Took an early bus on Wednesday morning to Siem Reap which is the town close by to Ankhor, the famous Ankhor Wat and many other impressive temples and sites. Having sorted a Tuk Tuk to take us round the temples for our visits we headed out the same afternoon to watch the sunset from a hill top, Phnom Batheny and got our first glimpses of Ankhor Wat. To be there was amazing and it was a beautiful sunset, only slightly spoilt by the few thousand other people wanting to have the same expereince!
The next two days were then extremely full, visiting as many sites as possible. Quite a bit of walking and certainly a lot of climbing up steep steps but all amazingly worthwhile. It's suprising how many times you can say "wow" in a day! We started the day with the iconic Ankhor Wat which was all it promised and very popular. We then went on to Bayan which has the four faces of Buddha repeated in its architecture and could walk from there to the terrace for the elephants which I loved. Many of the temples have been partly reconstructed to varying levels but Bantay Srei has been left with much of the jungle still growing through it. It is the temple described as being the inspiration for Tomb Raider and although I didn't feel quite like Lara Croft as I scrabbled round the steep rocks your imagination could get quite carried away!
The next day we got up extra early to watch the sunrise over Ankhor Wat. It really was spectacular and worth the 5 a.m. start. Having seen amazingly impressive sites the day before we saw some really beautiful ones on the Friday including Prea Rup, Banteray Srei which was for the women and quite a few others, all with varying syles, different coloured stone or in a different state.
Back in Siem Reap and after some Dutch courage I tried "Dr Fish"which is where you put your feet into a tank of small fish that massge you while they nibble away at the dead skin. Sounds gross but it was actually good fun. I couldn't stop laughing for the whole 20 minutes. Made my feet look better as well!