Jungle Takeover

Trip Start Oct 30, 2012
Trip End May 30, 2013

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What I did
Beng Mealea

Flag of Cambodia  , Khétt Siĕm Réab,
Thursday, November 22, 2012

Today we ventured quite a bit farther from the main temples to get away from the hoards and well-trodden paths.

Brian had read about a temple named Beng Mealea, about 65km away. Sounds close, but from
Siem Reap is almost 2 hours by tuk-tuk along some crazy roads.

This temple has only been open for about 7 years as they had to spend a few years clearning away the landmines. Unlike most of the other temples, it is not undergoing any restoration work (yet). We were quite excited, to see something in it's more natural state, away from people? Worth the 2 hour bumpy ride? Yup! Supposedly, this was the one temple you could feel like an explorer coming upon ruins and poke around as you wish. It's also not part of the main complex, and thus incurs an additional charge.

At first glance along the path, it seemed to be just a pile of rubble. Without the restoration, things have been left as they are. However, upon closer look, we saw that you could clamber over/under/around anything!  Discovering small rooms draped with vines and covered with moss, climbing across the tops of old walls to get around, walking through mud. Most of all, marvelling over the beauty of the trees and roots that seem to be holding everything together (while also breaking it apart).

By far the coolest place we've been to yet. Almost makes the trip to Siem Reap worth it...

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Paul on

Love your post, but tired of hearing the complaints about other tourist. You are a tourist too and tourism makes it possible to see these sites. Thanks for your post, enjoy your tour.

2totango on

I'll try to rein back a bit ;) We do have problems with big crowds. A lot of people like the buzz of busy areas, but we like the opposite.

Chacun son goût!

jaymyson on

Paul said what I didn't have the guts to say! Sorry guys, but I second Paul's notion.

fay crombie on

I would feel bad if I knew you were reigning in; I want to hear YOUR story

2totango on

awe, thanks! be forwarned, i have some more good tourist rants coming up for Luang Prabang.

we do do some 'tourist' activities from time to time, but i prefer to think we're travellers, not tourists...

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