4-7 December 06
after Phonm Penh we took a nice and short 6 hour bus ride up to Siem Reap. The main attraction in siem reap is Angkor Wat. Angor Wat is cambodia's only real tourist attraction, and what Cambodia lack's in numbers of tourist site's it makes up for in quality, this place can only be described as amazing. The ancient city of angkor was built between the 9th and 12th centuries by the khmer people, the city is made up of over 20 different temple sites ranging from quite small to the biggest religious structure on the planet "Angor wat." For some reason the whole city was abandoned and the jungle took over, the place had been completely forgotten about until the late eighteen hundreds when a group of french explorer's where trecking through the jungle and stumbled across it. Some people spend a whole week visiting angkor, viewing all of the different temples but we decided that we would just spend one day here and only visit two of them because we where afraid that with too many we would end up templed out.
We started off our temple day at 4 in the morning so that we could see the sun rise over Angkor wat which was nice to see but nothing worth telling the grankids about, so we left before the sun was fully up to go to the site where the tomb raider film was shot, (TA PHROM). We where the only people there and this made the place that bit extra special (every one else was still at Angkor wat) this place is half jungle, half temple, it is falling to bits and there are huge tree roots entwined throughout the structure, they are the only thing that is keeping the place together (see pics). After spending the morning here we went back to the hotel for a nap with plans to return to Angkor wat for sunset. Angkor wat at sunset was amazing, after climbing the 400 very very small steep steps to the top (james nearly fainted when he looked down and had to be helped the last few steps by two italian men) we sat and watched the sun go down. This place at sunset and TA PHROM, (the tomb raider temple) in the morning were the best things that we have ever seen in our lives. What more can we say.
Next stop Bangkok, then a 9 hour train and a night boat to get to koh tao for our scuba diving course,