Angkor Temples

Trip Start Dec 17, 2004
Trip End Jan 15, 2004

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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Thursday, December 23, 2004

Yesterday and today we've been to the Temples of Ankgor they were AMAZING. They definatly reminded us of the Inca's 'Lost City of Gold'. Many of the temples are still part and parcel of the Jungle. Some have been maintained since the 12th Century and look great. Our 12th Century castle's hold nothing in comparison to these truly historic building. They were built from the 8th Century through to about 12th century. During the 16th Century some restoration work was done, but then the were 'rediscoverd (though they were never actually lost by the cambodian's) in 1890. Visitors started coming around this time and restoration work began again. With civil war starting in 1975, the buildings were used by the Khamar Rough as a weapon artilary, until 1979 when it was handed back. Then restoration began in earnest.

One of Temples was 50m high and to get to the to involved climbing lots of tiny stairs (not for the faint hearted or anyone with heart conditions!)and you know me, I dont do the heights thing. Even Ian was a bit daunted. I very nearly managed to get to the top but stopped at the second level down. Ian went all the way to experience the amazing views!! When I had to come back down I was nearly sick, I was so scared. If you peer over the edge you cant actually see the stairs down as they are so narrow, I do believe these ruins claim a few tourists during there time. It wouldn't be allowed in England, they would have to put a ski lift in place or something equally 'Nanny State'.

There is a lot of poverty, here but we try to buy things were we know the money will go to the cambodian people as they are truely lovely people. If you buy a t-shirt, postcards, drink and bracets for a $1 then they are more than happy to talk to you about what is happening in Cambodia and how they feel about things, which is generally good.

It is quite warm here, but there arn't a lot of tourist at the moment, which is apparently unusal for this time of year. The hotel we are staying in reminds me of the one in 'The Shining' due to its vastness and eerily long corridors, with echos of Christmas tunes playing. (in the shining I believe the family moved in for Christmas: Note to Dad, you'll have to watch the movie, its a horror!) Its a scary place!

Off to the beach tomorrow in the southern part of Cambodia. This involves a 5 hour boat trip down the Tonle Sap river to Phom Penh. Then a 2-4 hour bus trip to the beach resort. Apparently there is a full moon party booked for either Christmas Eve or Boxing day. Cant wait.....
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