- Parent Category: Blogs
- Category: Seadrive
- Created: Wednesday, 14 November 2007 08:01
- Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 November 2007 08:01
- Published: Wednesday, 14 November 2007 08:01
- Written by Mike Kesterton
- Hits: 189
The guide books tell us that Angkor Wat is best seen on the first visit after 2pm when the light is not directly behind it. So, the first temple complex is Angkor Thom, of which Bayon, and the huge stone faces, is the most famous. Then later to Ta Prohm, known as The Tomb Raider Temple, from the movie of the same name. We arrive at the South Gate of Angkor Thom , along with hordes of other tourists, Bun drops us off to take photos and walk through the gate. We give up trying to take a shot without people in it. This is what it is really like: lots of tourists. Bun meets us on the other side, where there are even more people and numerous local people selling books of Angkor, souvenirs, drinks , postcards , hats etc. etc. etc. I must admit our first impression was, oh my god, too many people, this is going to spoil the whole atmosphere. It was a zoo, complete with the elephant rides. However, we pressed on. Our next stop in the Angkor Thom complex is Bayon. The large stone faces are amazing. Once inside you just wander around and find areas that are not too crowded.
We stopped for lunch at the restaurant opposite Angkor Wat. They do great meals and the dishes in young coconut look terrific. The speciality of the region is Amok, which can be chicken, fish or meat in Khmer spices, often served in the coconut shell. Very exotique.
Other parts of the Angkor Thom complex are : Baphuon, Terraces of Elephants, Terrace of Leper King, Phimeanakas, Preah Pithu group, North Kleang.
Ta Prohm - also known as the Tomb Raider Temple for those movie buffs. Nature slowly reclaim the temple. The giant fig trees grow spectacularly out of parts of the temple. Parts of the temple have collapsed so it makes_ it all the more mysterious and exciting to explore. We were truly lucky as there were only a few tourist there. Magic. The photos speak for themselves.
Phnom Bakheng - which s a temple on the hill overlooking Angkor Wat. There is a pilgrimage up here each afternoon to see the sunset over Angkor Wat. Mike is barefoot at this point a as his shoes have broken. We climb the hill and then have to literally climb up the face of the temple to see Angkor Wat. The steps are so steep you feel like you are going to fall backwards. The top terrace is littered with those tourist telescopes all around the edge. It looked quite strange seeing these ancient ruins with telescopes(covered in plastic , until required) mounted on the them.
It is another hour or so until sunset, too tired to wait so we call stumps for our first day of tomb raiding and head back down the hill and back to the hotel for an early dinner and into bed by 7pm.