|The Angkor Wat, is a bit like the Temple bar in Dublin.
There is a district called the Temple bar, and an actual pub in the district called Temple bar.
The area of Angkor Wat, is 400 square kilometres.
We visited the temple of Bante srey, much smaller than the temple of Angkor Wat, but has a moat.
|Angkor Wat, literally means “City that is a temple”.
A base reflex of the white monkey army.
We later saw the ancient folktale acted out by Dancers.
|Some of the buildings inside the temple.|
|The outer wall of the temple from inside.
As beautiful as the temple was, we were told not to venture beyond this wall, as the outside had not been cleared for mines.
I was surprised to hear that towards the end of the war, temples like this, had actually been mined by the authorities to protect them from Thieves.
|A base reflex of Shiva – the destroyer.
She destroyed the world, then it was re-created.
She is actually quite a positive figure in Hinduism, as she symbolises removing bad things, replacing bad habits etc. (a kind of ancient Hindu Anthony Robbins).
|As we drove back, we visited some villagers, who lived in a hut at the side of the road.
They make their living boiling up the juice from cocoanuts and making a sort of sugar substitute, which can earn them up to 10 dollars a day.
This is the ladder they use to climb the tree’s.
Its a hard life. Statistically, off all the people doing this, that fall out of tree’s only 2% survive.
|This is the hut they work in (there was another hut further back from the road which they share with their 4 children), out of the sun.
It has a kind of clay Yukon stove, with a sort of large wok on top, to boil up the juice.
The sugar is distributed in containers woven from grass (we bought 10 dollars worth, and told them to take a day off).
|On our way back to lunch, we visit Pre Rup.
A really tall temple, with a large staircase.
|A view from the top, shows the majestic steps bellow it.|
|Sarah and I have lunch at the amazingly authentic foreign correspondent club.
The food was excellent and we were made to feel like real international travellers.
|A picture of the Angkor Wat, the largest temple on earth, taken from across the moat which surrounds it.|
|We enter the Wat, through the east gate.
There are 3 gates into Angkor Wat, designed for Elephants.
|A base reflex from the eastern wall, which has only recently been decoded.|
|A picture of the main temple, with the reflection showing on the small lake in front.
Our guide Mr Han, was excellent, and knew all the best places for Photographs, and how to avoid crowds.
|I climbed to the very top of the temple.
The angle of the stairs, was nearly 70 degree’s, so a head for heights was needed.
There was a euphoric feeling when stood in the central temple at the top.
Sarah and I photographed in front of one of the base reflex’s
This sculpture is more than 1000 years old.
|In a different time, this empty pool would have been filled with worshippers swimming and bathing.|
|Sarah relaxes next to the outer wall, as we make our way out of the front entrance.
Our guide had taken us in the side way, around the back and out through the front, which he advised was the quietest way to see it.
|A view from the entrance, down the walkway, and out across the moat bridge.|
|Angkor Wat from the front.
The handrails on the walkway, are carved from stone and more than 1000 years old.
|In the evening, we visit the APSARA Restaurant-Theatre, enjoy delicious Cambodian food and watch traditional theatre.
We sat on the cushions on the floor, and ate from low tables.
As we arrived, I rolled up my jacket and placed it under the table.
I didn’t realise, there was a 1 metre deep trench underneath the table, for the comfort of westerners.
I had to climb under the table, and into the hole to retrieve my Jacket !.
There were many short performances, and then a multi scene story called The Reamker.
In this picture, are Neang Seda and Preah Ream (who are lovers).
In the background are Reap and hanuman.
|The traditional legend, is that Reap kidnaps Neang Seda and Preah Ream goes out to find and rescue her.
He is assisted by Hanuman, white monkey and general of the monkey army.
Together, they kill the fearsome Reap and return Neang Seda to Safety.
The small characters in green, are the soldiers of the monkey army.