Sunday, February 22, 2015

Southeast Asia 2013: Day 4 - Siem Reap, Cambodia






The next day (Sept. 9, 2013) was a big day of the main temples of Angkor.

Angkor Wat
The day started out very early, but it was worth it - sunrise at Angkor Wat!  Our driver and guide Mao picked us up at 4:45 a.m.  It was dark navigating our way to where we wanted to go and Mao got us a great spot.  There were tons of other people there but when the sun rose at about 6 a.m. we were glad we got there early. 

Sunrise at Angkor Wat
The crowd waiting for the sunrise at Angkor Wat
After the sunrise we walked over to Angkor Wat with Mao to do a bit of sightseeing before it got crowded.

Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat

After walking around a bit we went back to the hotel to actually get ready for the day and have breakfast. After breakfast we went to our first temple of the day - Banteay Srei. This temple is known for the pink/red sandstone it's constructed with (not the red lavastone, and different from the normal sandstone used in most of the other temples) and the particularly ornate and deep decorative carvings on the walls, not just of figures of but patterns and designs.

Banteay Srei
Banteay Srei
Banteay Srei
Banteay Srei
Banteay Srei
Banteay Srei
posing at Banteay Srei
After that we took a detour to the hotel for a quick nap and to charge the camera.  So glad we did because the next temple was Ta Prohm - my favorite temple of all of them.  It was like a movie set!

Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
The temple overtaken by trees and was featured in the Tomb Raider film, early in the afternoon. Ta Prohm is unlike any of the other temples we saw - much of it is in ruins but it's constantly being reconstructed, and it feels more like it is in the middle of the jungle than the other temples.

Ta Prohm Tomb Raider tree
Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm
tree roots taking over Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
Many of the buildings have literally been taken over by trees. Mao called some of the trees "stranglers": large trees had grown through some of the buildings hundreds of years ago, and then new trees of a particular type had grown over them and consumed them from the outside.

Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
trees taking over at Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm


Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm

For scale - the size of some of the overgrown trees at Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
We then went back to Angkor Wat to finish of the day there.

Monks touring Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat

Boats selling goods outside of Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat

That night we went to a delicious Cambodian restaurant, walked around the night markets and met so many more wonderful locals.  I would say in all of the places we traveled the people of Cambodia were the most kind people we have ever met.  They told us to tell our friend to come to Cambodia so that is exactly what I hope these pictures do - go visit Cambodia!

The next day - off to Bangkok!

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin