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Cambodia: Communal update

CAMBODIA | Sunday, 9 September 2001 | Views [2484] | Comments [3]

An Indiana Jones moment outside Bayon

An Indiana Jones moment outside Bayon

Hi All,

I'm in Siem Reap in Cambodia at the moment and have another day here before moving on towards Thailand. I went to Angkor Wat and other temples yesterday, the day before yesterday and yet again today. They are absolutely amazing, especially the ones still overgrown by the jungle like Ta Prohm & Preah Khan (the Temple I'm sure they based some of the Tomb Raider games on). While I didn't run into Lara Croft, there are some pretty good substitutes (read well endowed & wearing short pants) wandering around through the temple complex.

Bayon, with it's multitude of carved faces on each tower, was fascinating. Angkor Wat is the biggest temple in the area, surrounded by moats and massive walls carved with detailed scenes from it's past history. Climbing the steep narrow & badly eroded stairs right up to the top (4th) level of Angkor Wat provides a great view of the surrounding countryside and allows you to take in more of the massive scale of the temple.


Preah Khan is definitely my favourite temple, vast & wildly overgrown. It's less visited by tourist too, so you can explore in solitude & sort of feel like you have just discovered it in the jungle. I visited it a number of times, in sun & rain.

  

Took the 'Fast boat' up the Tonle Sap lake/river/floodplain to get to Siem reap (running out of typing time here) which broke down and made for a very long day after being transferred to a smaller & much slower boat, sitting on the roof and watching the countryside go by (did I mention the place is in flood? - water to the horizon in all directions in some places due to the monsoon).

 

Took another smaller boat from Siem Reap to Battambong, travelling above the flooded roadway, which made an interesting canal through the water covered countryside.

Visited a temple in the middle of a minefield too - quite careful to make sure I didn't walk off the cleared path - there are soooo many people missing arms/ legs/faces/parents it’s quite shocking. The Killing fields weren't quite such nice places, or the 15 meter glass pyramid filled with skulls, or the s21 torture camp, but they had to be seen to be believed - and to give you some better perspective on Cambodia.

Still, a very interesting country, with nice people (if incredibly poor) and the worst roads I've ever come across. The main highway is basically a boggy 4wd track - average road speed is under 20kmh - and it gets much worse off the main road.

Anyway, I'm having fun, food & company is good, my water filter is getting a workout (even on the local bottled water, which has a very chlorine-y chemical taste) and I'm off to breakfast now - gotta go!

Tags: angkor wat, bayon, cambodge, cambodia, monsoon, preah kahn, siem reap, ta prohm, tonle sap, wat

 

Comments

1

Hey there great to hear from you - sounds like your having a ball!!!

I'm heading off in just under three weeks so I'm starting to get a little excited.

Not much to report on here - work has been shit but otherwise I have been pretty busy socially which has been great.

Will keep you posted if anything exciting should occur. K

  Kate Sep 10, 2001 4:44 PM

2

Sounds great re your trip!!!

Yes the news here has upset quite a few people - we are still going to NY - they still need their tourists and besides it really is only one small part of the city.

I spoke with Dad - our time in England is going to be tight as he has booked us for a couple of things himself. Do you think you can come and visit us on the Monday 15th stay that night and then on the Tuesday we have a lunch so we can drop you at the train station on the way to the lunch.

If you come in the morning on the Monday I can show you around Guildford - I hope this fits with your schedule. Let me know.

Otherwise I spoke to Dad and said you will be staying on the Monday night. Looking forward to showing you the lovely sights of Guildford (we can walk it). Keep well. K

  Kate Sep 13, 2001 3:23 PM

3

Hey, thanks for the update. Interesting. Looking forward to seeing the photos of the Angkor Wat temples in particular!

In the light of recent events, will you be altering your travel schedule in the Middle East? I recall you were going to be in that part of the
world towards the end of your trip.

Anton

  Anton Nov 13, 2001 6:16 AM

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