Lets take this gig global!!
Well, after thinking for a wee while I'm still struggling to know how to expalin the temples. They are just phenomenal!! We opted for a three day pass (not cheap at $40 tho) and firstly I must thank Nick Ray for his "Guide to Angkor" article I copied before I left Blighty. It was a 3 day guide of how to do it while avoiding the crowds and we did exactly that!! First up was sunrise at Phnom Bakheng, one of the tallest points around, pretty special as you can imagine and with just 4 or 5 other people there we were off to the perfect start. The Angkor complex is so much more than just the most famous Angkor Wat. Its a whole city/community complex spread over a huge area of jungle forests with untold Wats and temples all different and unique in their own right. I'm not gonna go through each one cos it'll bore you to death unless you know what I'm talking about and have seen the mythical buildings yourself. Highlights were Bakong in the Rolous group and even more special as ancient Buddhist monastries still carry on there today. Ta Prohm in the arvo was amazing with it left exactly as the French Explorers found it. Parts of it are overun by trees and vegetation and Im not sure whats more amazing- imagining what they must have looked like thousands of years ago or the surreal way they look today where muscular tree roots literally grab hold and envelop the architecture. Its a strange paradox of how humanity can clear and destroy to make way for this architectural feat only for nature to prevail and claw it back brick by brick. You really have to see it to believe it. On day two we saved the best for last and started off with the Mother of all temples- Angkor Wat herself. The first thing which strikes you is the sheer, unbelievable size of the place. Then as you look in more detail, the intricacy of the sculpture and rock work. Its one of those moments when its impossible to comprehend how they could of even built the bloody thing so many thousand years ago. Just leaves you speechless! Sunsets were good too and more kodak moment opportunities. So it was great to tick another "one you have to see before you die" box and it certainly held its own and is probs one of the best couple of days of the trip so far. Finally we found a place which can beat the Indian temples hands down and that is no mean feat!! We have met loads of sound people here too and thanks to our excursions around Siem Reap temple hunting we have seen more of the real Cambodia. Siem Reap itself is really just a dusty guesthouse/bar strewn area but down on the outskirts of the Rolous Group we saw villages of little Bamboo huts on stilts carrying on as they have done for thousands of years oblivious to the tourist tidal wave hitting Seam Reap, no electricity, no modern gadgets just raw Cambodian culture- Quality! So an immense few days by all and hopefully it should continue tomorrow as we are catching the boat to Battambang which is supposed to be the most scenic baot trip in Asia and having spoken to a couple of people yesterday about it, it sounds awesome and I'm fully pumped for it. Right, apologies for the lack of banter in this update but theres just too much to say!! Take it easy folks and I'll catch you soon. Dan