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Temple time!

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Let the temple tour begin!

First stop - Bayon in the Angkor Thom complex. Not being the biggest fan of tour guides as you can't really soak up the atmosphere of an incredible place like Bayon when you're listening to endless temple trivia (sorry!), Alannah and I were forced to get 'lost' in the endless labyrinths of the temple, stumbling upon all sorts of places the tour guides don't take you - at one point, we ended up in a pitch-black chamber with two more tourists with a torch, bat-spotting...until one of them almost collided with Alannah's face (a bat, not a tourist). We finally made it up to the top of the temple, where we came face-to-face with...er...faces. Huge ones. Made of stone. Had to join the queue for the obligatory nose-to-nose tourist shot.

Next stop - Ta Phrom. I was most excited about this one - the trees growing out of the rock just blow my mind. It was wonderfully atmospheric and not as crowded as Bayon (our guide informed us that this was because "all the Japanese tourists have gone for lunch"!), but for some reason viewing platforms had been built in front of the most picturesque parts of the temple, which slightly ruined the effect!

And finally - Angkor Wat - not as amazing as the others, particularly because the incredible, iconic front of the temple was covered in scaffolding!! Oh the irony of scaffolding - ruins famous landmarks but at the same time stops famous landmarks from becoming ruins! Things really got exciting when it started raining - taking another little breather from our guide (who was at this point complaining about Korean tourists!) Alannah and I were gazing out at the scenery when we started to hear the sound of torrential rain...the thing was, we couldn't SEE the rain. We waited, completely baffled, until eventually about 100 metres away we saw torrential rain. It took another five minutes for the rain to actually reach us - it was the most bizarre weather-related thing I'd ever seen. Weather in England tends to be slightly more predictable. Climbed to the top of Angkor Wat, which had some great views of the temple and surrounding landscape, and watched monkeys walking along the roof. Had 5 minutes of panic when I couldn't find the way out thanks to the symmetrical nature of the place, and suspected I would be stuck there for ever.

permalink written by  lucy3119 on August 15, 2011 from Siem Reap, Cambodia
from the travel blog: Cambodia 2011
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