Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Temples of Angkor Wat

We dragged ourselves out of bed at 4.30am in time to meet the sun rising over Angkor Wat. Unfortunately, it was none too spectacular, just a slow uncovering of the scaffolding covered Wat as the sky slowly lightened (we have heard this can be spectacular though). We then walked 15mins uphill to the top of to Phnom Bakheng a pyramid shaped structure with steep steps leading up & up & up on 4 sides, from where Angkor Wat could be glimpsed way down below, it was a lovely peaceful place to hang out and take in the surrounds.
As we headed off to the large Angkor Thom complex, we passed a long stream of wrinkly, saggy, baggy, big brown eyed elephant taxis on their way to ferry tourists around the Wats (our first close up encounter of the elephant kind). Brad snapped the perfect picture of Monks on the bleak grey background of Bayon, before they headed off in their Monk mobile. Bayon was a lifesize 3D puzzle in the process of being put back together, with 4 sided towers of smiling faces at every turn. Throughout the rest of this temple complex, we viewed beautiful carvings, walked up many steep steps, and said no to many trinket sellers. We visited one more temple before Ta Prohm which was most like what we expected to see throughout our visit of the ancient temples.
It is a temple hidden amongst the forest, crumbling with massive trees growing up & throughout the ruins. We skipped the last temple on our planned circuit due to the onset of temple fatigue, before heading back to Angkor Wat to finish off our 7 hour whirlwind visit of some of the temples of Siem Reap.

Wat a day!!

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