Temples in the rain and the sun

Trip Start Oct 04, 2011
Trip End Nov 29, 2011

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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Monday, October 17, 2011

Terrible storm overnight and pouring with rain as we set of at 5.30am! However this meant that there were no tourists at the temple we went to - Ta Prohm (the one which is in TombRaider). Whilst I thought Angkor Wat was amazing yesterday , Ta Prohm surpassed it. It’s surrounded by jungle and is very ruined and has enormous tress growing over and through the walls . Coupled with the parrots and parakeets flying overhead it was magical and is definitely my favourite of all the temples we have seen so far. The journey there was quite eventful as the roads are very flooded and muddy and part way there the car sank to its axle in the mud and wouldn’t move. We walked the rest of the way (in the pouring rain - the red rain ponchos are getting a lot of wear this holiday!) and the driver had to get someone to come and tow him out of the mud.

The rain stopped and after a quick breakfast and a change into some dry clothes (although after 5 minutes out in the sun we were so hot it was as if we had stood under a shower so we needn’t have bothered changing) we set off to do the Grand Tour of the temples. Angkor Thom was the main city of the area and the Bayon was its temple (the city actually had a population of 1 million at its height - way more than any European city at that time). Climbed to the the third terrace of the Bayon (lots of steep steps but a hand rail to help!) to look at the multitude of smiling faces which are at the top of each tower.

Then on to Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Som and Pre Rup - which are all in danger of merging into one now! Neak Pean was built on a lake surrounded by four other ponds and they usually are dry - however due to the flood we couldn’t actually get to them and had to walk across a newly constructed board walk to get to a viewing point (last week the guide had to wade through the water to get to them - goodness knows what was in it!).

Pre Rup has some very steep steps with no handrail but a wonderful view over the jungle from the top - going up was relatively easy but coming down was scary - especially the first step.

At each temple there were some small children trying to sell things - although not as many as I was expecting - they were so sweet , especially the very little girls - one said to me “If you not buy from me I’ll cry!” - but we resisted most of them (they seemed to like David and kept following him around!)

On the way back to the hotel the road was flooded and people were standing waist deep with fishing nets in the water at the side where there should have been fields . The water came up to the floor of the car - you could feel it bubbling beneath your feet - can’t do the cars any good at all.

Going to see just how bad Pub  Street is this evening - but it doesn't sound good!
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