Sunday, January 11, 2015

Cambodia: Ankor Wat

After a one day recuperation in Phnom Pehn, we hopped a bus to Siem Reap to see the temples of Ankor Wat.  As Cambodia's major tourist attraction, we were not alone in our pursuits.  The complex is so vast, that you need a decent chunk of time to see everything.  We found 3 days of clamoring about was just right, and in the shuffle, I definitely had my favorites.  Interestingly enough the temples swayed between Buddhist and Hindu, and each temple was either one or the other, sometimes having been switched sometime in between.
To get around, we chose to hire a tuk tuk driver.  He was our driver from the bus station into Siem Reap and his persistence paid off.  We hired him for 3 days, and as a full time driver of Ankor Wat he really knew where and when to take us to avoid the crowds.

Ta Prohm is the temple most famous for the wild overgrowth, but the soft roots of this tree had permeated almost every temple we visited.  
 East Mebon:  A hindu temple dedicated to Shiva.  The warm sandstone and sunny blue skies amplified the grandeur of the towers. 
 A lotus flower offering, tucked away into 
Swinging on one of that many overgrown vines at Beng Melea
Ornate Carvings line the Temple of the Leper King in Angkor Thom.
Spied monks atop Ankor Wat.
 For a fee, the guards assigned to monitor the temples took extra care to ensure we didn't miss a touristy photo opportunity.

The enormous faces towering above at Bayon was a trip highlight.  We went back twice to wander about and pose for pictures.
Like every other good tourist we rose at 5 AM to witness sunrise at Ankor Wat.  Unfortunately,  it turned out to be an anticlimactic start for the day.  

The beautiful Apsara dancers of Ankor.
And with all those sunny steamy days, we took plenty of breaks to rehydrate with fresh coconut water. 

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