Angkor Temples

25 05 2010

We arrived in Siem Reap around 12.30pm and walked to ‘Shadow of Angkor’, our guesthouse. We had lunch at the Singing Tree Cafe in The Alley. We had fresh spring rolls, Amok curry with brown rice and a lotus seed brown rice salad. The Singing Tree supports environmental charity groups with their profits.

In the afternoon we planned out our temple visiting itinerary and organised a tuk tuk driver through the guesthouse.

Dinner was at Chamkar, a vegetarian restaurant in The Passage.

Day 1 at Angkor we fortunately escaped most of the crowds. We left town at 7am in our tuk tuk and did the little circuit – South Gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon with the many faces, Baphuon covered in scaffolding, Terrace of the Elephants, Phmeanakas with steep stairs accessible from one side only and the Terrace of the Leper King. Out past the Victory Gate we visited Chau Say Thevoda andd Thommamon, then climbed up the scary steep steps to the top of Ta Keo. We ate lunch at a restaurant near Angkor Wat. On to our favourite temple, the overrun-with-nature Ta Prohm then Banteay Kdei before finishing with Angkor Wat. We waited for sunset but it was too cloudy so we went back to town for dinner at Little India-bargain thali for $3 a plate.

Day 2 we were up early and left at 5am to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat.Still quite cloudy, it was overrated.Then we did the big circuit and visited Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Som with more giant trees, East Mebon and Pre Rup. We came back to town and had lunch at the Singing Tree again. After sleeping for a few hours we went back to Phnom Bakheng and enjoyed the tourist trap that is sunset from the top of the temple. We met some Japanese girls there and arranged to meet them for dinner sometime. We had dinner at Indian Gate where the sign out the front said the best food in Siem Reap. It wasn’t, but that’s ok.

Day 3 we returned to Angkor Wat at 5am for another go at a sunrise. Yesterday was better, but there were less people this morning. From there we travelled about 90 minutes out to Banteay Srey, the citadel of the women with intricate carvings. On the way back we stopped at Banteay Samre. We had lunch at Peace Cafe, slept for a few hours and woke up in time to meet our driver at 3pm to go visit the Roluos Group of Lolei, Preah Ko and Bakong. We had dinner at Maharaja with the two Japanese girls who got harassed for tuk tuks in Japanese worse than we did in English. Then we had some juices at the Island Bar in the middle of the night market.

After exhausting ourselves with 3 days of temple hopping, we had a sleep in and an early lunch at Chamkar followed by a rest day before our bus back to Phnom Penh tomorrow.

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