Temples of Angkor Day 1

26th May 2004.

We had been advised that exploring the ancient temples of the Kingdom of Angkor would take a week.... But Claire knows best so we opted for the 3 day ticket and braced ourselves for the rush.

The temples of Angkor were constructed between the 9th and 14th centuries AD when the Khmer civilisation was at its peak. They controlled territory from Southern Vietnam to Yunnan in China, most of Thailand, and some of Burma enabling them to construct the worlds greatest temples.

The French rediscovered Angkor in 1860 after most of the temples were left to the jungle for hundreds of years.

We started at around 5am with sunrise at Angkor Wat.

Click for more detail on the temple of Angkor Wat.

Claire, Dan and Jo in the transport of the rich and famous.

Mr Yuthnay is looking fairly dashing up front as well.

To avoid the crowds we headed to Preah Khan as soon as the fiasco, that is Sunrise at Angkor Wat, was finished.

The temple appears to be one of Angkors low-lights judging from its review, but we quickly realise it is around 300m across and contains amazing sculptures, bass reliefs and the odd tree growing on top.

We now realise there aren't enough hours in the day to see all of Angkor.

On the way out of Preah Khan we found this snake... apparently deadly... so we didn't tease it.

Next was Preah Neak Pean which was a fairly simple pool complex that had the best scorpion we had ever seen. This thing was around 8 inches long and looked like it was amour plated. Jason tried to play with it while Claire ran away.

The heavily mined band... not a pun!

Music is played in many of the temples complexes but those that have lost limbs or been blinded etc by that hang-over of the "cold-war" of the landmine.

These guys were good, so we stood and listened for a bit.

Ta Som was rumoured to have a temple "money shot" and we think it does. At the back of the temple complex was this gate and tree combo.

Then it was East Mebon and Pre Rup which are quite similar temples (this is Pre Rup)

Pre Rup was the scene of the best hawker sulking we'd seen so far. Everywhere you go in Angkor you get "Hello Mister, you buy (insert crap here)"

We didn't want a bracelet but we did get a sour face.

It must be time for some lunch it was back to Siam Reap.

After lunch we visited the partly ruin complex of Banteay Kdei. This is not regarded as one of the top 5 temples in the area but it took a good 2 hours of our time and we quickly realised that Angkor is massive.

Looking across Sras Srang

Child of the umbrella, and maybe a little Agent Orange judging from the deformities.

We went for sunset from the top of Phnom Bakheng where Claire met this nice young monk. He wanted money for studying English so "Green Claire" thought she'd help him out with a dollar. Jason found this rather amusing as he took the money straight into his hand, directly from Claire (a girl), and then let Claire touch him in a photo.

All of this is not permissable behaviour for a monk!

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