I could probably post a dozen more sunrise shots, since they’re all amazing. I will show some restraint.
Now, getting up this early, you’d think you’d go back to sleep before seeing more stuff. Us? We went to see more stuff. Today involved a lot of “commuting”, but it was worth it.
It made sense for them to come out this far, though, since Banteay Srei is arguably the prettiest of all the temples at Angkor. It’s small, but the carvings are amazingly elaborate, the sandstone gives it a different look from the other temples, and it has a nice little moat. It’s out of the way, doesn’t take too much time to look around, but is completely worth it for the artwork.
You’re also going to run in to dozens of small, sandstone statues. The name actually means “Citadel of the Women”, mostly due to the fact that people didn’t believe men could carve things so intricate. As a man, totally not offended by that. For real.
Oh, and the Sales Brigade? Daina thought he recognized one of them from the day before. We brushed it off as a case of mistaken identity. Bookmark that for later.
It takes about half an hour to hike up to the actual carvings and, even though you’ve got more shade to work with on account of being in the jungle, you’ve also got more humidity, for the same reason.
As you reach the end of the trail, there’s a cute little waterfall that invites you in, though all the signs around it point to the fact that it’s really not allowed. So don’t.
The four brick towers contain a lot of decorative carvings and the site is right next to a fully functioning Buddhist monastery. We just happened to see an elderly monk laying out wet rice onto a large tarp to dry it out. Real life continues as the tuk-tuks drive on through.
Six towers based on a time that pre-dates the rest of the Rolous group. In a lot of ways, it looks like Angkor Wat Beta.
There are some neat statues left over and, while it was probably the site that blew me away the least, saying that is kind of like picking the worst player on an all-star team.
They’re still going to be pretty good.
The biggest and most important of the pre-Angkor sites, Bakong was the first temple mountain that was built in the area and served as the official state temple in the 9th century.
The temple mountain is in the middle of two moats and is pretty well intact. It made for an impressive stop for the end of our day.
Showers and some rest in Siem Reap before heading out for dinner. We went to a place called Cambodian BBQ, which specializes in, get this, Cambodian BBQ, which involves cooking things like beef and chicken at your table, as well as cooking more exotic meats like snake and alligator. Then, off to a bar where we drank from a magical, self cooling, wizard’s orb of beer. Best description I could come up with.
After having seen so much over the past two days, it’s hard to believe there’s a third on the way.