To Rock and Ruins!
Trip Start Dec 26, 2010
40Trip End Feb 03, 2011
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Where I stayed
Heart of Angkor guesthouse
Banteay Svey at 37 km away from Siem Reap was in fact a leisurely ride though local villages and the countryside. This site was unbelievably touristy, lined with enough souvenir stalls to rival Siem Reap town centre. Banteay Svey itself is smaller but showcases many intricate cravings on the walls. It probably felt alot smaller than it should, owing to the swarm of tourists. The sun was strong and without shade, many just had a quick wander through, myself included. One consistent feature at Angkor sites - clean public toilets. That is really worth a mention here.
The highlight of today was no doubt the Banteay Samre, much nearer to the Angkor ruins
The opportunity to consume half-embryonic duck egg presented itself just outside of Banteay Samre and I just had to have one. The khmer version was simpler with salt and pepper together with a squish of fresh lime. Still tasty I must say. East Mebon was not given much attention until I read that it is situated in the middle of East Baray measuring 8 km by 1 km. It has similar features to Ta Keo and Pre Rup with tall towers on a square grid sitting on a pyramid styled temple mountain.
Ta Som and Preah Khan on the other hand eluded that same mythical feel of Banteay Samre with a cruciform layout and stone ruins. The linear doorways in the middle create such a powerful force in sightlines due to its distance
It was nearing 5pm and we raced to Phnom Bakheng for my sundown shots. A small hill with some pyramid temple ruins, the entire premise was madness. The entire army of bus tourists congregated here as they would for the new year's countdown. I be(e)came... ...The Swarm. The sundown over Siem Reap itself was spectacular, especially when airplanes took off against the setting sun. My photos did not do any justice. The reward was just being able to witness this solar event of such magnificence and beauty.