My Indiana Jones Period.
No one can come here and not visit the famous Temples of Angkor Wat so despite my lack of enthusiasm for old buildings, ancient history, monuments, castles. tomb’s of all shapes and sizes, I agreed to take the tour.
There are a whole load of temples and the Angkor Wat Temple is perhaps the most famous and best preserved, but it is not the only one.
I won’t bore you with the details, you can look up as much information as you wish on Google or Wikipedia. Rather, Ill try and provide some practical advice should you choose to go in the future. A good reference site is The Angkor Temple Guide.
We took a Tuk-Tuk from outside the Hotel and booked the driver for a whole day. Cost including all the bottled water we could drink was $15. If you book through reception at the Hotel, they take a commission so driver gets slightly less.
He drove us out to the ticket centre where we were photographed and paid our $20 each and then we set off on an unexpectedly long journey to the first Temple, the actual Angkor Wat Temple.
He dropped us under some trees and pointed out the direction we should walk and it became immediately obvious that this would be a very hot and sticky day.
Before we reached the ticket check booth we were approached by an official guide who offered to show us around and tell us all about the Temple, for a fee. We declined but, if there were a group of you and you really wanted to know in detail, about the place, this might be an investment.
Once the ticket had been checked we walked over a wooden bridge and were approached by children trying to sell Angkor Wat books at a $1 and postcards, 10 for $1.
All the ‘Official’ guidance says don’t buy from these kids as it encourages them to skip school. However, our Tuk-Tuk driver said no.They only attend half a day, the other half they work at the Temple trying to get enough money to afford to stay at school.
So, you believe what you want.
We walked around and looked at the building with as much reverence and awe as we could muster but sadly after an hour or so we were both ready to leave.
We retraced our steps past the book sellers back to the Tuk Tuk.
We were then whisked off to another Temple, this time Bayon the Temple of the faces and it sure was a Temple and it did have some faces, but it was very similar to the first one.
We asked the driver to take us to a street restaurant but in his wisdom he took us to a tourist place where a lady was waiting to meet us and show us to her restaurant (at least the collection of tables that are allocated to her under a long tent type structure). The prices here were much higher than in Siem Reap as they have a captive audience of tourists.
We raised this with the restaurant lady and she agreed to give us discount which came to $3.
Suitably fed we were back on the Tuk-Tuk and on our way to our final Temple, Beng Melea probably the best and most interesting (in my opinion) of the three. This is real Indiana Jones, real Jungle book stuff. The trees have grown in on and through the temple causing a lot of the damage.
I did ask Jaki why I needed to see this when Ive seen the real thing In Disney World but she wouldn’t answer me.
By the time we had walked around this last one I was ‘Cultured right out’ and didn’t want to see another pile of stones for as long as I lived.
Others might find it far more stimulating and I suspect it is me who is out of sync, but Its just not my thing.
I was obviously bored, I got Sooty out and started taking his picture.
Im more a people watching person which is why I found the Japanese tourist so interesting.
They do Pictures in a big way.
Not satisfied with one camera they often have two or even three.
It is apparently compulsory to carry a selfie stick and they take posing very seriously indeed. We watched a lady get herself ready for hubby to take her picture and it was like a full Vogue shoot. She even had a change of costume.
They also pose in very strange ways striking poses which I assume makes them appear glamorous or attractive?
Attractive enough to get married though?