Thursday, August 04, 2005

ancient wonders of the world

Angkor Wat was just as incredible at its reputation had led us to believe. As one of the wonders of the world (don't ask me what the others are), it had a lot to live up, especially since I am not one for ancient ruins, but this was amazing.

It is a big site, with several temples being unmissable. Angkor Wat itself was just phenomenal - big khmer chedis rising up out of a castle like structure, with a fabulous causeway leading out to it. The Bayon was my personal favourite, with its hundreds of buddha faces and fabulous bas reliefs carved into the wall. It was particularly spectacular in the afternoon with the sunhighlighting the faces and creating weird shadows. And finally, Ta Phrom, which is being overtaken with mosses, greenery, and trees growing right through the architecture. The Lonely describes it as being right out of Indiana Jones, and well, for lack of a better description, it was. We saw maybe ten or more other temples, all of which would have been amazing anyway, without having been a part of this huge site. Awesome, in the true sense of the word.

On our second day of touring, with our fantastic tuk-tuk driver, we got up for sunrise, which was unfortunately cloudy and anti-climatic. This was countered by a spectacular pink sunset from the top of Phnom Bakheng - maybe one to two thousand people gathered there to watch it. It was one of those beautiful big, pink, grey and orange sunsets that you get on hot, clear days. Fabulous.

Today we're having a chill day in Siem Reap, the city that has sprung out of Angkor Wat. We're staying away from the centre, and have just walked in today. Cambodia is the only country I have come across to offer iPod recording in the bootleg CD stores - what a great concept. Unfortunately, however, the cheap copied books that were so rampant in Vietnam don't exist here, so I might have to splash out on books -up to $5! I know, I sound such a skinflint.

Kate comes to Bangkok in a week - I am incredibly excited about this. I get to show her around, maybe buy some new clothes (mine are all falling apart, although I did get a cute Siem Reap t-shirt yesterday which has been Israeli-fied - that means the neckline has been all cut), and then go back to the beach. Wunderbar. Although, it does mean in a couple of wks, I also have to say goodbye to Ori. Not good.


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