordering a plate of French Fries. They were delicious.

Back at the Hotel the power was still off, so we had to have showers in torch light. We have learned since being here that Cambodia gets all its electricity from neighbouring countries, and has to ration it across the country. It seemed weird not to be able to access the Internet or get emails, it didn't matter so much that we didn't have light or air conditioning!

As soon as the electricity came back on we looked at ways of getting to Thailand. It would seem that the only way to get to any of the Islands is to go to Bangkok first, so we had a choice of a 12 hr bus journey or fly. Terry booked the flight......and then fell to sleep, so that was the end of our day. I stayed up and booked our next hotel and started to research which Islands we might end up at; it was a tough job, but somebody had to do it.
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Comments

Mandy Lovegrove on

You both look great, even tho Terry feels queasy. Passed your house twice this weekend......all quiet on the western front!! Missin you xxx

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