Temple Treking at Angkor
Trip Start Dec 31, 2004
71Trip End Apr 22, 2005
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At the end of the first day my driver, Prom and I were planning out the itinerary for the next and deciding what time he should pick me up. I pointed to one page in my guidebook and said, "All right, so I've done all of these on this page and..." Prom stopped me and smiled and pointing to a spot no larger than a thumbprint said, "No madame you only saw this little bit today." Even with a map in front of me I still didn't believe it. It is the end of day two with another yet to go and I am just now beginning to grasp the vastness of the temples.
Angkor Wat the most famous is surprisingly not my favourite of the temples but it's damned impressive and I was nonetheless awestruck to stand in front of it and climb on it and through it. When people I've spoken with mentioned temple trekking I scoffed mainly because I am not the trekking type and anyway I thought, How does one trek a temple? There are more carved and worn and insanely steep steps to climb and I don't mean simply ascend I mean hands on the steps ahead of you and feet coming together on each step before going further up
It would be impossible for me to accurately describe the intimidation of their scale and the respect I feel for these works of art and devotion but suffice it to say that I was wholly overwhelmed. It would also be foolish for me to describe them visually in detail since the next best thing to being there is to see what I've photographed. I strongly encourage you to open the shots up to full screen as the detail in many of them is truly magnificent.
One of the things often said by travelers is how we all end up running in to each other over and over. I saw a couple yesterday at Angkor from Bangkok and I saw the exhausting fruit cake from the FCC in Phnom Penh who only wanted to talk about the fabulous hotel in Taiwan that he so adored and when I saw him in one of the temples here I walked right past him. Several times I saw so many of the same people that we eventually had to start verbally greeting one another. Then today just as I was almost templed out (a common maxim in these parts) for the day I was lounging back in my tuk-tuk heading to another temple when I heard my name
The girls had to tuck in early since they're ambitious enough to head to Angkor for the sunrise tomorrow morning. I toyed with the idea and then thought better of it -- seeing the sunrise that is. My only ambition is to see as much as I can and not fall. My tuk-tuk driver arrives bright and early tomorrow for my final day of temple trekking and I'll need all the rest I can get so it's off to bed for me as well. I'll also have to stop back and bid a final farewell to Angkor Wat at sunset.