Temples continued and strange things happen.....

Trip Start Nov 16, 2011
Trip End Jul 28, 2012

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Siem Reap and temples continued...

The temples surrounding Angkor Wat are so huge and there are so many that i have had to split the entry so i can capture everything and i was getting repetitive strain injury from uploading all the pictures on the first day.

So on our second day we get a little lie in and don't meet our tuk tuk driver until 9am, starting a little later may have been a mistake because by 11:00 am the temperature was over 40c and rising.

The temples we would visit today were a bit further away from Siem Reap (around 30km), we felt sorry for those people who had decided to rent a push bike for this part of the journey and would see some people give up and catch a tuk tuk instead.

After about 25 minutes in the tuk tuk we reached our first destination which is known as the East Mebon Temple. The most significant thing about East Mebon was that it had statues of elephants on every corner of the temple, it was very small compared to the places we had seen yesterday so we walked around the whole temple very quickly and then headed for the next place.

Pre Rup was our second temple of the day and this temple was a twin of the East Mebon temple, so they were both very simple in style but it did not have the elephants that the first temple had. This one looked a bit more decayed compared to some of the other places but it think it was because it was built in a mountain type style. This temple is apparently better to visit in the afternoon when the sun reflects different colours in the brick, we didn't see this but i thought it was an interesting fact.

Banteay Srei was our third temple and one of the most detailed in terms of its design and its architecture. Its made out of red sandstone and was a temple dedicated to women and the gods Hindu and Shiva. This temple was was very small but we spent alot of time here looking at all the carved sandstone, it was amazing to see and hard to imagine how long each aspect would have taken to create and its is definitely one of the Khmer's little jewels as its described.

There were less people at the Banteay Srei, which is probably because some people just buy day tickets and only go to the temples we went to on the previous day, i think that they really missed out by not visiting the outer temples, as each one has its unique design and how often do you see pink temples! actually probably alot in Asia but that is not the point.

By the fourth temple the heat is starting to get to us and sweat is pouring off our faces, its starting to reach 42c and even our tuk tuk driver asks if we want to stop in a shady spot or need to buy some water, we must look terrible. We plough on though and head to the Ta Som temple which is very similar to the temple with the tree we saw yesterday but alot smaller. There are more people selling outside this place than the other and the children are trying to make you feel guilty. We try not to buy from children as if they make money it discourages their parents from sending them for schooling. I get tricked in this temple and this little girl asks me to play naughts and crosses with here so i do. Nobody wins the first few games but then she says if you win the next game i will give you a bracelet but if i win you buy one....and then i lost. This caused a nightmare because another girl saw me buy one and then she kept asking me why i bought from the other girl and not her, they can get very rude if they think you should buy from them too, we just left after quickly viewing the temple and headed back, but not before Andy had bought some type of instrument to make music with.

Our last temple and the one that involved the most walking of the day was the Preah Khan temple, Something very strange happened to the sun in this place, i didn't notice at first until i came across people laying on their backs on the floor, which was very strange, so i looked up. The sun was encased in a black circle and it had a rainbow around the outside of the blackness it was very eerie to see in this temple because it was so quiet, with only about 6 others apart from Andy and I in there.

This temple was very big and we were glad we had taken water with us, it seemed to go on for ever and with so few people here we were not even sure if we were going the right way. On the way out we found a little band where all the players were amputees, we donated some money to them as this is now their only way to make an income and at least they are trying to earn money honestly and not begging like so many others around the temple.

We headed back to Tom and the tuk tuk and asked him about the sun and he said its very rare but basically it means its going to rain as the humidity and temperature is so high....hence why Andy and i were so sweaty. We paid tom for our 3 days when we got back paying $6 for the sunset, $12 for the first day and $20 for the last day we also gave him a tip for being so honest as alot of the drivers rip you off if we can and we definitely paid alot less than some people.

Unfortunately Andy was poorly the rest of the afternoon from all the heat and sunshine but we did make it out to the night markets again before leaving the city and i got a real bargain. I had wanted this dress with elephant pictures on it and every night had been quoted $12 but by the end of this haggling i had bought 2 dresses for me and a t-shirt for Andy for $11 it was a bargain!

If you haven't worked it out Cambodia mainly uses US $ as their currency and only uses Riel for anything under $1, it was very confusing to deal with 2 currencies in one place.

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Helen C on

Wow all looks amazing, the sun thing looked really cool too. How amazing to get to see it when you were in amongst all the temples. Another experience to add to the memory bank! xxx

Krystal Thompson on

Love the photos, especially the one of you losing your game and the one of the elephant statue, not sure why, I just do!

Carrie on

I haven't had time to read all your entries, but from the ones I have read it sounds like you guys are having an amazing time. Just your luck Dawn , that it was your flip flops that got stolen! The sun thing is very odd, but such an amazing thing to be able tell people you have seen. You are so lucky to have so many wonderful experiences and memories which will last you a life time. Can't wait to see you when you get back and to hear your stories. I also can't wait for Dylan to meet you I hope you will be able to share you stories with him when he is older. Anyway enjoy the rest of your time travelling, make more memories and stay safe. xx

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