23 January 2013
Today we start our exploration of Angkor Wat and discover that Kom is a registered tour guide for Angkor Wat and so we don’t need a local guide as well here. He is very smartly dressed in his official guides’ uniform. We set out at 7.00 to try to avoid the heat and the crowds.
First stop is to get photographed for our 3 day passes and then we head out to Ta Prohm the jungle temple made famous in movies such as Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider. It has been left largely in the state it was found and provides numerous photo opportunities where trees are engulfing the temples. Next up is Angkor Thom the temple that was originally thought to be a city and now famous for the magnificent Bayon with both Buddhist and Hindu imagery.
It is now getting really hot so we go back to the hotel to relax a while. I go with Valerie Bruce Diane and John for lunch at the Foreign Correspondents Club that provides a lovely cool haven across the river from our hotel. We all settle for western food and I enjoy my fish and chips as a change from rice and noodles.
In the afternoon we head some distance out of town to Banteay Srei that is known as the temple of women built for the queen as a university. It is built of pink sandstone which is the hardest type and its beautiful intricate carvings are extraordinarily well preserved.
And we reach Pre Rup in time to buy some beer and scramble up the steps to the top to watch the sunset.
We have a free night and I am tempted to stay in the hotel and do nothing but end up going with Ingrid and Sarah to look at the night markets. I’m really not in a buying mood but find a mask that I have been searching for and get some Angkor balm and a bargain I can’t refuse for a silk scarf. We are all happy as we realise we may not get another chance. And we find a nice restaurant on the edge of the river on the way home that has very nice food but it is a bit pricier than we are used to: it costs us a total of $39 for 3 cocktails, 3 mains and a bottle of wine.
For this and other similar tours see:
Peregrine Adventures (Comfort tours)
Geckos Adventures (for 18 to 30s)
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