Boy, all these early starts are starting to get to me. Up at 4am and ready for 4.45 to go to watch the sunrise at Angkor Wat Temple.
Apart from seeing the sunrise, the early start was apparent when we got to the ticket office to get the tickets as it was already heaving with people! Being up that early, the heat and all the different smells around me made me feel quite nauseous, so there I was standing in the queue trying to keep my stomach from emptying! Managing it, but only just, we all got our temple passes, got back on the bus for the short journey to Angkor Wat.
It was pitch black, as you’d expect for 5.30 in the morning, and there were already lots of people there at the front to get the best view of the sunrise over the temple. No idea what time they must’ve gotten there.
After trying to find a good spot to view this spectacular sight, we waited for the sun to do its magic, and it did not let us down.
The pictures will never do something this beautiful justice but somehow I managed to take quite a few.
Once the sun had risen, our local tour guide Han, who was brilliant, took us for a walk around the outside of Angkor Wat to get the bus to Ta Prohm, aka Tomb Raider Temple, as it featured in the first Tomb Raider film.
Han recommended that it was best to get there early to avoid the crowds, which was great advice as by the time we left it was getting pretty busy. Most of the temples we visited were built as Buddhist temples, but later on the Hindus took a lot of the Buddha images from the temple walls.
There was lots of history surrounding the building of the temples and it was very fascinating to listen to at the time, but I’ve already forgotten most bits, so pictures will have to suffice.
It was already getting hot by now and it was only 9am, so we headed back to Angkor Wat for our breakfast.
After breakfast, we jumped back on the bus and headed for our final temple, Bayon Temple, which features the four faces of Buddha; charity, compassion, sympathy and equanimity. There are 216 faces on 54 towers within the temple grounds and the reason these weren’t destroyed during Hindu rule is that they look similar too one their Gods.
Having wandered around Bayon Temple for a while, we got on the bus that then took us back to Angkor Wat, where we wandered round the 7th wonder of the world. It really is amazing how they could’ve built something so big and beautiful with no machinery, and now that we have all the technology we have yet to build anything so magnificent in the modern world.
Lunchtime was upon us, so we headed back to the restaurant where we had breakfast. I had Amok chicken curry in a coconut, it was really delicious.
Once we had all eaten we headed back to the hotel for an afternoon of free time. Some people choose this free time to do Quad biking, but me and a few others decided to do something a bit more relaxing and headed to the markets and then to get a massage!!
The markets, like any markets in Asia, are quite full on and you are expected to barter for everything. I managed to pick up a much needed hat to protect my little head!
Then we headed for a spa to get ourselves a back, neck and shoulder massage. It was one of those painful massages but you kinda know that you will feel so much better for afterwards.
Leaving nice and relaxed, we arrived back at the hotel to get ready for dinner. We went to this lovely restaurant for dinner where I had the most delicious aubergine, or egg plant as it’s known here, curry with minced pork and rice. It had a nice sweet flavour and a lovely texture, and great flavours.
Drinks and dancing were on the cards next, but I only managed to stay out for one as I was soooo tired! Not sure I’m going to keep up with all these young uns!!
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