April 2nd Scoutt and Annetta landed in Siem Reap at 7:10am, I was waiting at the airport for them with our fantastic Tuk-tuk driver Mr. Tong, and tasty French pastries. It has been Go-Go-Go since then. We spent three days exploring the temples of Angkor.
Day One: “The big loop”
Up at 6:00, on the road by 7:00, This loop consisted of the less touristic temples including Ta Prom which is completely covered in Trees that start with a seed on the roof of a building and crop down roots that take over walls and roof-tops and eventually bring the stone crumbling down.
Our song for the day was “I’m hot, sweaty, stinky and exhausted.” but the temples were beautiful and we even spotted a monkey on our way back to town.
Day Two: “The little loop”
Up at 4:30, on the road at 5:00. The goal was to see sunrise at Angkor Wat, then explore Angkor Thom before the hoards of one day visitors hit the park. Sunrise was beautiful, watching the colors change and the dawn light crawl up the temple. But after seeing the older and more ruinous temples the day before Angkor Wat looked a bit like an European park. As soon as the sun came up the weather got hot and it didn’t take long for the tourist to hit Angkor. Off to Angkor Thom, best know for Bayon with the multiple face towers and the cite of a good part of the first Laura Croft, Tumb Raider movie.
Day Three: “The Long Ride”
We decided to take day three slow and get started at 9:30, but it was by no means an easy day. We drove by two motobikes for an hour on rough and often unpaved roads to a small ornate temple. Almost every surface held carvings of Vishnu, Krishna and other gods. As tour buses unloaded mass groups of Japanese tourist I sat outside the wall and watched a girl play (see next post “Aw Koon”) and soon we where back on the bikes for another hour to Beng Mealea.
Beng Mealea was our last temple and we felt a bit like Indiana Jones climbing threw the ruins, jumping for fallen stone to fallen stone. This temple has not been restored at all and it gives you an idea of what the French must have seen when the re-discovered the amazing artifacts of the Khemr Empire.
I know that my short post does not do the grandeur of the temples of Angkor justice but I nothing I could write, no picture I could post could do it justice. If you want more, you will just have to come and see it yourself.