3 amazing days of temple exploring

Trip Start Jan 16, 2011
Trip End Mar 26, 2011

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Perhaps the highlight of my trip! I hope my photos show how amazing (magical?) this place is! I tried to cram so much into my time and it was all a little overwhelming and hard to process the magnitude of work that went into making these temples... They said Angkor wat alone took over 35 years to make and millions of people. Moving the stone by elephant from 50 kilometers away.
I think my favorite was at Angkor thom, the Bayon temple! So amazing! So many faces! I was also lucky to go far out of the way to a special temple called "Banteay Srei" or Citadel of Women. Maybe that was my favorite! They say when they rediscovered it they were sure it must be from the 1300s or 1400s since there was still so much detail... But in fact was built in the mid 900s!!! Over a thousand years old and some of the details are better than what the artists can do today!
Sure most of it is still in rubble or been destroyed during many of the conflicts the khmer people have been involved in. I had so much fun finding a nice shady place to sit and imagine what these sites looked like when they were first finished... So hard to believe it was all made with hand tools and just elephants to move the massive stones!
No wonder it's the #2 wonder of the world!
I will be back! And I will use the same tuk tuk! Mr Kim Soyean was great! (thanks again tripadvisor for the reliable recommendation!) Always had a towel and bottle of water waiting for me, I was a disgusting, sweat mess everytime I headed back after exploring each temple site. Although we had to change our itinerary because he said the monks were having a special day (likely tuk tuk story!!) for the full moon and that angkor wat would be closed in the afternoon. But it was a full moon and I know the monks do follow lunar stuff, and Angkor wat is the most important.
Words can't explain how much I enjoyed my time here. Even my time off from site see was enjoyable. I had an incredible room to myself with icy AC, TV with discovery channel in English, my own bathroom, and breakfast of coffee, toast and egg all for $10USD a night! The town was about 10 minutes walk or a couple minutes by $2 taxi. Food was great, Khmer food was a lot of BBQ but I found a Mexican restaurant with $1 tacos and $.50 beers! It's so odd using US dollars in a foreign country, the ATMs pump out $50 bills unlike yours that give $20s so you feel rich paying for your $5 tab with a fifty!
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