Thursday, 14 May 2015

Finally made it...

...to Siam Reap, Cambodia.

A beautiful sunny morning, so I started the day off with a quick swim surrounded by coconut palms and bird song,


  

before a traditional, make-your-own Malayian noodle soup breakfast. 


And then it was off to the airport to have another go at catching a plane to Cambodia.  Just to keep me on my toes they had moved the departure gate back to the main terminal.  But as you can see - I finally made it into the air!

 
Met by my guide for the next few days, Chay and making up for lost time, it was straight off to Angkor Wat and a full afternoon walking amongst the ruins of one of Southeast Asia's most remarkable and architectural striking masterpieces.  Quite a contrast to yesterday's Towers in KL.  Now an UNESCO site, parts the complex are still undergoing conservation following the destruction and neglect of the Khmer Rouge period.  That time still can not be ignored in present day Cambodia, my guide was born and grew up under Khmer Rouge rule and remembers the rockets and bombs.  

There is a four day national holiday here just now, so Angkor Wat was busy with many Cambodian visitors.  However, it was still possible to find a moment of calm.



Originally built to worship Hindu gods, the temples now house many statues of the Budha, many of which are headless and have no arms.  The Khmer hacking them off to sell as funds ran short towards the end. But a few intact ones do remain.

 
The golden saffron robes of Budhist monks add a touch of vibrant colour against the dark, water marked stones, although the obligatory modern day accessory of a smart phone / iPad is somewhat of a surprise!

 
Some monks are savy , this one will tell you your fortune...


 
And of course there was the odd native on hand to provide a bit of entertainment if looking at the stones became too much!

 

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