Dan and Lu's Travels
Cham picked us up at 5.45am and we headed for the temples of Angkor. They are the capital of Cambodia's ancient Khmer empire. There are many temples, built between AD802 and 1432 by many different 'god-kings'. The Khmer empire was one of the great powers of Southeast Asia during this time and the temples are proof of their cultural and religious significance. We started at Angkor Wat, which is generally regarded as the mother of all temples. I think I should let the phoitographs speak for themselves here as it would be impossible to accurately describe the imposing majesty of this place. the atmosphere, even though there were quite a few people around, was amazing. This place is beautiful. The best thing about it is you can explore however and wherever you like; climbing up the eroded steep steps to the highest tower - and then panicking like mad because you're so high up and you don't know how the hell you're going to get back down.... Cham then took us to Angkor Thom, nearby, which was built later under a different king who wanted to make his own mark. There were many different 'capitals' over the 600 year Angkorian period, most within an area roughly 32km square, but some temples a further 30km away. Bayon at Angkor Thom is dominated by huge faces on the towers and is set in jungle rather than the parkland of Angkor Wat. After lunch we went to Ta Prom, which is hugely overgrown, set in deep jungle that has invaded the structure and destroyed it from within. It was gorgeous. i loved the contrast of the architecture in ruins against the all powerful jungle, overtaken by nature. This is where Tomb Raider was filmed. We saw another one, Bateay Kdei, which was a massive Buddhist monastery from the 12th century. Dan had a disturbing encounter with a policeman here involving the cop trying to sell him his badge. We left...... Went back to the hotel, both of us really tired, and then we were both ill. Moved to an air con room as we were too hot.