Jul 28, 2009


The ancient Khmer capital of Angkor comprises of dozens of temples. The most famous - and largest single temple - is of course, Angkor Wat.

We arrived in the blue-grey light of mid-dawn. It had rained the night before (it's rainy season) so we were not blessed with a perfect sunrise, but still. The sight is not one to be complain about:

We spent an hour just gazing at the towers, before heading in to see the magnificent carvings that adorn the walls of the outer passages:

It was still and hot, despite the early hour. There's no wind, no movement, virtually no sound. It's a old, warm place.
After a much-needed breakfast and drink break, we moved on to the Angkor Thom complex, which is the largest area overall, and has the most ruins. We started with the eye-catching Bayon:
Can you spot all the faces carved into the towers? I certainly couldn't. They're beautiful up close though:
We weaved our way in and around more temples of the complex. The Wah scrambled up decaying and steep staircases like Spiderman. Clunking around with my big camera, I was more cautious.
The temples at Angkor were "discovered" by the French in the 1860s. Previously, they'd been lost to the jungle, known only to locals. We saw a good example of this at Ta Prohm, where many giant trees have been left in place to show tourists what those explorers must have seen when they first cut their way in:
It was an awesome couple of days at the temples. I cannot wait to return to Siem Reap, and Angkor. It's a wonderful town, with gorgeous people, fantastic eating and night-life, and shopping to die for.
Oh yes, and we also saw monkeys:

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