[More photos to come later]
Big photo day… Day 1 of the Temples of Siem Reap. We started with the oldest of the temples, Banteay Srey, a 10th century temple 40 minutes drive out of town. The intricate carvings on the rocks was incredible.
Next temple was Ta Prohm, the temple made famous in Raiders of the Lost Ark, with tree roots growing down through the temple. I’ll need to do some fact checking, but these temples were abandoned for 400 years, as the Cambodian empire declined, before being ‘rediscovered’ (the locals always knew about them) in the early 20th century by the French. During the years of abandonment seeds deposited in bird droppings germinated, becoming the huge trees we see today.
Our last temple stop for the day was Angkor Thom (We all thought Teavy was saying ‘Uncle Tom’. Seemed like a strange name for a temple complex.) This complex was huge, with at least four discrete areas within the bounds of the temple.
After returning to the hotel we had a refreshing swim (it was seriously hot and humid today – just like every other day) before a small group of us headed out to find ourselves dinner, and what a find we made… Entrée of spring rolls, main course of a curry and 2 beers for $US7. They use 2 currencies here. They use $US for notes greater than $1 and Cambodian Riel for smaller amounts. $US1=4000 Riel, with notes of 500, 1000 and 5000 riel. Often you’ll pay for something in a combination of currencies, or pay in $US and get change in Riel.
Last stop was a wander around the markets on town. Siem Reap is a lively, friendly town.