Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Siam Reap, gateway to an ancient city (Part Two)

3rd November 2007

Woke up pretty early and had breakfast at the hotel.Then off we went with Mr Sunpreap to Angkor Wat.Entrance fees were USD20 per person. We followed the plan Mr Thean had discussed with us last night, therefore driving past Angkor Wat (will keep that for the last- when the light is good)

We then entered Angkor Thom through the Southern Gate. For those who fancy an Elephant Ride you can get one ere. We were mobbed by kids selling travel books at a fraction of the market price. A sucker I was I bought the “Book Guides: Ancient Angkor by Micheal Freeman”. It was only USD 7 for two (that was equvlent to RM 3.3 x 3.5 = RM11.55 per book); it explains about the sites and it’s atractions. The Lonely Planet Guide to Cambodia was only USD4….wow… and the quality was quite good.

I was so happy as the place gives me the opportunity to practice photogaphy. So many wonderful opportunities. 1st we went to the Bayon Temple. Ah… such elaborate architecture. The king that built it made the temple in three layers, he thought that he was dying soon and thus started with the outer layer 1st and construction on the inner layer only commenced when the outer one is completed. Nevertheless, the King lived long enough to see the whole temple completed.

The whole World Heritage Site is under conservation and repairs thus ongoing works everywhere. We went to several temples and had tremendous fun exploring. I was as usual slow and took photos of almost everything whereas Shanta was spinting here and there. Our driver, who spoke limited English had a hard time keeping track of where we were. He’ll go “Shanta where are you” or “Lynn whre are you?” but was a great company. He was laughing so much at our craziness especially when it comes to quircky photoshots (see more at my flickr). He appointed himself as our bodyguard and vetted through all the stuff the locals were trying to sell us.

Special mention and a must visit is the Ta Phrom where the ancient ruins are engulfed by the forests. Huge trees grow within the walls of the temple and becomes part of the architecture.

Angkor Wat itself is a huge majestic temple surrounded by a huge moat. Repairs were everywhere but one thing that strikes me is that almost all the statues were decapitated. It was as seem that someone had an axe and went on a rampage through the temple.

That night again we went to the Pub Street to have dinner. Found a halal Indian shop, Maharaja, and I ate to my heart’s content. Shanta wanted to have the local beer and we went to watch the Manchaster United match against Arsenal. Shanta being a die hard fan insisted that we watch the first half. However, now I know that the wuss cannot watch live matches, she may die of heart attack.

4th November 2007

Decided to walk to the market place. Both of us wanted to shop….and shop…and that is what we did. They have wonderful silk stuff, bags, bags and bags. I am a sucker for bags. Love bag especially quircky and unique ones. They have lovely silk stuff, silver and wood/stone carvings. Ahhhhh… thank god I brought limited cash. But I did splurge, on a oil painting, it was love at first sight!

After that we went for Khmer massage…. USD 6 for an hour…. I wanted to have photos taken of us being massaged but Shan thought I was a bit cookoo and refused to let me take a photo of her ‘half naked’. After that we took the what seemed like a ‘tut tut’ back to the hotel. As usual traffic was chaotic and scary.

We wanted to visit the war museum but then decided we were too lazy. Ah….next time

For more photos :