Tuesday, 28 January 2014

And we are off to The Bayon…

By the time we had landed in Siem Reap and made it through the airport and to the hotel it was dinner time so we just had a meal at the hotel, took a nice hot shower and chilled in the room. We noticed when we arrived at the airport that it was no longer the small basic building it had been 13 years ago, it was really busy and it took us quite a while to get through the visa line. Then when we left the airport we couldn't believe how busy the whole place was, all the roads are now surfaced too!

The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel, then met Bobo who was the guy who organised our wedding 10 years ago. He hadn't changed at all! He hooked us up with a driver for the time we were there, Bobo is actually a registered guide and we decided we didn't need a guide this time round.

We decided to visit The Bayon first which is located in the centre of the city of Angkor Thom, this is the south gate, each side is flanked by these statues large statues holding a 7 headed Naga snake.


The Bayon was built in the late 12th century by King Jayavaraman VII and dedicated to Buddhism.



Each section of the temple has these amazing bas reliefs decorating the walls, all with different stories. It is fun to try and find the crocodile eating a man or the monkey biting a horse! Many of the scenes depict battles but there are also some showing everyday life, like theses people preparing for a feast…


 But what really draws the crowds in are the enormous carved faces, there are 16 towers act with 4 faces and each face is different…


Again we were shocked at how busy it was, coach loads - literally of people piling in, taking photos and piling out again. I don't like to make a sweeping statements about particular nations but the South Korean and Chinese tourists were so RUDE and disrespectful.

We tried to avoid the crowds and instead went of a hunt for the most beautiful Apsara, I think this lovely lady won…


As we left The bay on, we were greeted by a troop of cheeky monkeys, looking for food then pinching it off one another…


We then made our way to the Elephant terrace and the Leper King, 300m of wall with elephants carved in one side and Garuda in the other. Ebi-kun became quite obsessed with Garuda!


After all that we decided to stop for a drink, these days there are properly organised open cafes and mar get stalls set up, so we decided to share a coconut…


Between the tables was a hammock and inside a baby sleeping happily not taking a blind bit of notice of what was going on around her, there were also several small kids running around, barefoot and grubby. Enjoying being kids and posing for the tourists.


We finished off at Angkor Thom and spent 15 minutes trying to find our driver! Then he took us to a place he recommended for lunch which meant we didn't have to go all the way back to town to eat. I am not a fan of very spicy food but Cambodia and Laos food isn't all spicy, rather they use a lot of herbs for seasoning. I have chicken and pineapple with rice and it was delicious.


Then we shared a plate of fried banana and pineapple with condensed milk as a dip, really, really good!


Come back tomorrow to see where we went adventuring next…




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