So far we’ve spent two days looking around the site of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom which are awesomely elaborate massive temples covering areas of hundreds of square kilometres.
The way the structures would have loomed out of the jungle when first discovered by westerners would have been awe-inspiring. Even surrounded by 100s of tourists the sight is still amazing and it’s easy to imagine how it would have looked back then when the jungle had taken over.
We only saw a few shrines within the temples and only this one nun who offered blessings to Cambodians and tourists alike.
We enjoyed making our own way around without a guide. We got some information from onsite posters and a bit more from a guidebook we borrowed at the hotel but mainly we just enjoyed the visual experience.
The detailed carvings and statues are amazing. Many details have been restored so you can see what it would have looked like originally but part of the charm lies in the crumbled state.
This photo of Nick doing his bit for Western Australian mining fashion is for Evangeline and Aren (and their mum who kindly bought the fluorescent socks).
LETTER from Nick, this is for you Norah and anybody else who are interested in more detail:
After Kuala Lumpur we flew to Siem Reap. We checked into a small hotel in the centre of old Siem Reap, for first two days I was on my back, must have done the one thing I heard you should not do which is strain with luggage after a long flight. Anyway all good now and have been out and about visiting sites and temples in the searing heat for hours on end.
Siem Reip in quaint and from all the amenities it’s clearly geared for visitors but that doesn’t make it any less of an adventure. Malene goes to the old market in the morning and haggles for our breakfast which is mostly bread and fruit, found these nice little seed covered buns which go down a treat as for my waist line, not sure.
Spent some time exploring other little hotels for when we meet up with Julie and Becky in early April and although our current place is great it maybe a little cramped and can get noisy from the bar across the lane. As for bars we have already found the one, called One For The Road. It’s perfect, an extensive list of cocktails priced at $2 cocktails – the ones we have sampled are fantastic, the real thing and you just need two to get the party started (Malene only one). Didn’t mention it’s like a pop-up bar with a few seats in a lane-way.
Food has been nice but not like the flavours we found in Vietnam, so we are still on the look-out, its still early days (5) so far tried some upmarket restaurants and some lower end but not had the courage for the ultimate prize which is the very bottom end for obvious concerns but am sure that time will come willingly or not haha.
Hired a Tuk-Tuk which is a small motorised rickshaw to visit the archaeological sites. At $20 per day its not a bad deal and in general as with everything haven’t had the feeling that we are paying too much above the going rate. The price range is narrow on most things, am sure we pay way more than locals but that is how it is everywhere, quality though matters.
Anyway back to the sites, spent two days looking around the site of Angkor Wot and Angkor Thom which are awesomely elaborate massive temples covering areas of hundreds of square kilometres. The way they would have once loomed out of the jungle when first discovered by westerners would have been awe-inspiring and although still amazing, have lost some of that and been replaced by loads of French and Chinese tourists some of which can be of entertainment value, as for the French well……
After 45 years of lying dormant somewhere between my ears and my bald patch my French made a Renaissance in an attempt to tackle a guy ticking me off for being outside the designated lanes, it went as follows – pardon Monsieur, regarde no tablaux sur mon voyage (no sign where I came from you idiot) je suis voir maintenant le tablaux (I see it now you twit). As it is everywhere, one can easily come down the wrong path and before you realise you are in the wrong place. Anyway I was impressed with my French that is.
As for the sites the photos speak better than words, what was interesting is the little I could glean of the then culture which was about 1,000 years ago, fantastic architects and obviously a religious people (first Hindu then Buddhist) no obvious Greek or Roman debauchery but also they lacked, as mentioned in books, strong engineering knowledge so possibly more religious than science driven with no obvious debauchery :-(.
A point of note is that if you drink enough before visiting the sites and keep up your fluid intake during the day, on a hot day you can reach a state of “Self-Shower”, your own pores become an efficient shower-head keeping you cool under the hot sun, believe it if you want.
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