Heather's Thairy

Heather's journey to Bangkok, Thailand: a year of adventure!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cambodia Continues

Andrea, Stephanie and I had a three day pass to the ruins of Angkor Wat; during that time, we managed to see the majority of the sites (even the ones that are located some km away, because we had the driver) as well as see a bit of Siam Riep. We visited an orphanage one afternoon and had a bit of a tour of the facility- we weren't sure that it was appropriate to take pictures so we didn't, just dropped off our donations and checked out the place. We visited a couple of markets and ate at a few very good, very inexpensive restaurants, but for the most part our time was spent exploring the ruins.

One of the temples is commonly referred to as the woman's temple, and it is made of pink stone instead of the beige or tan coloured stone. In all the temples there are delicate carvings all over the walls and especially over the doors. It is sometimes difficult to tell which are original and which are restorations.

Something we noticed that many of the temples have in common is the series of long corridors with doors that perfectly align. You can look from one end of the temple to the other with an unobstructed view through all the doorways. We asked our guide about it and I think that he said something about the doorways being arranged towards the sunrise and sunset, but I might be making that up. Sometimes I didn't listen to the guy.

Although elephants were the most common animal that we found in large statue form, we also saw cows and lions.

One of the more interesting parts of the Angkor temples was this long, deep hallway system with hundreds of carvings along the one side. It was very narrow and in one discussion I remember arguing that if I were to be chased through any of the temples, this would be the one that I would have no chance in. One of the other girls made a good point that the temple with hundreds of doors that all looked the same would be pretty awful too, since you wouldn't know which way to turn; at least in the long hallway you wouldn't have a choice where to go. I figured that I would try not to ever be in the temples with bad guys chasing me and I wouldn't have to test our theories.

On the last day of our touring of the ruins, we went back to Angkor Wat for another look, because it is SO large that truly, one cannot experience the whole thing in one visit. We had missed the entire outside ring of carved walls- very detailed, and almost always depicting epic battles between gods and demons. We spent a lot of time trying to decide exactly which ugly faces were gods and which ugly faces were demons...in one carving, we couldn't find any difference between them except for their ears were not the same size. Interesting...
Next up: Andrea and I head back to Bangkok for a night on Khao San Road, then it's off to Vietnam!
Until next time,


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